LEWES, John Steel

Known as: 
Jock
Rank: 
Lieutenant
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Welsh Guards
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
65419
Born: 
Sunday, December 21, 1913
Died : 
Tuesday, December 30, 1941
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
28
Cemetery/Memorial: 
Lieut. Lewes  was serving with  "L" Detachment, S.A.S. Bde., Special Air Service Regiment, A.A.C. at the time of his death. His previous service in No. 8 Commando is mentioned in various books but nothing official confirming this has yet been found by this archive.  His name is recorded here in the hope that this can be clarified in the future. He was killed during operations against an airfield at Nofilia. 
 
"The loss of the soldier, a founding member of the elite unit, was deeply lamented by David Stirling, the regiment’s first commanding officer. “Jock could call himself more the founder of the Special Air Service than I,” he wrote in a letter to Lewes’s father.  His invention of the Lewes sticky bomb, an explosive device shaped like a tennis ball, destroyed hundreds of Luftwaffe aircraft, accounting for more German planes than those shot down by the RAF in North Africa. A statue of Lewes, an Oxford graduate and rowing blue, was unveiled by the Duke of Cambridge at the SAS headquarters near Hereford in 2008. "  [Source: Extract from an aricle in the Daily Telegraph 4th Dec.2011]
 

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