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It Turns Out a British Spy Named James Bond Did Exist

But Ian Fleming's 007 came first
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2020 10:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ian Fleming apparently forgot to tell us about the time James Bond went behind the Iron Curtain in an attempt to infiltrate Polish military facilities. Poland's Institute of National Remembrance has uncovered the secret mission of James Albert Bond, a British civil servant sent to the Soviet satellite state on Feb. 18, 1964. Officially employed as secretary-archivist for the British Embassy's military attaché, the 36-year-old stayed just 11 months, according to the IPN's archive. The Devon native's name was already a famous one: 007 was featured in numerous Fleming novels in the 1950s, to be followed by the first James Bond film in 1962. "As an imperialist diplomat" he was automatically surveilled, explains IPN. "An operational surveillance case code-named 'Samek' was established and he was placed under strict surveillance," researchers say, per the Telegraph.

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Bond tried to "penetrate military facilities" in the Bialystok and Olsztyn regions, archive director Marzena Kruk tells Reuters. Kruk found no mention of a martini in the archives, but "there is information that he liked Polish beer" and "women, the same as his literary namesake." Bond died in 2005. However, his widow confirms the British Army officer did act as a spy in Poland, where she and their son accompanied him. "I didn't know he was a spy, otherwise I wouldn't have gone with him," Janette Bond tells the Telegraph. "I didn't know exactly what he was doing, but I knew it was dodgy." She says the family was "followed everywhere" and had to pass notes in their own apartment for fear it was bugged. She says they left Poland so Bond could be made an army captain, not because he was found out. (Read more James Bond stories.)

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