After thirty years’ service in the Royal Navy, Rear-Admiral John Godfrey was appointed Director of Naval Intelligence at the beginning of 1939. With war on the horizon, he was tasked with growing and strengthening his department to be able to handle the perils which lay ahead. He needed an assistant, a role for which Ian Fleming’s name was put forward. In July 1939 Ian was appointed to the role and became a Lieutenant in the Special Branch of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, a rank he was later to bestow upon his hero James Bond. It is widely speculated that Godfrey was the model for the character M, the head of MI6 and James Bond’s superior.
Rear-Admiral John Godfrey