From the Daily Mail
A British spy working in Poland during the height of the Cold War was a 36-year-old man from Devon called James Bond.
Not only did the debonair agent share his name with Ian Fleming's famous creation, but he was also “interested in women” like his namesake, researchers have discovered.
Documents uncovered by investigators at Poland's Institute of National Remembrance show that the man, whose full name was James Albert Bond, arrived in Warsaw on February 18, 1964.
He used the cover of secretary-archivist at the British Embassy during his time in the country.
But his real mission, according to the documents from Poland's communist counter-intelligence agency, was to “penetrate military facilities”.
Researchers at the Institute of National Remembrance said: “James Bond came to Poland on February 18, 1964.
“His official position was secretary-archivist of the British Embassy's military attaché.
“The arrival of such a famous agent did not go unnoticed by the officers of Department II (counterintelligence) of the Ministry of the Interior.
“An operational surveillance case code-named ‘Samek’ was established and he was placed under strict surveillance.
“Bond was found to be talkative but very cautious and was interested in women.
“Contacts with Polish citizens - not found. In October and November 1964, he went with two attaché employees to the Bialystok and Olsztyn provinces to ‘penetrate military facilities’.”
They added: “The observation of the agent’s actions did not go unnoticed, he probably said that there was no chance of gaining valuable information.
“Therefore, on January 21, 1965, James Bond left the territory of the Polish People's Republic.
“After his stay, there were still records and fragmentary documents concerning the observation.”
Choosing espionage as an occupation is probably not the best idea if your real name is actually James Bond!
From the London Evening Standard
Winston Churchill’s “favourite” spy who inspired Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale was today honoured with a blue plaque.
The tribute to Christine Granville, Britain’s first and longest-serving female special agent, was unveiled at 1 Lexham Gardens Hotel in Kensington, London.
In the 1940s, it was known as the Shelbourne Hotel and was Granville’s London base after the Second World War.
Born Krystyna Skarbek in Warsaw in 1908, Granville joined British Intelligence after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. She completed various missions - including skiing over the snow-bound Polish border in temperatures of -30°C, smuggling microfilm across Europe which proved Hitler’s plans to invade the Soviet Union and rescuing French Resistance agents from the Gestapo.
So essential was she to British intelligence, she was often referred to as Churchill’s favourite spy.
She was also close friends with Fleming, who said she was an inspiration for his character Lynd when he was promoting the book in 1953.
Granville was murdered, aged 37, in London by an ex-lover who was later executed for the crime.
Both her alias and her birth name feature on the plaque.
Anna Eavis, Curatorial Director at English Heritage, said: “Christine Granville served Britain bravely and brilliantly during the Second World War. We hope that our blue plaque will help more people to discover her remarkable story and her connection with London.”
Clare Mulley, author of The Spy Who Loved, Granville’s biography, said: “All too often women in the resistance are remembered for the beauty and courage, while their achievements are overlooked. Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, was one of the most effective special agents to serve Britain during the Second World War, male or female.