Private Alexander Cowan


Alexander Cowan was born on 14 July 1894 at Ballygrainey, Holywood, County Down, the third of six children of labourer David Cowan and his wife Mary Jane (née Brown). His mother died when he was just eight years old. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Ballycultra, Holywood, with his father and three surviving siblings, and working as a general labourer.

Cowan enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 5 January 1916 (regimental number probably 2058 or 2059 – later Corps of Hussars No.71685). He remained at the regimental reserve depot at Antrim through the remainder of the war. On 24 May 1919 he was discharged, being no longer physically fit for military service (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations).

On 21 February 1919 Cowan married Annie Pitman at the Holywood Presbyterian Church.


At least one of Cowan's brothers, James, also served in the war, as a driver in the Army Service Corps.