After studying at Cheltenham College and Lincoln College (Cambridge) Nicholas Bodington worked as a journalist, being positioned in Paris. He also worked a while for MI6.
He joined SOE F(French)-Section soon after it's establishment and kept playing a leading role in that section throughout the war.
During the war he landed several times in France (1942 Brittany and Cannes - 1943 Angers - 1944 Couture-sur-Loir) being transported by No. 161 Special Duties Squadron pilots such as Hugh Verity and Lewis Hodges to meet key figures from the French resistance to advice them and support their work against the Germans, arranging weapon and supply drops, gathering information on the situation in France and for RAF bombing purposes.
Bodington published two books: Solo(1938) and The Awakening Sahara (1961).
Captain (war sub)
7 July, 1945 Comission relinqished and granted the rank of Honorary Major.
- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Temporary Major
- F Section, Special Operations Executive (SOE), British Government
- Awarded on:
- July 22nd, 1943
"This officer volunteered to undertake a spacial and highly important mission in France, contacting the head of a large resistance organisation with a view to implementing plans for closer collaboration. At considerable personal risk he made a succesful landing by boat and established a number of contacts with leading Frenchmen, and also with our own chief agents. He brought his information back to London.
As a result of his ingenuity, resourcefulness and perseverence, it has been possible to establish close relations with a very important group of French patriots. This contact would not have been successfully made without the personal visit of this officer."
"This officer carried out several missions to France between 1941 and 1943 for which he was awarded the M.B.E.
In the Spring of 1944 he again volunteered for a mission to France, and it was planned that he should be sent as an organiser in the south-west. At the last moment, however, for reasons beyond his control, this plan was cancelled and he was offered a mission in an infinitely more dangerous area, namely the Chalons-sur-Marne region.
He was parachuted into France on the 10th July 1944 with a party of one officer and three other ranks. His second in command could not join him until several weeks later, and as a result a great burden of responsability was placed solely on Bodington's shoulders, as the other members of the team spoke little or no French, and he himself was obliged to undertake accomodation and ensure the safety of his party. He was thus continually running a very grave rsk, for, as a result of his previous mission, his photograph and description were in the hands of the Gestapo who had marked him personally as one of the most important British agents to be captured.
In the short time at his disposal Bodington arranged several receptions of arms and stores to the F.F.I. in the Marne department, and organised guerilla warfare against enemy garrisons and convoys passing through the area. In the St. Dizier-Chaumont regions he took part in several clashes with the enemy, and showed great courage in dealing with German formations by the use of the bazooka and the piat. After his positions had been overrun by the American advance, Bodington passed through the enemy lines several times to obtain valuable intelligence for the allied forces.
For his courage in returning o France although well-known to the Gestapo and for his gallantry in action against the enemy, it is recommended that this officer be awarded the Military Cross."
Originally recommended for a Military Cross but upgraded to an OBE.