Lewis Henry Close was born in September 1869, one of seven sons, five of whom served as Officers in the Royal Engineers. Educated at the United Services College, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in April 1888, and arrived in India in the following year. Quickly employed on active service as a Field Engineer in the Miranzai Expedition of 1891, when a force under Brigadier-General Sir William Lockhart was engaged in operations against the followers of fanatical priest Sayad Mir Basha who had declared a “Jihad”, Close was advanced to Lieutenant in April of the same year. Next actively engaged in the Waziristan operations of 1894-95, while attached to the Bengal Sappers and Miners, and once again under the command of Sir William, he gained advancement to Captain in April 1899 and returned to the U.K. to take up an appointment at Aldershot in the following year.
Close was back out in India as a Major by the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, but was quickly attached to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force as an Assistant Director of Works. In this latter role he built up an impressive supply base in Egypt, collecting some £500,000 worth of equipment for the operations in Gallipoli and Salonika. Still with the M.E.F., and having been awarded the C.M.G., Close became Commanding Royal Engineer, Canal Zone in May 1917, in which post he was responsible for setting up a refrigeration plant that was still in use in the 1939-45 War. Latterly the Commanding Engineer, Alexandria, he ended the War with four mentions in despatches and the Egyptian Order of the Nile.
Advanced to full Colonel in August 1919, Close became Commanding Royal Enginner, Baluchistan in the following year, but died at Quetta in November 1924, aged 55 years.
C.M.G. London Gazette 3 June 1916.