Real James Bond ’sneaked into communist Russia in school uniform’

September 27th, 2010 - 3:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept 27 (ANI): Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan may have blown up enemy tanks and carried out covert operations while playing James Bond, but the real 007 spy was no less either.

Commander Wilfred Dunderdale, who is considered the inspiration behind 007, was only 5ft 6ins tall but his exploits included stealing an Enigma decoding machine and smuggling himself into communist Russia dressed in his old school uniform, according to a new book.

Ian Fleming and Dunderdale were members of Boodle’s club in St James’s Street, one of the oldest members’ clubs in the world where Dunderdale is said to have held court, regaling Fleming with tales of his time as an MI6 spy, reports The Telegraph.

A new history of Boodle’s, published for the members, reveals some of the stories that Dunderdale shared with Fleming.

According to the author, Stephen Smith, Dunderdale was a “wonderful host, debonair and romantic, with enormous vitality and a gift for friendship, but with elements of the pirate in him.”

According to one story, when Dunderdale was 19 was ordered to find out if the Russians had succeeded in assembling several mini-submarines supplied in kit form by Vickers, the defence firm, during the First World War.

Dunderdale, wearing his old school uniform, made for his former housemaster’s house and was let in by the teacher’s surprised wife.

The housemaster had a relative in the docks who was able to find out about the submarines but in the meantime Dunderdale had to hide in the attic.

“Your Latin was always behind the class, Dunderdale, so you can work up there to improve it!” his former teacher allegedly told him.

Dunderdale had to spend a week in the attic wearing his uniform and studying Latin, until he was picked up, according to the story. He won an MBE for his bravery.

Dunderdale wore solid gold Cartier cufflinks and sported a long black ebony cigarette holder with Balkan cigarettes - the same type favoured by the fictional Bond.

He died “without issue” in New York in 1990 where he had moved with his third wife.

Smith said: “He was undoubtedly another hero incorporated into the myth of James Bond, embracing espionage, underwater activities and sheer style, with his mission duly accomplished by whatever it took.” (ANI)

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