A real-life namesake of the world’s most famous secret agent was sent by the British authorities to communist Poland in the 1960s. He remained under close surveillance by the Polish security services, who noted that, like his fictional counterpart, he displayed an “interest in women”.
The discovery was revealed today by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a state body responsible for documenting and researching Poland’s communist past.
Its archives contain a file, created by the counterintelligence department of the ministry of internal affairs, documenting the stay in Poland of a James Albert Bond, born 1 January 1928.
He arrived in Warsaw on 18 February 1964 – the year that the film Goldfinger was released and book You Only Live Twice was published – officially to take up the position of a “secretary-archivist” for the British embassy’s military attaché.
Bond was immediately placed under surveillance, in an operation codenamed “Samek”. His observers noted that he was “talkative but very cautious” and took an “interest in women”, notes the IPN.
They recorded that, in October and November 1964, he visited provinces in the north-east of Poland along with two other British diplomats, where they sought to “infiltrate military facilities”.
Bond probably realised that he was under observation, writes the IPN. This would have led him to realise that there was little chance of obtaining any valuable information and, therefore, on 21 January 1965 – less than a year after his arrival – he left Poland