Geoffrey Lionel Bodwell (1914-2001)

Son of: Howard 1881

Geoffrey Bodwell is the principal compiler of the Bodwell Lines. Beginning in earnest in 1982, from his home in Mill Bay, Vancouver Island, BC, Geoffrey tirelessly corresponded with family members and painstakingly pieced together eight editions of the Bodwell lines. The vast majority of the Bodwell lines after 1800, were constructed by Geoff. His works include numerous notations about conflicting dates, and names, spellings, etc. Anyone seriously researching the Bodwell family should contact Geoff directly at #341-15366 17th Avenue, White Rock, B.C. Canada V4A 1T9 and obtain a copy of his latest edition.

Geoffrey attended Lord Roberts (public) School in Vancover and John Oliver High School in South Vancouver. He always did well in scholastic work but was a dead loss at physical training and sports. He took his first year Arts and Science at the University of British Columbia, then went to the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston from 1932 to 1936 where he earned his diploma and qualified as a Captain. In those days the RMC did not grant degrees so he went to the University of Toronto for a year to get his Civil Engineering degree.

After graduation, Geoff started as a draftsman with Shell Oil Company of Canada (now Shell Canada) in Toronto. The next year he was transferred to London, Ontario, as assistant divisional engineer. In Toronto he had joined the 2nd Field Company of the Royal Canadian Engineers as a Lieutenant and transferred to the 7th Field Coy, in London. At then end of 1939, with war imminent, his company was mobilized. In May 1940, Geoff was sent to England for a course but matters were somewhat delayed by the German invasion of the Low Countries and the Dunkirk evacuation. However, he eventually completed the course and rejoined his unit with it arrived in England.

He trained in England for many months and was promoted to Captain and 2nd in command. Later there was a flap about the possibility of the Germans resorting to gas warfare and it was proposed to create a number of Chemical Warfare Companies, including a Canadian one. Geoff was sent to train with a British Chemical Warfare unit, but in the end the plan fell through and he was assigned to Canadian Headquarters as a Staff Captain, RCE, on the staff of the Chief Engineer.

From there Geoff returned to Kingston to take the War Staff Course, then back to England to a staff job with the Chief Engineer of the First Canadian Army. He was promoted to Major and later returned to Canada as one of the directing staff of the War Staff Course. He was in Halifax expecting a sea passage back to England when he was suddenly instructed to fly to England and report to Canadian Military Headquarters in London. However, the post he was meant to fill disappeared. Geoff, hung around in charge of one of the Holding Unit companies until a few days after D Day when he was posted to the Headquarters of the Canadian L of C Terminals as brigade Major. A few days later he was in Normandy. His Headquarters was in charge of all the odds and ends of units at the end of the lines of communication. Once the breakout from the beachhead occurred, he was constantly on the move. Shortly after he reached Dieppe, he was transferred to Headquarters Canadian Army Group royal Canadian Engineers, again as brigade Major. He took part in Operation Market Garden (the bridge too far), spent the winter in Nijmegan and took part in the Rhine crossings. He wound up in Northern Germany at the end of the war in Europe.

He was out of the army on VJ day and spent some time training at Shell's Stanlow refinery, then was posted to Beirut, Lebanon, as installation manager. After 18 months, Geoff was sent to Jibuti, French Somali Coast, Africa, to relieve the manager there. When that assignment ended, he moved to Port Sudan as senior engineer at the installation to complete his three year tour.

Geoff went on leave to Toronto where his mother and sister were living. Geoff's sister Margot, was working as a commercial artist with the T. Eaton Company. It was there that Geoff met his first wife Jean. Jean was an Anglo-Argentine who came to Canada when her first husband joined the Canadian forces. Her brother Frank joined the RC Air Force, as did a cousin who became engaged to Margot. Unfortunately, he was shot down in the early days of the war but Margot stayed in touch with Frank and Margot, after the war, and introduced Geoff to Jean, who by this time was divorced. After his leave, Geoff was sent to Tripoli, Libya to become installation manager. At long range Jean and Geoff got engaged. They had to fly to London to get married and were immediately sent to Cairo where Geoff was installation manager at the Ghamrah installation.

Geoff was then posted to Port Sudan were he was made manager. While there they learned that Jean had cancer. They were sent to London, where Geoff held a series of positions while Jean was in and out of hospitals. She died in 1956.

Geoff was then sent to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) as operations manager. He experienced strikes in the port, on the railways and at the oil company. In the 27 months he was there, the distributions situation was more or less normal for only seven. From Ceylon, he was posted to Brazil as chief engineer of Shell Brazil. Shortly after Geoff arrived in Rio he met Pat. She was secretary to the Canadian Ambassador but before that she had been an auditor for a major packing company, a hospital administrator, secretary to the manager of General Dynamics, then on diplomatic postings at the United Nations in New York, the Canadian Embassy in Turkey and the International Commission in Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam. They were married soon after they met. The first son, Mark was born in Rio

Next, Geoff was transferred to Shell Centre in London. They bought a house in Ewell and the second son, Graham was born the next year. From then on until retirement, Geoff was stationed in London in a variety of jobs, the last being Distribution Logistics Analyst.

Upon retirement in 1971, Geoff and Pat moved to Kelowna, British Columbia. Four years later they moved to Mill Bay, Vancouver, BC Since then Geoff has worked on assignments for the Canadian Executive Service Overseas in Costa Rica and Columbia.





19 Sep 1914

26 Jun 2001

30 Aug 1949

Jean Allyn Bell

Vancouver, BC

White Rock, BC

London, Eng.

b. 23 Oct 1916


10 Dec 1959

Ursula Lowe


b. 11 Oct 1923

Children of Geoffrey and Ursula (Lowe) Bodwell


Birth Date

Birth Place

Death Date

Death Place


Howard Mark

15 Jun 1961

Rio de Janeiro, Bra



Graham James

28 Jun 1962

Epsom, Eng.


01/01/97 02/08/98
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Contact: December 26,1996
Copyright (C) 1996, 1997, 1999 Donald J. Bodwell. All rights reserved.