The name's Bond ... Sir Fitzroy Bond

THE name's Maclean ...

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Eight postgraduate scholarships are being offered in Sir Fitzroy MacLean's memory
Eight postgraduate scholarships are being offered in Sir Fitzroy MacLean's memory

Fitzroy Maclean.

Sir Fitzroy was a politician, diplomat, soldier and adventurer who is thought to have been the inspiration behind 007 James Bond.

Now students at Glasgow University will be given the chance to follow in his illustrious footsteps.

The university, togeth-er with the Maclean family, is to honour his memory by offering eight postgraduate scholarships over four years to students coming to Scotland from those areas he visited and is now honoured in.

They include Georgia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In addition, 28 travel scholarships will be available to Glasgow students to support them in making trips to develop an existing skill or learn a new one, in keeping with Sir Fitzroy's passions.

Ian Fleming is reputed to have based his creation, James Bond, on Sir Fitzroy, who was born in 1911, was awarded a DLitt from the university in 1969.

Although initially drawn to academia, the growing crisis in Europe in the 1930s convinced Sir Fitzroy to enter the diplomatic service.

In the decade before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he travelled widely.

As a diplomat at the British Embassy in Moscow, he made several journeys to the Caucasus and Soviet Central Asia, but was often shadowed by NKVD agents, the forerunners of the KGB.

It was from these adventures that his credentials as the basis for Agent 007 were established - a rumour he neither confirmed nor denied.

During the war, having joined the Cameron Highlanders, he won further fame through his Bond-like exploits in the Western Desert with the SAS and as Winston Churchill's special envoy to Tito in the former Yugoslavia.

He was a Conservative MP for Bute and North Ayrshire from 1959 to 1974, and died in 1996.

The university, along with his friends and family, launched a fundraising campaign to establish the Sir Fitzroy Maclean Memorial Scholarships and Lecture Series.

His son, Sir Charles MacLean, said: "I'm delighted that these scholarships in my father's name will create opportunities for stud-ents to keep alive his memory in the bound-less pursuit of know-ledge and adventure."

University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anton Musca-telli, added: "These important scholarships will not only be of great benefit to our students but will be a fitting tribute to an outstanding individual."

russell.leadbetter@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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