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Captain Cecil Herbert Wyndham BODINGTON

John Hamblin very kindly sent me the following text which is from the war memorial at the King’s School in Canterbury.

Captain Cecil Herbert Wyndham BODINGTON was temporarily appointed Captain in No 4 Company, Household Battalion.

He was killed in action on the 11th of April 1917 aged 37.

He was born on the 20th of November 1880 the son of Herbert James and Louisa Augusta Bodington of Upton Grey, Hampshire, and the husband of Lilias May Bodington (nee Somerville).

He was educated at Charterhouse Junior School and the King’s School, Canterbury, from 1896 to 1899 entering with a junior scholarship and gaining a senior scholarship in 1897. Appointed a school monitor in September 1897 he played First XV Rugby for two seasons and First XI Cricket for four seasons being Captain for two of those.

After King’s he went to Peterhouse College, Cambridge, on an open classical scholarship. He then became a master at Elstree and Stanmore Preparatory Schools also playing cricket for Hampshire.

He was married to Lilias May (nee Somerville).

The Household Battalion was formed on September 1st 1916 from a surplus of men who had joined the Household cavalry and were formed into an infantry battalion. Captain Bodington had been in the Royal Horse Guards and was given command of Number 4 Company. The Battalion arrived in France on the 8th and 9th of November 1916. On the 2nd of February 1917 Captain Bodington was admitted to hospital.

On the 9th of April 1917 the Battle of Arras began and the Household Battalion was to attack on the 11th in support of the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders at Roeux.

The Seaforths advanced at noon having endured a German artillery barrage while waiting to go over the top having been spotted by a German aircraft. Ten minutes later the Household Battalion followed them with Number 4 Company on the left of the battalion. As they advanced from the Hyderabad Redoubt Captain Bodington was killed by machine gun fire and the two leading platoons of his company were “practically destroyed”. The attack faltered as the other companies suffered terrible casualties. Number 3 Company under Captain Pelly made some ground and he was ordered to consolidate this but otherwise the attack was a failure. Casualties were three officers and 36 other ranks killed with one officer and 124 other ranks wounded and six missing.

Captain Bodington’s body was never found and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing; Bay 1, and also on the Upton Grey (Hampshire) Memorial.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record.

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