William Lionel Veitch was born in Belhaven, East Lothian, on 21 November 1901. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy & the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. On 13 July 1921, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers and was promoted Lieutenant in July 1923. The following year he joined the King's Own Sappers & Miners. In 1930 he was posted to the Military Engineering Service as Garrison Engineer of the Wana Road Project at Tanai in Waziristan- gaining the I.G.S. Medal and being mentioned in despatches. Returning to duty with the Sappers & Miners, he was promoted to Captain in July 1932. As Company Commander of No.5 Field Company, he was awarded the I.G.S. Medal, was again mentioned in despatches and awarded the O.B.E.
With the onset of the Second World War, he was Officer in Charge of the Workshops at Roorkee. Soon after was has appointed Commander of the Training Battalion at Roorkee and in 1941 he was posted Commander, R.E. of the 19th Indian Division, then in training in Southern India. In 1942 he was appointed Commandant of No.1 Engineer Group, Royal Indian Engineers, at Lahore, and during 1944-46 Veitch was Commandant of the Bengal Sappers and Miners and he later became Deputy Chief Engineer, Northern Army, India, which appointment he was holding at the time of the independence of India. After independence, he became Deputy Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army and in 1950 was appointed Engineer-in-Chief with the rank of Major-General. He was forced to retire in 1953 due to ill health. For his wartime and post-war services, he was advanced to the C.B.E. in 1944 and awarded the C.B. in 1952. Major General Veitch died in Edinburgh on 13 December 1969.