His most famous creation was James Bond, but even 007’s global fame has proved unable to protect Ian Fleming’s grave from vandalism.
The grave, at St James’ Church, Sevenhampton, in Wiltshire, is the final resting place not just of Fleming, who died from a heart attack in 1964 aged 56, but also of his wife, Ann, and of the only child they had together, Caspar.
Lying just a few yards from Warneford House, which Fleming rebuilt in his final years, it is marked by a stone obelisk bearing slate plaques memorialising all three.
His most famous creation was James Bond, but even 007’s global fame has proved unable to protect Ian Fleming’s grave from vandalism
But the plaque to Fleming, inscribed ‘Omnia perfunctus vitae praemia marces’ — ‘having enjoyed life’s prizes, you now decay’ — has now been torn out.
The grave, at St James’ Church, Sevenhampton, in Wiltshire, is the final resting place not just of Fleming, who died from a heart attack in 1964 aged 56, but also of his wife, Ann, and of the only child they had together, Caspar
‘It’s an outrage,’ Fleming’s biographer, Andrew Lycett, tells me, while Fleming’s step-daughter, Fionn Morgan, fears that the attack was perpetrated by someone gripped by the erroneous belief that the Flemings owed their fortune to slavery.
‘It could be the work of an extreme Bond fan who wants to keep it,’ reflects Fionn, whose father, Lord O’Neill, was killed in action in 1944. Her mother married Fleming eight years later.
‘Or, less likely, it could have been stolen by someone thinking it would sell for a large sum.’
But she believes it ‘very likely’ that the grave was desecrated by someone who concluded that Fleming and his family were beneficiaries of the slave trade, simply ‘because of Ian’s home in Jamaica, Goldeneye’.
In fact, Fleming’s grandfather, Robert Fleming, left school aged 13 but founded the bank which bore his name, making an immense fortune, much of which he bequeathed to his native Dundee.
Ian Fleming was revered in Jamaica, particularly at Goldeneye, where staff referred to him as ‘the Commander’.
Recalling Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s convalescence there, Fionn tells me: ‘Ian’s housekeeper, Violet, refused to obey any but her dear Commander’s wishes.
She described the Prime Minister as ‘just the next man’, but the Commander as ‘the best man I ever met — better than all the men in Jamaica and the rest of the world, too’.’
Ian Fleming is pictured above with Sean Connery in 1962. Fleming’s step-daughter, Fionn Morgan, fears that the attack was perpetrated by someone gripped by the erroneous belief that the Flemings owed their fortune to slavery
Prince Charles is known for his green fingers — and now Camilla is seeking a gardener with an ad on the royal website.
They will join the team at Ray Mill, her small private estate in North Wiltshire which she bought in 1995 and kept after her marriage to Prince Charles.
The successful applicant must be ‘keen to apply principles of organic gardening’. It will no doubt help if they admit to talking to plants, too.
Letter clue to Hockney’s private life
A peek into the close relationship between artist David Hockney and Sixties fashion designer Ossie Clark was almost laid bare when a man discovered a five-page letter from the painter to Ossie in the back of a piece of furniture.
Nick Lerner bought a plan chest from the studio of Clark’s ex-wife, fashion designer Celia Birtwell, 79.
‘We saw the chest advertised on eBay,’ says Lerner. ‘But we couldn’t bring ourselves to read the letter as it looked so private and personal. We decided to return it to Celia’s studio. I think they were relieved to have it back.’
Clark and Hockney were rumoured to have grown close before Clark’s five-year marriage to Celia. One of Hockney’s best known paintings is of Celia and Ossie together entitled Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy.
Earlier this year, Celia hinted that Clark and Hockney may have become fonder during a trip to New York.
‘Ossie came back and said: “I just can’t bear that world of gayness and everything, I want to be with you”, ’ Celia said.
Will Geldof nag Fifi over her latest tattoo?
As the eldest daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates she is not averse to a bit of horse play, but Fifi has excelled herself with a huge new tattoo covering her upper-thigh
As the eldest daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates she is not averse to a bit of horse play, but Fifi has excelled herself with a huge new tattoo covering her upper-thigh.
‘Got my beautiful grey girl immortalised,’ she said alongside this image.
Fifi, 37, got her eyebrows tattooed for her wedding to artist Andrew Robertson.
Sister Peaches, who died of a heroin overdose at 25, also had a predilection for body art, yet said she regretted ‘every single tattoo I’ve ever had done’.
‘Got my beautiful grey girl immortalised,’ she said alongside this image
Ebullient broadcaster Iain Dale claims Mo Mowlam once sexually assaulted him at a Labour Party Conference.
‘Mo Mowlam, when she was Northern Ireland Secretary, at a Labour Party conference had her picture taken with me and my partner,’ he says.
‘We were running the book stall and she stood in the middle of us, put her arms around us and started kneading our buttocks. That’s sexual assault.
‘I thought it was quite funny at the time but, in today’s environment, you can’t call it anything else.’
While petrolhead Jeremy Clarkson is committed to burning up the road, his daughter favours a less sedentary lifestyle
Clarkson’s daughter shares her racy ideas
While petrolhead Jeremy Clarkson is committed to burning up the road, his daughter favours a less sedentary lifestyle.
Emily, 26, has just launched a new exercise group which she describes as super-inclusive, non-threatening and friendly.
‘We will be taking The Have A Gos (The Hags) to a whole bunch of sporting events next year, so that no one has to do them alone,’ says Emily, who promotes positive body image on social media.
‘I know that so many sporting events can feel daunting and that’s the thing that stops so many of us from signing up.
‘So many fixtures (particularly triathlons) have a real air of elitism about them and, as such, they really don’t feel beginner-friendly. We want to change that.’
Perhaps she’ll sign up Jezza…
Whips lash bookish Baroness as she pulls out all the stops…
If Hilary Mantel needed any advice about overcoming a snub from the Booker panel, she could have a word with Baroness Nicholson, who was turfed out as vice-president of the literary prize in June over allegations of homophobia and transphobia.
The doughty baroness, who denied the claims, has now turned her gaze away from reading books to reading music.
Despite being profoundly deaf she studied cello, piano and singing at the Royal Academy of Music before moving into politics and now, at 78, she has decided to take up music again and is learning the flute and the organ.
‘I found a way of practising the organ in St Stephen’s, the 12th century chapel in Westminster,’ she tells me.
‘I got permission from the Speaker’s Chaplain. But then I got a huge rocket from the Whips.
‘It turned out on the other side of the wall was the Chief Whip’s office. So I withdrew rapidly.’
The usually effervescent model looked forlorn as she posed alone on a doorstep in London’s Kensington at the weekend
Moody Moss shows off a Lottie leg!
Is the seemingly everlasting pandemic taking its toll even on Lottie Moss?
The usually effervescent model looked forlorn as she posed alone on a doorstep in London’s Kensington at the weekend.
But it seems inconceivable that the 22-year-old could be solo for long.
Earlier this month, Kate Moss’s half- sister was seen enjoying the attentions of a strapping companion during a supper with friends at Vietnamese restaurant Nam Long Le Shaker, also in Kensington.
And on a recent holiday she had Love Island star Chris Hughes for company.
Source: Daily Mail AU