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Thursday, September 24, 2020, 18:02
The name's Bond, seriously: Polish archives throw up namesake
By Reuters
Thursday, September 24, 2020, 18:02 By Reuters

This image grab taken on Sept 24, 2020 from the official Twitter account of the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland shows a record of the personal details of James Bond.

WARSAW - Poles were left shaken and stirred by news that a suspected British agent called James Bond was on Her Majesty's secret service in the country in the 1960s, after the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) posted about him on social media.

According to the Institute of National Remembrance's archive, James Bond came to Poland on Feb 18, 1964 and was officially employed as an archivist for the British Embassy Military Attache

According to the institute's archive, James Bond came to Poland on Feb 18, 1964 and was officially employed as an archivist for the British Embassy Military Attache. He soon came to the attention of Polish counter-intelligence officers.

"We know he was in Poland ... in 1964 and 1965," Marzena Kruk, director of the IPN's archive, told Reuters.

"He travelled a bit around Poland ... he liked women, the same as his literary namesake, but there is not even a word about Martini," she said, referring to the fictional character's favourite tipple. "However, there is information that he liked Polish beer."

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Bond was under strict surveillance, and visited the Bialystok and Olsztyn regions of northeastern Poland to try and "penetrate military facilities" in the Soviet satellite state, according to the files. 

However, he was found not to have made contacts with Polish citizens, which would have had serious consequences for any Poles suspected of working with agents from the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Lois Maxwell (left), who acted as the first Miss Moneypenny in James Bond movies, and Samantha Bond, the current actress playing the role, browse James Bond memorabilia used in earlier movies during a press viewing at Stoke park club, UK, on Feb 2, 2000. (ODD ANDERSEN / AFP)

The British agent 007 created by author Ian Fleming hit the silver screen in 1962 when actor Sean Connery played the character in the film Dr. No, leading some to suspect British spies may have been playing a joke on their Polish counterparts with their choice of pseudonym.

READ MORE: License to chill: MI6 tries to shed macho James Bond image

"Maybe it was a bit of fun with Polish counter-intelligence, maybe he had a sense of humour," Kruk said.


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