LEWIS, THOMAS CRIPPS

Birthdate
Birthplace
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Age
33
Parents
Son of Rupert Norman and Frances Margaret Lewis of Westmount, Quebec, Canada
Religion
Anglican
Occupation
Insurance Statistician
Service number
Canadian officiers don't provide a service number
Engagement
1939-09-11
Disembarked
1944-06-11, France
Date of death
1944-10-17
Died
Killed in action, Belgium
Force
Awards
17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars, R.C.A.C.
Plot 9 | Row D | Grave 11

"IN LOVING MEMORY. BETTY AND TOM. LEWIS AND YEATES FAMILIES"

Military grave
Additional info

Rank of Lieutenant on November 28, 1939

Rank of Captain on August 26, 1940

Rank of Major on September 1, 1942

Rank of Lieutenant Colonel on December 10, 1943.Awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the field. 

Mentioned in Despatches. 

Awarded the Croix de Guerre 1940 avec Palme. This award was granted in recognition of outstanding contribution towards the liberation of Belgium in the Second World War. 

The 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars (7th Reconnaissance Regiment, 7th RECCE) war diary reports on October 17, 1944: Lieut.-Col T.C. Lewis, DSO, A/Brigadier of 8 Cdn Inf Bde (8th Canadian Infantry Brigade), had left his HQ at 0730 hrs and by 1000 hrs no word had been heard from him. Brigade started inquiring as to his whereabouts but nothing was reported up to 1200 hrs. Orders were then issued fo every sub-unit to conduct a search for him. he had last been seen leaving "A" Coy of the Queen's Own Rifles in the direction of Passageule, Belgium/Netherlands (1208, Rovershoek, Belgium and Kasseiweg, Netherlands), in search of an "OP" from which to observe the Regiment de la Chaudiere advance. During the course of the day, Lieu.-Col P.C. Klaehn, OBE, Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, was appointed to act as CO of the 8th Bde until such time as Lieut.-Col Lewis returned. 

The 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars (7th Reconnaissance Regiment, 7th RECCE) war diary reports on October 18, 1944: In the morning,  the body of Lt-Col T.C. Lewis, DSO was found by "C" Coy Regiment de la Chaudiere. All personal effects had been taken away as well as his boots. His wounded Driver was found shortly after in Passageule, Belgium (1208). The driver's story follows while he and the CO were searching for an "OP" (could be Operation Plan) they stopped about 200 yards from farm buildings were they came under enemy fire. They both jumped from the Jeep into the ditch, neither being hit. Here they were under cover from the MG nest. Shortly after a heavy artillery barrage came down around them and Lt-Col Lewis was instantly killed by shrapnel. The Driver was wounded. It is felt that it was our own barrage as this area was one of our DF (defense) tasks which we engaged at approximately that time. When the barrage ceased, the Germans came out of their positions and took the Driver prisoner. They kept the Driver in the farm buildings until late at night when they withdrew and left him there. The Driver knows nothing of what happened to the Lt-Col's personal effects.

The 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars (7th Reconnaissance Regiment, 7th RECCE) war diary reports on October 18, 1944: Lt.Col Lewis's body was picked up at CCP (Casualty Collection Point) and brought to RHQ as Major Baerman had made arrangements for the funeral. At 0930 hrs, Lieutenant R. Haran accompanied by Troopers Daniels and Molson, the Lt.Col Driver and batman proceeded to Maldegem (0098, Koningin Astridlaan/ Brielwegel, Belgium) with the body where they were joined by 20 other Regimental Officiers and RSM Knights. The funeral service was conducted by H/Capt M.J. Stewart, Church of England Padre from 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade HQ. The pall bearers were Majors W.C. Bowen and D.C. MacKenzie, Capts J. Whittingham (killed in action on October 26, 1944, drove over a mine and was temporary buried at the same location as Lt.Col Lewis) and J.M. Thom. The Lt.Col was buried in Row D, Grave 23 MR006998, about one half mile north of Maldegem, Belgium.

THOMAS CRIPPS LEWIS, DSO
SOURCE: VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA