As the 25th Bond film comes out, Kate Grimond remembers Ian Fleming – her prescient, funny, diffident uncle
I last saw my uncle, Ian Fleming, in church at his mother’s funeral in 1964. He was in the pew opposite, supporting himself with a stick and with that grey-white visage of the very ill. Less than a fortnight later, he too was dead, at the age of 56. For the previous few weeks, he and his mother (my grandmother) had been in nursing homes – he in Hove and she nearby in Brighton – which was distressing but, it has to be said, made visiting easier for members of the family. My father, Peter Fleming, drove there with his half-sister, Amaryllis, who, always more straight-talking, said on the way back, ‘You realise that Ian is dying’. My father refused to countenance this and said, ‘Nonsense’ – or some such. Ian died on 12th August 1964, poignantly on the 12th birthday of his son, Caspar. It was also the day...
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