IN an emotional tribute family members of the real James Bond’s of both world wars paid their own moving tributes to the grandfather and great grandfather (both named James Bond) at Llanelli’s Remembrance Sunday and Armistice parade.
With family members allowed for the first time on the 100th anniversary of WW1 to wear the medals of their forefathers, Llanelli businessman Stephen Phillips proudly wore the medals of his great grandfather Charles James Bond, DCM-MM, at the ceremony.
Stephen also laid a wreath for the first time to honour his grandfather, and Charles’ son James Bond, who was of necessity undecorated for his many WW2 military exploits as an undercover agent as a Special Operations Executive officer who worked in a specialist team to work behind enemy lines headed by Ian Fleming.
Even today the exploits of James Bond are protected by the Official Secrets Act with only limited information being released since 2014. Mr Phillips has discovered even world renowned fiction writer formally attached to the Foreign Office, Ian Fleming, did all he could to protect the identity of the roots of his fictional hero who has become an international icon of Bond films
Mr Phillips cousin Jenny accompanied him to the Llanelli cenotaph yesterday and she laid a poppy tribute to the memory of her great grandfather as they walked side by side, the last of more than 40 wreath bearers adorning the cenotaph.
Stephen said: “It was really emotional for me and Jenny to be allowed to take part. I was honoured to lay a wreath for all SOE’s because the 1,300 of them who played such an important part in the Second World War are unable to be celebrated because of the covert nature of their work.
“To be allowed to wear the medals of my great grandfather at the service on Sunday made me so proud. It is only since the recent family investigations into the James Bond story in our family that the medals have come to light.
“It has been an incredible journey for my family and there is so much more we hope to discover as the Official Secrets Act relinquish the secrets of the past.
“The only time my granddad James Bond who worked in retirement as a schools lollipop man winning a 10 years long service award with Llwchwr Council was when he disclosed to Jenny when she was a teenager…”One day you will discover I was the real James Bond.”
“Having signed the Official Secrets Act he was never allowed to discuss his wartime missions – not even to his wife.”