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Tuesday, 1 February, 2000, 21:55 GMT
Real 'Goldeneye' passport to be auctioned

Brosnan at Goldeneye premiere Pierce Brosnan debuted as Bond in Goldeneye


The passport used by James Bond author Ian Fleming in a real espionage mission is to go under the hammer later this month.

Fleming, who went on to create the world's favourite gentleman-spy, was himself working for the Naval Intelligence division of the British secret service during World War II.

He was sent to Gibraltar to monitor military installations in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

While there, Fleming took part in a mission named Goldeneye - later to be the title of both his Caribbean house and a James Bond movie.

Monitoring Spain

The aim of the real Operation Goldeneye was to conduct limited sabotage and to monitor the movements of Spain in the event it joined the war on the side of Germany.

Spanish fascist dictator General Fransisco Franco had been supported by Germany in the Spanish Civil War and there was a very real possibility that the two countries would ally.

The American secret service was also involved in the Goldeneye project and Fleming's job was to liaise with its chief Colonel William Donovan from an office in Gibraltar.

Passport could fetch 3,000

After the war Fleming gave the name Goldeneye to his house in Jamaica at Rock Edge, and the name was also used for the 1995 Bond film which saw Pierce Brosnan's debut as the suave secret service agent.

The courier's passport used by Commander Fleming is stamped on 16 February 1941 as "Valid for a journey to Gibraltar and return to Madrid" and on 26 February the same year "for a journey to London via Lisbon".

The single sheet of paper bears printed and hand script, hand-printed stamps and traces of mounting.

It was issued by Arthur F.Yencken, Minister at Madrid.

The passport is expected to fetch 2,000 to 3,000 when it is auctioned at Sotheby's on 24 February.

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See also:
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