(served as Captain John DANBY)

Photos - Thierry Montouroy

Jean Renaud-Dandicolle was born 8 November 1923 in Bordeaux, the oldest of the two sons of André and Antoinette (née Gurchy) Renaud-Dandicolle.  His early life was spent in Bordeaux, where he attended the Lycée de Bordeaux-Longchamps.  His father was a successful merchant and a man of means who acted as the Nicaraguan Consul in Bordeaux.  In addition to the family home at 24 cours du Chapeau-rouge in Bordeaux, the Renaud-Dandicolles were co-owners, with a sister of Madame Renaud-Dandicolle, of the Château de Grand-Puch, a substantial house in the Entre-Deux-Mers region.  Holidays were usually spent at Cap Ferrat and the Renaud-Dandicolle family must have been reasonably content with life until 1939 when, in addition to the turmoil caused by the outbreak of war, Jean’s younger brother, Michel, died of meningitis.


Jean did not finish his baccalauréat until 1940, when he had special dispensation to do so since he was still only 16 years old.  An intelligent and charismatic young man, he was determined to practice law and he therefore, in November 1940, enrolled in the law faculty of Bordeaux University.  There is an indication on his SOE personal file that he joined an Officer Training School while there, and by the autumn of 1942 he was fully qualified, spoke several languages and seemed destined for a political or diplomatic career.  But the German occupation of his country had already led Renaud-Dandicolle into the path of resistance.  In 1941, while still only a 17 year old student, he had helped with the distribution of clandestinely-printed leaflets produced by a left-wing Résistance group of the Francs Tireurs Partisans (FTP) which was based close to Renaud-Dandicolle château at Grand-Puch......[Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details]. 

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