Paddy Ridsdale

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Dame Victoire Evelyn Patricia Ridsdale DBE , b. Victoire Evelyn Patricia Bennett called Paddy Ridsdale (born October 11, 1921 in London , † December 16, 2009 ibid) was a British secret service worker . It was during the Second World War, the secretary of Ian Fleming and possibly the inspiration for the fictional character of Miss Moneypenny in his James Bond novels .

Career and work

Bennett is studying architecture at the Sorbonne in Paris . In 1939 she got a job with the British Naval Intelligence Department . She worked as the only woman for seven officers in Room 39 . One of the officers was Ian Fleming. Head of the department was Admiral John Henry Godfrey , who inspired Fleming to create the fictional character " M ". After her marriage to Julian Ridsdale in 1942, she left the intelligence service, but continued to be involved in Operation Mincemeat , a very successful deception by the British during World War II. According to her own statements, she had to play the friend of the fictional Major Martin , created especially for this operation , to get him clothes and send him telegrams . After Denis Smyth , Ridsdale was also the author of the love letters to Major Martin. The passion simulated in these letters is said to have made her newly married husband quite jealous. After Ben Macintyre , Hester Leggett wrote these letters.

After the war, Ridsdale worked as a party secretary in her husband's Harwich constituency .

From 1978 to 1991 Ridsdale was chairman of the Conservative Wives Association .

Ridsdale may have been the inspiration for the character of Miss Moneypenny, created by Fleming in his novels . In addition to Ridsdale, Margaret Priestley and Joan Astley can be considered. Ridsdale denied having had any feelings for Fleming and said that she was never taken with his charm.


Ridsdale was married to the politician and Member of Parliament Sir Julian Ridsdale (June 8, 1915 to July 21, 2004) since 1942 . After her death in 2009, she left behind a daughter, Lady Penny Newall.


After her husband's accolade in 1981, she became Lady Ridsdale . In 1991 she was raised to the nobility as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her political commitment .


Ridsdale said of Ian Fleming:

"[Fleming was] very attractive, but with a great hardness in him"

- Paddy Ridsdale
"[Fleming was] very attractive, but with a great hardness in itself."

"[He] had so many girlfriends that I was not tempted to become one of them"

- Paddy Ridsdale
"[He] had so many girlfriends that I wasn't tempted to become one of them."

Individual evidence

  1. Lady 'Paddy' Ridsdale. In: December 25, 2009, accessed December 27, 2015 .
  2. a b c d e Lady Ridsdale. In: December 17, 2009, accessed December 27, 2015 .
  3. Denis Smyth: Deathly Deception: The Real Story of Operation Mincemeat. OUP Oxford, 2010, ISBN 978-0-19-161364-7 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  4. ^ Ben Macintyre: Operation Mincemeat: full story of how corpse tricked the Nazis. In: The Times. dated January 14, 2010
  5. Ben Macintyre: Operation Mincemeat. A&C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4088-0921-1 , p. 77 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  6. Alan Clark : The Last Diaries. Hachette UK, 2011, ISBN 978-1-78022-130-4 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  7. John Craig: Heroes, Rogues, and Spies. Lulu Books, 2012, ISBN 978-1-105-58458-9 , p. 135 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  8. Woman who inspired Miss Moneypenny dies aged 88. In: December 19, 2009, accessed December 27, 2015 .
  9. a b 'Paddy' Ridsdale. In: January 3, 2010, accessed December 27, 2015 .