Born: 1920, Kirton, Suffolk.

Died: 24th February 1942; age: 21; a flying accident when his Spitfire IIA spun into the ground at Eglinton.

(image, Evening Star newspaper 5 th November 1940)

Residence: 166, Bramford Road, Ipswich.

Enlisted on a short service commission – October 1939.


Rank: Flight Lieutenant/Pilot; Service Number:42790.

Regiment: Royal Air Force, 152 Squadron.


Medals Awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross. Gazetted – 8th November 1940 – “great courage, skill and determination” in the performance of his duties.

Crelin was a ‘Battle of Britain’ Spitfire flying ace, winning many victories. He was officially credited with 7 aerial victories.


Grave Reference:

Saint Canice’s Churchyard,



Northern Ireland.


Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Henry Crelin Bodie & Elsie May Bodie, of 166, Bramford Road, Ipswich; husband of Joan Bodie, of Ipswich.


Father: Henry Crelin Bodie, born January 1883, Aberdeen, Scotland. A Dental Surgeon.

Mother: Elsie May Bodie (nee Smith), born April 1900, Rushmere St. Andrew, Suffolk.


Crelin was educated at St. Matthew’s School and Ipswich School.

On leaving school, he obtained a post with a commercial firm in London, but gave this up a few weeks before the outbreak of war to train as a pilot.

On the 9th August 1941, at St. Mary’s Church, Sawston, Cambridgeshire, Crelin married Joan Eddowes, of 8, Agnew Road, Manchester, Lancashire – born 1920, Chorlton, Lancashire. An Aircraftwoman.

Joan Bodie in 1944 in St Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. Image courtesy of Michelle.

Bodie (left) with P/O JB Kendal at 66 Squadron

Courtesy of Gravesend Airport Heritage Project and


Crelin is also remembered on the Chapel war memorial at Ipswich School.

24th February 1942

Aircraft: Spitfire IIA Serial number: P8077; Base: Portreath, Cornwall. The Spitfire spun into the ground at Eglinton during training.



In October 1945, Crelin’s widow, Joan, of 8, Agnew Road, Manchester, Lancashire re-married, at Burlington, Vermont, New England to Louis Charles Giles, of Limes Avenue, Bramford, Suffolk.


A readers note:

My mother-in-law bought me a t-shirt for my birthday. It was a picture of a Spitfire, with the markings LZ F x4321. Thinking it was just a made up number, I was very surprised and proud, that those Markings actually belong to, Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie. It’so been a privilege to read about this man’s career as a Spitfire pilot. RIP sir.

Mr. Trevor Parsons.

Posted in Second World War

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