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Ernest Lanning Collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 362

Scope and Contents

Archives relating to Lanning's work in Kenya and Sierra Leone, and as a colonial administrator in Uganda.


  • Creation: 1932 - 1978

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Ernest C. Lanning (known as Eric) was born in London in 1913. He was educated at St. Paul’s School and a commercial school in Geneva from 1930 to 1932. Lanning worked in Kenya as a pupil on a coffee plantation owned by N. G. Lavington at Kitale during 1932-34. He then joined the Kakamega Gold Rush during 1935, initially as a storekeeper and van driver delivering supplies to the mining camps, and then working as a gold prospector for Alluvial Concessions Ltd at Owombo and Kakamega. In 1937, Lanning was employed in Sierra Leone as a mining assistant by Gold & Base Metal Mines of Nigeria Ltd, surveying and prospecting for gold in the Northern Province. He then moved to the Gold Coast where he worked for Amalgamated Banket Areas Ltd (sic) as an administrative assistant at one of the big lode mines near Tarkwa. Lanning had been in the Kenyan Defence Force and joined the Royal West African Frontier Force in Oct. 1939 when the Second World War was declared. Commissioned in 1940, he served in Kenya, North Africa and India. After the war, Lanning worked briefly in Germany as part of the Military Government before joining the Colonial Service and being posted to Uganda in 1948. He served in: Kigeze 1948-49, West Nile 1949-50, the Secretariat, Entebbe, 1950-51, Masaka, 1951-52, Mubende, 1952-56, and Masaka, 1957-59.


2 archive box(es) (2 boxes) : paper/photograph

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Keith Steward in 2012.

Related Materials

Archives relating to Lanning's service during the Second World War are held by the National Army Museum and the Imperial War Museum.


This description was created by MJC.


Lanning, Ernest C, 1913-2012, colonial administrator

Includes index.
2014-05-19 15:00:47+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom