LEWIS, Anthony David

Known as: 
Tony
Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Regiment/Corps: 
Dorsetshire Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
95626
Born: 
Saturday, April 3, 1920
Died : 
Friday, January 21, 2000
Operations: 
Officer Commanding No 6 Commando  from June 1944 onwards.
 
Commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1939 he served in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force.   A veteran of Dunkirk, he was promoted Lieutenant 3rd January 1941. After a brief spell with No 4 Commando, he rejoined the Dorsets to take part in Operation Torch. He joined No 6 Commando whilst out in North Africa. 
 
When Brig Derek Mills Roberts took command of the 1st Special Service Brigade at Normandy after Lord Lovat's wounding, he chose Tony Lewis to replace him as Commanding Officer of No 6 Commando. His original choice, Major Courtenay Coade, 2i/c No.6 Commando, had also been wounded on D Day.
 
Aged just 24 the then (Temp) Lt. Col. Lewis, whom Field Marshall Montgomery used to refer to as his "boy colonel",  led No 6 Commando in France until 8 August 1944 when Lt. Col. Coade returned from injury, and again from January 1945 throughout the remainder of the war. He  was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for "gallant and distinguished services in NW Europe."  The French Government later awarded him the Croix de Guerre with palm.
 
  • 3 July 1952 (Captain) (Dorsetshire Regiment) promoted Major.
  • 1 June 1953 appointed MBE (Military Division) for setting up the Kenya National Service scheme. 
  • 2 November 1960 promoted Lieutenant Colonel. 
  • 3 April 1975 retired with the rank of Colonel.
His death was announced in Commando Association Newsletter 110 of March 2000.
Henry Brown OBE, the Association National Secretary wrote:
"With very deep regret, the death on 21st January last, after a very long illness, is reported of Colonel A.D. (Tony) Lewis DSO,MBE.  
An early wartime posting to No.4 Commando signalled Tony's intention to play an active part in special service and he later moved on to No.6 Commando taking part in its actions against enemy forces in Algeria and Tunisia during 1942/43.
Not surprisingly, with his qualities of leadership, promotion to higher rank was soon forthcoming and he was promoted Lt. Col. and Commanding Officer of No6 Commando during the fighting in Normandy in June 1944.
From there he took the Commando on its fierce encounters with the enemy in Holland and Germany, resulting in the award to him of the DSO.
There is no doubt that his resourcefulness, courage and morale, not forgetting his kindly understanding manner, endeared him to all those privileged to serve under his command.
Tony Lewis, as he was so affectionately referred to by his commando comrades, continued serving for some years after the cessation of hostilities, and further distinguished himself as a Military Attache in several of our embassies overseas, for which he received the additional award of the MBE.  
The Association has greatly treasured his very great interest in our activities, and will always remember with much pleasure his years during 1979-81 and again during 1988/89 as our President. In the passing away of Tony Lewis, the wartime commandos have lost a most important and valued comrade who was at all times a staunch supporter of our commando cause.
Our love and deepest sympathy go out to his charming wife Polly and her family in their great family bereavement. HB "
 
His Obituary can be read here: Colonel Lewis Obituary
 
Additional Sources:
DSO: LG 37138, page 3231
MBE: LG 39863, page 2950
Maj: LG 39588, page 3631.
Lt Col: LG 42293, page 1717
 

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