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James Bond unmasked? Author of historic 'secret agent' note revealed

James Bond unmasked? Author of historic 'secret agent' note revealed

Tuesday 12 March 2024

James Bond unmasked? Author of historic 'secret agent' note revealed

Tuesday 12 March 2024


The identity of the "secret agent" who left a note in Elizabeth Castle almost 60 years ago has been revealed.

The note was uncovered during recent restoration work, when a fireplace was unblocked in the 18th century Officers’ Quarters at the fortress.

The note, which was originally in a glass bottle, said: “007 JAMES BOND, 26th Feb 1966. PS SECRET AGENT. DON’T TELL ANYBODY.”

Following a public appeal by Jersey Heritage for help to identify the author of the note, the daughters of Edward Arnold Blampied came forward.

Annelise Michel and Debbie Blampied got in touch to say they believed their late father was the person who hid the note in the fireplace 58 years ago.

james_bond_note.jpeg

Pictured: The note said: “007 JAMES BOND, 26th Feb 1966. PS SECRET AGENT. DON’T TELL ANYBODY.”

Mr Blampied was working as a carpenter at Elizabeth Castle in 1966 and constructed the stairways in the Officers’ Quarters.

An ardent James Bond fan, his favourite film was ‘Thunderball’, which was released the previous year.

Mr Blampied was also renowned for hiding things in buildings. This included the home he built for his family, where he hid mementos and various messages in bottles in the walls.

The carpenter also encouraged his daughters to throw messages in bottles into the sea, in the hope that someone would read them and send a reply.

Harvey Doolan, Jersey Heritage’s Historic Buildings Officer, was the archaeologist on-site when the note was discovered at Elizabeth Castle.

He said that having spoken at length to Mr Blampied's daughters, he was convinced their father was the author of the note.

Blampied.jpeg

Pictured: Edward Arnold Blampied was a carpenter working at Elizabeth Castle in 1966 who had a propensity for leaving notes.

Mr Doolan said: “We are delighted to have solved the mystery of the James Bond note discovered at Elizabeth Castle, and very grateful to Annelis and Debbie for coming forward.

"Having spoken at length with them about their father and his life, and checked the note against examples of Edward’s handwriting, we’re sure he was the author.

"He used a very distinctive ‘th’ after the date, which is present on the note and on another letter he wrote that they showed us."

He added: “In addition, it transpires that Edward was almost as daring as the fictional secret agent whose name was inscribed upon the note, having received a medal for his time in Cyprus with the Royal Signal Corps and he also served in Iraq.

"His period of military service explains why the note was found with pages from the Reville newspaper, which was first published during the Second World War as an ex-servicemen’s newspaper and continued to be published until the 1970s."

Mr Doolan added that there was the chance that another of the notes could be discovered at one of the island’s heritage sites in the future, as the carpenter was also employed at Mont Orgueil Castle when renovation works were carried out during the 1960s.

He also revealed that one of Mr Blampied's grandsons is currently working as a Junior Project Manager with Building Renovations on the restoration project at Elizabeth Castle.

“We wonder whether he will carry on his grandfather’s tradition of leaving mysterious notes!” said Mr Doolan.

Annelis_and_Debbie_with_note_and_info_about_their_father_Jersey_Heritage.jpg

Pictured: Annelise Michel and Debbie Blampied got in touch to say they believed their late father was the person who hid the note in the fireplace 58 years ago.

Mr Blampied's daughter, Debbie Blampied described her excitement when she first heard about the note. 

She said that both sisters "immediately thought of our dad".

"It was something we knew he did and always used to sign his name as ‘E. A. Blampied’," she explained

"When Jersey Heritage asked if anyone recognised the note, we spent a lovely day with our mum looking through old photos and letters, sharing memories.

"We were happy to have had it confirmed and wouldn’t be surprised if other notes are discovered in other locations in future.”

You can read the full story of Edward and his mysterious note HERE.

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