David Tennant Cowan India Myanmar Scotland Spain

Biography of David Tennant Cowan

Major General David Tennant Cowan CB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC was an officer in the British Army and British Indian Army in World War I and World War II. He came to study Medicine at the University during the summer of 1915, aged 18, attending classes in Botany and Physics.

Cowan was born in Málaga, Spain, son of Charles Thomas Bonafinbay Cowan, a merchant and Her Majesty's British Vice-Consul at Malaga.

His studies were interrupted by World War I when he was commissioned to the 3rd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in 1915, and shortly thereafter transferred to the 6th Gurkha Rifles of the British Indian Army in 1917. During WWI he was awarded the Military Cross. Between the wars, he served on the north-west frontier, and was the Chief Instructor at the Indian Military Academy (1932-1934). By World War II, Cowan was in command of the 1st Battalion of his regiment, and later posted to Rangoon, where he led the Indian 17th Infantry Division during the Burma Campaign.


Archival Materials

  • R8/5/35/13 Matriculation Slip Summer 1915


David Tennant Cowan
Born 1896.
Died 1983.
GU Degree: Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, 1915;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: military
English snippet: Distinguished British Army Officer
Record last updated: 19th Dec 2012

Country Associations

India India, No Region

Myanmar Myanmar, No Region

Scotland Scotland, Lanarkshire, Glasgow

Spain Spain, Malaga

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student