Bond/Fleming’s family heritage

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For the last week or so the blog has been getting nigh on a thousand hits a day, the vast majority of which are for Skyfall, and a large proportion of those are for the post Grave news at Skyfall Lodge. I haven’t seen the film yet (hoping to go in the next couple of days), but I thought I’d put a bit more detail about those gravestones.

James Bond's parents' headstone

James Bond’s parents’ headstone

The big spoiler at the time was that the headstones at the chapel were for Bond’s family, which proved that Skyfall Lodge was his ancestral home. The most interesting stone, therefore, was that of Monique Delacroix Bond and Andrew Bond. These are Bond’s parents according to author Ian Fleming, who wrote them as having died in a climbing accident when Bond was a child. The Delacroix part of the maternal name would seem to be a reference to Fleming’s own mother, Evelyn Beatrice Sainte Croix Rose.

P1150081I’ll be interested to see how much of the gravestones you get to see in the film; feel free to tell me! The names on the ones I photographed – Valentine, Robert, Celia and Kathleen Bond –  have an interesting connection to Ian Fleming and were obviously selected for their relevance to the Bond author.

headstone of valentine bond

headstone of valentine bond

Valentine seems to be a Fleming family name – on looking at their family tree, it seems that the Flemings were quite big on giving the name of the father to as many of the offspring as possible. It is the name of both Ian Fleming’s father Valentine Fleming, and of his nephew, the son of Ian’s brother Michael Valentine Paul Fleming. Ian Fleming was an eight year old boy at boarding school when his father died in action in 1917. Valentine Fleming left his wife a considerable fortune, but only on condition that she did not remarry. Nowt like wanting your widow to find happiness, eh? Evelyn responded to this stricture by taking a long term lover instead, by whom she bore a daughter; the exotically named Amaryllis.

Headstone of Robert Bond

Headstone of Robert Bond

The name Robert also has a family resonance. It’s the name of Ian Fleming’s paternal grandfather, who founded the merchant bank of the family name, and the middle name of Ian Fleming’s son Caspar, who died of a drug overdose in 1975 at the age of twenty two. It is also the first name of his brother, Robert Fleming, who went by his middle name Peter. Peter Fleming was a well known travel writer and it is well documented that Ian Fleming felt that he’d lived his life in the shadow of his elder brother’s achievements, never quite measuring up to his talented, academically gifted sibling. Celia Bond is presumably a reference to Celia Fleming, Peter Fleming’s wife.

Finally, Kathleen was the name of Ian’s Fleming’s aunt, Kathleen Mary Sainte Croix Rose. It was also the name of his niece, the eldest child of his younger brother Richard.

There were another two Bonds on the gravestones, Ramsey William Bond and Margaret Jean Davidson Bond. I can’t find any Fleming family connection to these names… can anyone enlighten me?

13 thoughts on “Bond/Fleming’s family heritage

  1. Pingback: Grave news at Skyfall Lodge « The Foraging Photographer

  2. What a coincidence! I saw Skyfall last night. I only saw a shot of the gravestone of his parents. I loved the film,it reminded me a lot of the earlier Bond films. Lots of Bond “one liner” quips.

  3. Skyfall is exciting… but I grew up with the old Bond formula. Daniel is great, but they have changed the formula when Daniel arrived.
    I think I’ll start my own Bond franchise… I’m looking for a good set photographer 🙂

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