Malcolm MacEwan was born on the Isle of Harris, Scotland, in 1894 and was educated at the Nicholson Institute, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. He joined the Ross Mountain Battery in 1912 and served during the First World War, fighting at Gallipoli in 1915 . He was commissioned in 1916. In 1918 he joined the 47 Squadron Royal Flying Corps and became a pilot. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and was mentioned in Despatches.
After the First World War he joined the volunteer army in South Russia and was awarded the Order of St George ( Russia) and was again mentioned in Despatches. He left the service with the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal 1914-1920, and the Allied Victory Medal. In 1919 he became a medical student at the University of Glasgow and graduated with an MB ChB in 1924.
After graduation he had a varied and distinguished career serving as a town councillor in Ipswich, forming the 1st ( Ipswich) Air Duty Division of the St John Ambulance Brigade and commanding the 58th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery of the Territorial Army. He was awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1930, the George V Jubilee Medal in 1935 and the George VI Coronation Medal in 1937. He went to France in 1940 with the 58th Medium Regiment and was mentioned in Despatches in December 1940. He then transferred to Royal Army Medical Corps, where he raised, trained and commanded the 16th Parachute Field Ambulance. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order after service in North Africa and became an Honorary Colonel in the French Algerian Regiment. He joined the 6th Airborne Division as Assistant Director of Medical Services in June 1943 and was awarded an OBE in September 1943 and a bar to his DSO in 1944 .
He was demobilised in 1946 having been awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Africa Star 1st Army Clasp, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, the General Service Medal with Palestine Clasp, the Territorial Decoration with four bars and the St John of Jerusalem Service Medal with four bars. In 1953 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal. He died in Ipswich on 5 August 1980.