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.
Fallen buddies: The list of names from these soldiers are those that were temporary buried (military grave) on the same location before they eventually were reburied at the Adegem War Cemetery in Belgium.
There might be an age difference between the profile and headstone. The age on the profile comes from the soldier's service records. It's well known that some lied about their age.
Military grave coordinations are not always spot on, but pretty accurate to the map references in the soldier's service records.
Personal details have been collected from official Service Records and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. Some of the additional information has been provided by War Diaries, Libera Me (G.E. Spittael), Polder Fighting (R.W. Catsburg), Veterans Affairs Canada, WW2 Talk, Aircrew Remembered and other sources. The commonwealth-adegem.com website is not responsible for incorrect information.
Everything has been collected and processed voluntarily by Michael van de Velde, Netherlands. Along the way I had great support from expert researchers and other volunteers. Thank you!