Ian Fleming's rank

Discussion in 'War at Sea' started by Roy Martin, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    Ian Fleming's biographers say that he was promoted to Commander RNVR in 1940. He was still Lieutenant (Sp) RNVR when he was in France in June 1940; someone who met him then ran into him again in New York later 'by this time he was a Lieutenant Commander.' In the Navy List, May 1944 he is listed as Commander (Act). Can anyone tell please me if he would have worn Wavy Navy Commander's braid, as he appears to have been only an Acting Commander.
     
  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Acting rank gives one the pay, allowances and insignia of that rank. So Fleming would have had the braid of a Commander.
    Wiki gives:
    In May 1939 Fleming was recruited by Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, to become his personal assistant. He joined the organisation full-time in August 1939,[23] with the codename "17F",[24] and worked out of Room 39 at The Admiralty.[25] Fleming's biographer, Andrew Lycett, notes that Fleming had "no obvious qualifications" for the role.[1] As part of his appointment, Fleming was commissioned into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in July 1939,[23] initially as lieutenant,[25] but promoted to commander a few months later.[26].
    The London Gazette would no doubt give the actual dates of promotion.
    Tim
     
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    UK, Navy Lists, 1888-1970
    Name: Ian Lancaster Fleming
    Year: 1944
    Book Title: Navy List: February, 1944, Vol. II
    Archive Name: Peter Singlehurst
    40565_625988_2619-00337.jpg

    TD
     
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  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  5. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    Thank you all, that sorts that out. I will go through the Navy Lists to see if I can find when he was promoted. Strange that he seems to have leap frogged ranks, never Sub Lieutenant and never Lieutenant Commander. HMS Galatea's passenger list has only one RNVR officer, a Lieutenant; as he was reported as leaving St Jean de Luz on that ship, I assume that that was him.
     
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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  7. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    Tim, Thanks. Unfortunately the online Navy Lists at the National Library of Scotland site only seem to start at August 1940; then Fleming I L (NID) was an Acting Lt Cdr. An online search has produced the June list, which is rather difficult to read/use; but Fleming I L was at that time L(Lieutenant) (Sp), which ties in with what I gathered from other sources.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Further info from Navy Lists shows:
    1941 Lt (Acting Lt Cdr) (Special Branch) RNVR
    1942 Lt (Acting Commander) (Special Branch) RNVR
    1946 Lt (Acting Commander) (Special Branch) RNVR
    1948 Lt Cdr (Special Branch) RNVR Seniority 26 July 1947
    1958 Lt Cdr RN Volunteer Supplementary Reserve, London Division

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  9. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    That ties it up - thanks again Tim.
    Roy
     
  10. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member Patron

    A little more: Ian Fleming arrived in France by RAF aircraft on 13 June, landing at a deserted airfield near Chateaudun, between Orleans and Le Man, during an air raid. He was accompanied by 'his orderly'? He travelled to Tours with the diamond banker Paul Timbal; part way in a naval truck, which was loaded with Admiral Darlan's champagne - which the matelots were consuming! Fleming did not go into Paris, as he claimed. He then went on to Bordeaux, Le Verdon, Arcachon and St Jean de Luz; telling at least two groups of nurses that he was singlehandedly organising the evacuation (Aerial), as the staff of the consulate had fled (not true). He later met one of the groups in St Jean de Luz and told them that he was organising a 'liner' to evacuate them! He was one of about a dozen people who were evacuated on HMS Galatea on 24 June. A man with a vivid imagination, even then! Diamonds, Heavy Water and HMS Galatea all crop up in his books.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

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