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Lady Paddy Ridsdale
Birth: Oct. 11, 1921
London
Greater London, England
Death: Dec. 16, 2009, England

Literary Folk Figure. The distinguished wife of a Member of Parliament and a significant political figure in her own right, she shall instead be remembered as the real-life Miss Moneypenny of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. Born Victoire Evelyn Patricia Bennett to a wealthy and distinguished family, she was well educated, studying architecture at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1939 Paddy took a sectretarial job with naval intelligence, the only girl working in the legendary Room 39 for seven officers, including Ian Fleming, under the command of Admiral John Godfrey, who was to live in fiction as Bond's boss "M". Paddy left in 1942 to marry Julian Ridsdale (deceased 2004), but continued her involvement with "Operation Mincemeat"; her job was to be the "girlfriend" of "Major William Martin, Royal Marines", talking about him loudly in public, buying him presents, and sending him love letters and telegrams. The trap was sprung in 1943; an unidentified body was dressed in "Major Martin's" uniform carrying theatre tickets and Paddy's letters along with fake plans for an Allied invasion of Greece and Sardenia, and dumped off the Spanish coast, a supposed crash victim; the Germans took the bait (dispatch of the time: "Mincemeat swallowed whole, hook, line, and sinker"), believing the false documents and failing adequately to prepare for the invasion of Sicily. After the war she was her husband's loyal partner thru a long career in politics, sharing his interest in Japan and heading a club for the wives of Conservative MPs. Becoming "Lady" when Sir Julian was knighted in 1981, she was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for her own services in 1991. Tough all her life, Paddy received publicity in 1997 when she was mugged and then disabled her attacker by kicking him in the groin with her spike heel. At her death, Dame Paddy lived on as Miss Moneypenny in Fleming's books and in numerous films; the story of Operation Mincemeat was told in the 1956 "The Man Who Never Was" with Paddy played by Gloria Grahme. Answering the inevitable question, given Miss Moneypenny's unrequited love for Bond, she said that Fleming "had so many girlfriends I was not tempted to become one of them". (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
St. Mary The Boltons
Brompton
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Greater London, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Dec 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 45581395
Lady Paddy Ridsdale
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Lady Paddy Ridsdale
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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- Jeannie
 Added: May. 1, 2014

- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Dec. 16, 2013

- Bob Hufford
 Added: Oct. 17, 2013
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