Open main menu

Lieutenant General Sir Lewis Macclesfield Heath, KBE, CB, CIE, DSO, MC (23 November 1885 – 10 January 1954) was an officer in the British Indian Army during the early to mid-twentieth century.

Sir Lewis Macclesfield Heath
Born(1885-11-23)23 November 1885
Died10 January 1954(1954-01-10) (aged 68)[1]
Bath, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Indian Army
Years of service1905–1946
RankLieutenant General
Commands heldIII Indian Corps (1941–42)
5th Indian Division (1940–41)
Deccan District (1939–40)
Wana Brigade (1936–39)
1st Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment (1929–33)
Seistan Levy Corps (1919–21)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Third Anglo-Afghan War
North-West Frontier
Second World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (3)


Early life and familyEdit

Heath was born in 1885, the son of Col. Lewis Forbes Heath of the British Indian Army, and was educated at Wellington College and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He joined the British Indian Army in 1905.[1]

In 1915, Heath married Marjorie, daughter of Brigadier General A. B. H. Drew, and had three sons and two daughters. In 1941, he remarried Kathleen Longeron of Auckland and had another son.[1]

Military serviceEdit

Heath joined the Indian Army 1905 and served with the King's African Rifles from 1909 to 1913. He saw action in the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. He served in East Persia from 1919 to 1921 and transferred to the 10/14 Punjab Regiment in 1928. He became commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment in 1929 and was deployed to the North West Frontier in India in 1930 and 1932. He became an instructor at the Senior Officers School, Belgaum, India in 1934 and Commander, Wana Brigade in 1936, in which capacity he was deployed to the North West Frontier in 1937. He went on to be Commander, Deccan District in 1939.

Nicknamed "Piggy", Heath achieved some success as General Officer Commanding 5th Indian Division during the East African Campaign. He was appointed to command III Indian Corps on 11 April 1941 as part of the Malaya Command, which then participated in the Battle of Malaya. He was unable to stop the Japanese advance and had conflicting opinions on how to conduct the campaign with his commanding officer, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival. He was captured during the Battle of Singapore, and held in prison in Singapore, Formosa, and Manchukuo (Manchuria) between 1942 and 1945. He retired in 1946.


  1. ^ a b c "L.t.-Gen. Sir Lewis Heath". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 12 January 1954. p. 8.
  • Biographical Dictionary of British Generals of the Second World War, Nick Smart. ISBN 1-84415-049-6.

External linksEdit