LAST UPDATED - 15/1/21
The grave of the James Bond author Ian Fleming has been vandalised.
As a huge fan of Ian's books and the James Bond movies I had to cover this.
Ian's grave is in the grounds of St James' Church in Sevenhampton, Wiltshire near the market town of Highworth where I live.
Part of the obelisk which has been removed contained an inscribed plaque which read 'Omnia perfunctus vitae praemia marces' — 'having enjoyed life's prizes, you now decay'. The Fleming family have confirmed to me that it was removed without their knowledge or consent.
A village local informed me that it was stolen on September 13th 2020 around 10:15pm. It's not thought any CCTV covers the area and Wiltshire Police have no record of the crime being reported to them.
Ian Fleming died from a heart attack in 1964 at the age of 56. The grave also contains the remains of his wife, Ann and his son Caspar, who died of a drug overdose in 1975. He was buried on 15 August 1964 just three days after his death.
The graveyard is just a stones throw from Warneford Place and estate which Fleming relocated to after completing the Bond novels. It was here he penned 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'. The estate is now the home of Formula One motor racing tycoon Paddy McNally.
These images and the video were taken yesterday.
If you're interested in using this video and or images please contact me.
Speaking to me today, Graham Carter from Swindon Heritage said "You have to be an especially low kind of person to desecrate a grave, for whatever reason. It’s important that people who deserve to be remembered are remembered, which means we all have a duty to preserve their memory. So I hope those responsible do the right thing and return it, and learn from their mistake.".
Justin Tomlinson, MP for the area told me "Our local community is very proud of our connection to Ian Fleming and we won't let this dreadful, mindless act undermine this".
The Fleming family have informed me that they're planning to replace the plaque. I would be very interested in covering this story moving forward.
These images were taken by me a few years ago.
The footage above shows the church and Warneford Place from the air. I filmed this in January 2019.