Cecil Champain Lowis

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Cecil Champain Lowis wrote more than a dozen novels which were set, or at least partially set, in Burma.

Cecil Champain Lowis was born in Bengal 30 June 1866 the son of Susan Mary (Curry) and Edward Elliott Lowis and educated at Newton College, Devon, at Göttingen Gymnasium, and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He married Sarah Josselyn Man on 11 September 1894 at St. Stephen's, Gloucester Road, London. He died c 9 October 1948 (dates seen vary) at Godalming, Surrey.

He was appointed to the Indian Civil Service after examinations in 1885 and was appointed to a district in Burma in 1888. He served in Burma as magistrate and travelling judge. He also conducted the Census of India, in Burma, and was lent to the Egyptian government in order to conduct the Census of Egypt in 1907. He then returned as Superintendent of Ethnography, Burma, until he retired in 1912.[1].

During the 1914-1918 war he served in France from 1917 in the Labour Corps, and was until May 1918, in command of an Labour Company as acting Captain. He was promoted to temporary Lieutenant, Indian Labour Corps, 30 January 1919, but further details are not known.

The Diary of Cecil Champain Lowis when Assistant Commissioner, Paungbyin, Upper Chindwin District, 1889 is held by the British Library, catalogue entry Mss Eur A63.


The British Library has the following books in its catalogue

  • The Treasury-Officer's Wooing (1899)
  • The Machinations Of The Myo-Ok (1903)
  • The Ava Mining Syndicate (1908)
  • Fascination (1913)
  • Four Blind Mice (1920)
  • Snags And Shallows (1922)
  • The Runagate (1924)
  • The Grass Spinster (1925)
  • Green Sandals (1926)
  • The District Bungalow (1927) "a really good comedy, of official life on a station in Burma".[2]
  • The Penal Settlement (1928)
  • The Huntress (1929)
  • In The Hag's Hands: An Affair Of The Burmese Delta (1931) ..."is a good story of a young official who contracted an alliance with a girl of the country, and in middle life reaped a bitter harvest. Returning to his original post as Commissioner, he was met by a blackmailing old Burman woman, who very effectively poisoned his life.[3]
  • The Dripping Tamarinds (1933)
    • "The first part of The Dripping Tamarinds passes in Upper Burma where Norman Fendle is assistant commissioner in a small up country station. The war comes and after experience in Mesopotamia where he is wounded, Fendle is in command of an Indian labour company in France. There he meets Ursula Underwick formerly of the English community in Burma, who has become a nurse. The story ends in tragedy. Like other novels by Cecil Lowis, this one is well written. Life in the two regions is skilfully described and there is effective contrast between the incidents and the people and between the moods and the viewpoints of peacetime in Burma and war-time in France".[4]
    • This was a fictionalised account of the Burmese Labour Corps in France.[5]
  • The Green Tunnel (1935)
  • Prodigal's Portion (1936)

External links

Historical books online


  • The Treasury-Officer's Wooing by Cecil Lowis 1899 Archive.org
  • The Machinations of the Myo-ok by Cecil Lowis 1903 Archive.org. "Myo-ok" means in Burmese "township officer"
  • Fascination by Cecil Champain Lowis 1913 Archive.org
  • Four Blind Mice 1920 Hathi Trust Digital Library. Public Domain in the United States and some other areas- not available elsewhere.
  • Hathi Trust also has digital files for Green Sandals 1926 and The District Bungalow 1928, however access is only through a participating institution.


  • "Lowis, Cecil Champain" page 220 (scroll down) Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students ..., Volume 2 by John Venn. Reprint edition, originally published in many parts between 1922 and 1954. Google Books.
  • Page 550 The India List and India Office List for 1905 Google Books. Service Details
  • Supplement to the London Gazette 11 October 1917, page 10481. Appointed to the General List Temp 2nd Lt 30 July 1917 and to the Labour Corps Temp 2nd Lt 1 Sept 1917
  • Supplement to the London Gazette 2 April 1918 Supplement: 30612 Page: 4123. [Labour Corps, see page 4122] Temp 2nd Lt C C Lowis to be actg. Capt. while comdg a Co. 21 Oct.1917 to 10 Jan 1918. Temp 2nd Lt C C Lowis to be actg. Capt. while comdg a Co 11 Feb. 1918.
  • Supplement to the London Gazette 28 June 1918 Supplement: 30772 Page: 7701. Labour Corps: Temp 2nd Lt C C Lowis relinquishes the actg.rank of Capt. on ceasing to command a Co. 27 May 1918.
  • Supplement to the London Gazette 2 May 1919 Supplement: 31324 Page: 5611. The undermentioned temp 2nd Lts to be temp Lts… C C Lowis (Ind. Lab.) 30 Jan 1919.


  1. The majority of the biographical information is taken from Lowis Family old.manfamily.org
  2. "Cecil Lowis" The Brisbane Courier (Qld) 21 May 1927 trove.nla.gov.au.
  3. Books of the Week Scroll down to "Other Novels".The Brisbane Courier (Qld) 25 Apr 1931. trove.nla.gov.au
  4. "From Burma to France" The Argus (Melbourne, Vic) 18 Aug 1933 Page 5 trove.nla.gov.au
  5. r.singha. Indian Labour Corps Great War Forum 15 July 2016, Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  6. Advertisements near the front of the book The Forest Lovers by Maurice Hewlett 1899, online at DSpace at West Bengal State Central Library.