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Topic: The Real James Bond?

Anyone happend to catch this article?

A REAL-life James Bond who served under Ian Fleming in World War II was the inspiration for 007, his family have claimed. The grandson of army veteran Charles James Bond reckons Fleming named the fictional superspy after his relative after uncovering a cache of classified military documents.  Stephen Phillips, 52, recently unearthed his grandfather's "On her Majesty's secret service" records - which were previously guarded under the Official Secrets Act. The papers reveal that Welsh soldier James, from Swansea, was a member of the elite Special Operations Executive - and served under Fleming towards the tail end of the war.  Greengrocer Stephen said: "There has always been a nagging curiosity within me and other members of my family about his name and possible links with Ian Fleming.

"As grandchildren we were always told never to ask about the army and what granddad did in the war or where he served. We never really knew why. "It is only since the relaxing of Official Secrets Acts information in 2014 that grandad’s past in the military has been looked at.  "I have managed to retrieve files from archives in relation to my grandfather who served the whole duration of World War Two and for six years later."

Mr Bond died in 1995, aged 89, without ever revealing his spy past to his family.

Stephen said: "One of the files I discovered was the Official Secrets Acts signed by my grandfather James Bond on June 3, 1944, three days before the D-Day landings.  "I can only assume that he was behind enemy lines during that time."  "My grandad was an Special Operations Executive subject’s intelligence officer. Learning my grandfather was a spy and his name was James Bond did not take much of a nudge to get me motivated. “Grandad was a spy working behind enemy lines and in 1942 that Ian Fleming put an elite team of SOEs together for a mission details of which have not been disclosed.

"My grandad was one of that team of six. It makes my chest pump with pride. Those guys were heroes."

"He took my cousin Jenny when she was a teenager by the hand one day saying: ’Believe me when I tell you, I am the real James Bond.’ Nothing more was said and no questions were asked.”

https://i.postimg.cc/JtPXHwbQ/NINTCHDBPICT000439470292.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/p9b5MPHP/NINTCHDBPICT000439470268.jpg

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Re: The Real James Bond?

His service is very impressive, but someone should make a list of all the people someone, sometime has claimed is The Real James Bond. It'll be a long list.

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Re: The Real James Bond?

https://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/44818/th … k/page/37/
Post 914  ajb007/wink

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: The Real James Bond?

Number24 wrote:

His service is very impressive, but someone should make a list of all the people someone, sometime has claimed is The Real James Bond. It'll be a long list.

yeh but actually being named James Bond and working with Fleming in a similar type of job in WWII is a more substantial claim than some of the others...
I'm sure the actual character was an amalgam of lots of peoples character traits, most of all Fleming himself.

But what's the alternative explanation, if this guy really did work for Fleming at the time of Fleming's own actual experience in the spy racket? did Fleming forget he once knew a real spy named James Bond when it came time to name his character? did Fleming look at the Field Guide to the Birds of the West Indies and think that was a good name, kind of reminds me of a typical name for a good spy, can't think why? or was the Bird book story Fleming's plausible explanation for coincidentally violating Official Secrets Act by naming a real spy?

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Re: The Real James Bond?

I agree that James Bond is one of the best canidates to having been the inspiration to James Bond.  ajb007/biggrin

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Re: The Real James Bond?

I'd be very proud if he was my grandfather and rightly so, but unfortunately I don't believe there's any direct link between this James Bond (who I'll call JB SOE) and the literary James Bond. There were thousands of people in the SOE during WW2 and Fleming wouldn't likely have known the real names of more than a few dozen. I know the article says that JB SOE served under Fleming, but the article doesn't appear to present any actual proof that he did that I noticed, rather just an assumption that because Fleming was a commander in Naval Intelligence and worked on operations that used SOE agents, that because JB SOE was with SOE he worked for Fleming. In addition,  the assumption that “Grandad was a spy working behind enemy lines and in 1942 that Ian Fleming put an elite team of SOEs together for a mission details of which have not been disclosed" doesn't mean that his grandfather was actually in Fleming's team, just that the grandson is putting two and two together.

Even before his untimely death, Fleming was repeatedly asked who the inspiration was for Bond and while he admitted that it was a mixture of many people he had known, the only one he specifically mentioned by name was Sir William Stephenson. There are strong hints that his brother Peter was partly an inspiration and that he himself was an inspiration and we also know that he was definitely personally aware of other candidates like Dusko Popov, O'Brien-ffrench and Yeo-Thomas etc.

In addition, we have written and audio-recorded statements from Fleming that he took Bond's name from the ornithologist of the same name, a story that makes complete sense because Fleming was a keen birdwatcher particularly in Jamaica. Bond had written the definitive guide on birds of the West Indies, and we definitively know that Fleming owned a copy of it which he kept at Goldeneye where he wrote the books. As caractacus potts says, it's a bit wild to think he knew two James Bonds.

If Bond was indeed based on JB SOE, I can't imagine that Fleming would have named the character James Bond. I don't think any author would do that. I would be more inclined to believe that Bond was based on JB SOE if Fleming had named him Peregrine Carruthers.

So, while it's very interesting that there was someone in SOE whose name was James Bond and the Fleming had some workings with SOE during WW2, I do think it's just a coincidence.

That said, JB SOE's family can be extremely proud of their grandfather's service.

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If my grandfather's name was James Bond, he would have relentlessly said that he was the real James Bond.

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So as I know Steve the grandson making the claims ,apparently Netflix have picked up on the story and are currently talking to Steve ,what do you think ?

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Wow, very fascinating.  If what the grandson said is true and those declassified documents specifically named Fleming as the officer in charge of documented operations involving JB SOE, the coincidences are too great to dismiss.  If this story has gotten the attention of Netflix, an investment of an expensive production would surely ensure the due diligence of a thorough fact check. 

If true, as far as the well documented accounts of Fleming’s inspirations, he too was bound by the Official Secrets Act and those other so-called inspirations were likely smokescreens.  ...and the fact that JB SOE was relatively handsome adds to the strength of his candidacy as that quality of Bond seems to be regularly brought up beyond the heroines musings about Bond whenever I reread the stories.

Last edited by superado (18th Jul 2019 01:22)

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: The Real James Bond?

Similarly, In this article about Patrick Dalzel-Job, his son told him before he passed that Fleming himself had confirmed that he modeled Bond after him (https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle-2-15 … -1-1261197)

I can’t remember which of the Fleming bios, however, but I remember reading how Fleming habitually embellished accounts about things like that, depending on the person he had spoken with.

Another figure rumored to be THE inspiration for Bond was Sir Fitzroy Maclean, who in turn when asked about it was ambivalent and seemingly dismissive to the whole subject...perhaps because he too felt bound to the Official Secrets Act  ajb007/shifty

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....