Reginald Cameron Lewis was a son of Charles E. Lewis, professor of classics at the South African College, Cape Town, and his wife Elizabeth Tryphena Lewis, and a younger brother of Alfred Dale Lewis*. After matriculating in 1905 he entered the South African College for further study in 1906 and in 1909 was awarded the degree Bachelor of Arts (BA) with honours in zooology by the University of the Cape of Good Hope. He continued his studies at the college the next year, receiving the degree Master of Arts (MA) in zoology from the university in 1910. In that year he also received a special prize, funded by Dr G.S. Corstorphine*, for his research in zoology. This work was described in a paper, "On the water pores of Bullia digitalis" [one of the plough shells], in the Zoologische Anzeiger (1910). The next year Lewis won the 1851 Exhibition Research Scolarship and may have gone overseas to continue his studies. Whatever the case may be, one R.C. Lewis, most probably him, contributed a "Report on some experiments in connection with the life history of Strongylus (or Haemonchus) contortus, the wire worm of sheep and goat..." to the Second Report of the Director of Veterinary Research (1912, pp. 398-405).
During World War I (1914-1918) Lewis was on active service with the Royal Berkshire Regiment in France, with the rank of captain. He was awarded the Military Cross, but died in action in 1916. His brother, Lieutenant C.W. Lewis of the Royal Navy, was killed in the battle of Jutland in the same year.