The name is Bond…RODNEY Bond! How 007 Could Have Had a Radically Different First Name by Author Ian Fleming Who Was Inspired by the Real World War II Intelligence Hero
- Ian Fleming wanted a name for his hero when his brother made a suggestion
James Bond could have been named “Rodney” by the author whose protagonist was inspired by a real secret service hero.
Author Ian Fleming was looking for a name for his main character when his brother Peter – a lieutenant colonel in charge of “military deception” in Southeast Asia during World War II – suggested the name “Bond” as the hero of the first book, Casino Royale.
Bond was the surname of a hero of the secret intelligence service – now called MI6 – called Rodney Clarence Mortimer Bond.
Peter had met Rodney Bond when he was rescued from a Nazi bombing raid in northern Greece in 1941, while Lieutenant Colonel Bond was working for MI6 in Athens.
Author Nicholas Shakespeare – whose book ‘Ian Fleming: The Complete Man’ is out next month – was given unprecedented access to the Fleming family papers and today revealed how Peter suggested the name ‘Bond’ to Ian.
Ian Lancaster Fleming, British author and creator of the character James Bond, asked his brother for help in choosing a name for his hero
Peter Fleming – a lieutenant colonel responsible for “military deception” in Southeast Asia during World War II
Bond was inspired by Rodney Bond. Pictured is actor Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale
An extract from the book in The Times’ T2 supplement today says: “Peter was having breakfast in Oxfordshire reading the papers when Ian came in and said: ‘Peter, I’ve written a bloody good thriller , but I can’t understand.” a name for my hero.
“Without lowering his newspaper, Peter replied, ‘Try Bond’.”
The name Rodney is most often associated with the sleepy Rodney Trotter – nicknamed Rodders – in Only Fools and Horses, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst.
Lieutenant Colonel Rodney Clarence Mortimer Bond was born in 1897 and was awarded the Military Cross during the First World War, where he fought in France.
He later joined the Intelligence Corps and was given the code name “Hatzis” and was posted to Turkey during World War II.
Lieutenant Colonel Bond – who married Mary in 1956 – helped save future Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou from a Nazi attack in 1944.
He was awarded the Military Cross in 1918 and was also appointed MBE, and in 1952, OBE.
According to the London Gazette, in 1919 Bond was awarded the Distinguished Medal after “setting an example” to all ranks for maintaining “perfect aim” under “heavy shell fire” at Moeuvres, in the north of France.
Ian Fleming with his mother Evelyn St. Croix Fleming, November 1957
An action scene in the iconic Casino Royale, pictured: Bond actor Daniel Craig
The report states “2nd Lt. Rodney Clarence Mortimer Bond.
“Near Moeuvres, on September 27, 1918, the battery came under heavy shell fire.
“He, through his courage and dedication to duty, maintained perfect shooting discipline in his section.
“He continually rounded his guns, encouraging his NCOs and men, and as a result the barrage was fired without a hitch.
“He set a very good example for all ranks.”
He died at the age of 65 in 1962.