Book Review: The Service of Giving: Sir John Laing and his Trusts, 1922-2022


This book is a welcome extension of the biography of Sir John W. Laing by Roy Coad, which was published in 1979, a year after Laing’s death: The Biography of Sir John W Laing, CBE (1879-1978). For those who might not have much knowledge of Laing’s life, this biography by Coad remains valuable. Both Coad and McIlhinney outline the way in which John Laing, from small beginnings in Carlisle, turned what was a family firm into a building and civil engineering concern of international proportions. He became a world-renowned builder.