Ian Fleming was a British writer, naval intelligence officer, and journalist. Fleming is credited with creating one of the most popular characters of all time, James Bond. His James Bond series of novels have sold more than 100 million copies, making them one of the best-selling fictional book series in history. Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport is named after him.
John André was a British military leader who served as a major in the British Army. He played an important role during the American Revolutionary War, serving as the head of the British Army's Secret Service in America. He was executed by the Continental Army on 2 October 1780. John André's life inspired many artworks, including the 1798 play André.
British intelligence officer Kim Philby was also a Soviet double agent. He was part of the spy group known as the Cambridge Five and leaked classified information to the Soviet Union during World War II and the Cold War. He later defected to Moscow and spent his final years there.
Violette Szabo was a British-French spy who worked as a Special Operations Executive agent during World War II. During her second mission in occupied France, Violette Szabo was captured by the Germans. She was tortured, interrogated, and deported to Ravensbrück, where she was executed on 5 February 1945 at the age of 23.
The first and the longest-serving British female secret agent, Krystyna Skarbek was born in Poland. Her contribution to the Allies during World War II won her honors such as the OBE and the Croix de Guerre. She was 37 when she was stabbed to death in a London hotel.
British civil servant John Cairncross is remembered in history as one of the 5 men of the Cambridge spy ring who served as Soviet spies. He had to give up his civil service job amid accusations of him being a Soviet spy. He later began an academic career, teaching at Northwestern University.
While he was a member of the British Foreign Office, diplomat Donald Maclean was also simultaneously spying for the Soviet Union as part of the Cambridge Five, supplying them confidential information. He eventually vanished from England and reappeared as a Communist in the Soviet Union, years later.
Theodore Schurch was a British soldier who was captured and executed under the Treachery Act 1940 after World War II. Theodore Schurch became the only British soldier to be executed for treachery during the war. He was also the last British person to be executed for an offence other than homicide.
Peter Wright was the longest-serving scientist associated with Britain’s counter-intelligence service, MI5. He soared to fame with his international bestseller, Spycatcher, co-written with author Paul Greengrass, which exposed some major flaws of the MI5. He spent his final years in Australia and also became an Australian citizen.
British civil servant John Vassall became a Soviet spy after facing blackmail from the KGB, which threatened to reveal his homosexuality. Initially a war photographer for the RAF, he later assisted the British naval attaché in Moscow. Released after a 10-year imprisonment for his crimes, he changed his surname and settled in London.
John Gardner was an English spy and author. He is best remembered for his thriller novels, including the continuation novels containing Ian Fleming's iconic character James Bond and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's villain Professor James Moriarty. John Gardner wrote over 50 works of fiction, including 14 original James Bond novels.
Duncan Scott-Ford was a British merchant seaman. He was accused of passing vital information to an enemy agent during World War II, for which he was executed on 3 November 1942 at the age of 21. Duncan Scott-Ford was part of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy prior to his execution.
Eileen Nearne was a Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War. She served as a radio operator in occupied France, for which she was honored by the French government with the Croix de Guerre after the war.
British physicist Alan Nunn May went down in history as a traitor who betrayed Britain and the U.S. by passing on confidential information about the Manhattan Project, or the development of the atom bomb, to the Soviet Union, as a spy. Sentenced to 10 years of hard labor, he served 6.
Edward Bancroft was a Massachusetts-born chemist and physician. He played an important role during the American Revolution, working as a double agent for both Great Britain and the United States. Edward Bancroft's activity as a double agent wasn't disclosed until 1891, when diplomatic papers were made public knowledge by Great Britain.
Laurence Oliphant was a South African-born British traveller, author, diplomat, Christian Zionist, Christian mystic, and British intelligence agent. He is best remembered for his satirical novel, Piccadilly. Laurence Oliphant is also remembered for his work of esoteric Christianity along with his wife Alice. The work was published as Sympneumata, or Evolutionary Forces Now Active in Man in 1885.
John Honeyman was a British informant and American spy for George Washington, the first president of the United States. His primarily duty was to spread disinformation. John Honeyman also gathered the intelligence that facilitated George Washington's triumph in the Battle of Trenton.
George Reginald Starr was a British Special Operations Executive agent and mining engineer. He is credited with carrying out many sabotage operations in the days leading up to the famous Normandy invasion in June 1944. George Reginald Starr rescued nearly 50 prominent resistance leaders and played an important role in the emancipation of southwestern France from German occupation.
Basil Thomson was a British colonial administrator who served as the chief of Metropolitan Police CID during the First World War. Also a prison governor, Thomson played the key role of arresting wartime spies. Basil Thomson was involved in the arrest of Sir Roger Casement, Mata Hari, and many Indian and Irish nationalists. Basil Thomson was also a well-known novelist.
Thomas Dangerfield was an English conspirator and one of the main informers in the Popish Plot. Dangerfield is the subject of a well-known literary novel titled Don Tomazo, or The Juvenile Rambles of Thomas Dangerfield, which presents Thomas Dangerfield as a resourceful and clever rogue. It is widely believed that Dangerfield himself authored the novel.