Bond author link to Cathedral service of remembrance

Herald Series: A Turning the Pages service at Christ Church Cathedral A Turning the Pages service at Christ Church Cathedral

THE FATHER and the brother of Bond creator Ian Fleming will be among the fallen soldiers honoured at a ceremony tomorrow.

Every other month, people come together at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, to remember young men from Oxfordshire who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

The Turning the Pages ceremony sees the names of 10 men from the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and 10 from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry read out from each war.

Organisers have discovered that two of the names on tomorrow’s list are those of Valentine Fleming, and his son Michael.

Mr Fleming was a Conservative MP for Henley between 1910 and 1917 and lived in Wallingford.

The father of author Ian Flemming and a close friend of Winston Churchill, he was killed in Picardy, France, on May 20, 1917.

For his service, he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Ceremony organiser Colonel Mike Vince said: “We realised the connection when we spotted the names on each list.

“After a little research we found out that Valentine, who served in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, died in the First World War.

“His son Michael served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and died when he was young in the Second World War.”

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Since December, names to be read out at the ceremony have been published in the Oxford Mail. It is hoped relatives will be able to attend to see their ancestors honoured.

It will take many decades for the names of all the men who died to be read out, but organisers are determined to continue until they finish.

The ceremony runs from 11am in the Military Chapel at Christ Church Cathedral. Members of the public are welcome.

  • Are you related to any of the names on the list? Call reporter Rhianne Pope on 01865 425411.

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