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Heath, Lewis Macclesfield (1885-1954)


Photograph of Lewis Heath

Generals.dk. Fair use may apply.

"Piggy" Heath fought in Egypt and Mesopotamia in the First World War, losing an eye and suffering permanent injury to his left arm. He commanded III Corps in Malaya when war broke out in the Pacific. He unsuccessfully urged that his corps be withdrawn from eastern Malaya after the Japanese landings in December 1941. As a result, by the time the withdrawal was ordered on 2 January 1942, 22 Indian Brigade was under attack by 56 Regiment and its withdrawal was a shambles. Heath subsequently urged deep withdrawals to southern Malaya that were also rejected, with better reason.

Percival was of the opinion that Heath was distracted during the campaign by the knowledge that his wife, who was in Singapore, was about to give birth. Heath joined Bennett in calling for an early surrender of the colony to spare civilians.

During his captivity, Heath was once punched in the face and then imprisoned in a half-flooded dark cell for two days after he refused to "discuss the defenses of India" (Thompson 2005). Word of his treatment got around and helped stiffen resistance to coercive interrogation from other prisoners of war.

Service record

1885     

Born
1905-1-18     
Second lieutenant

1906-3-15

19 Punjab Regiment
1909-12-20     

King's African Rifles
1914

Artillery, Egypt and Mesopotamia
1919-5-30

Deputy assistant adjutant and quartermaster-general, India and Afghanistan
1919-8-9

Deputy assistant adjutant-general, India
1919

Commander, Seistan Levy Corps
1924-11-12

Commander, Army School of Education, India
1928

10/14 Punjab Regiment
1929
Major     
Commander, 1/11 Sikh Regiment
1934-9-1

Instructor, Senior Officer's School, India
1936-7-16
Brigadier     
Commander, Wana Brigade, India
1939-10-21

Commander, Deccan District, India
1940-7?
Major general     
Commander, 7 Indian Division
1941-4-26    
Lieutenant general     
Commander, III Corps, Malaya
1942-4

Surrenders with his troops
1946

Retires
1954

Dies

References

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-1-18)

Pettibone (2006)

UnitHistories.com (accessed 2012-5-28)

Thompson (2005)

Willmott (1982)



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