Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett)

Dame Paddy Ridsdale, as she generally known, was an intelligence operative, secretary to Ian Fleming during WW2 and the inspiration for the Bond character Miss Moneypenny.

 

A Conservative Party stalwart and married to Member of Parliament for Harwich from 1954 to 1992 Sir Julian Ridsdale CBE (1915 – 2004), Dame Paddy – or Vicky, as she was known to some – is best known for her role in ‘Operation Mincemeat’, a “famous caper” concerning a “man who never was” in 1943.

 

In the war, Dame Paddy wrote love letters and telegrams that were planted on the body of ‘Major William Martin’, an invented, drowned naval officer, that was floated in the ocean off Spain. The body carried fictitious plans of a purported Allied invasion of Sardinia and Greece and formed part of a plot designed to deflect attention from the Allied landings in Sicily. Of it, she later remarked: “I was sent to buy clothes in all the best men’s shops and had to pose as his girlfriend. I had to go to post offices and rather loudly send this telegram to ‘my boyfriend’, hoping of course that somebody would overhear me”. In due course, the body was indeed found, the Axis powers completely taken in and “Mincemeat swallowed whole, hook, line, and sinker”. A BAFTA winning film directed by Ronald Neame, The Man Who Never Was, made about the deceptive scheme in 1956.

 

Dame Paddy was known as a “political hostess in the style of a bygone era”, lived in a mansion “sandwiched between a sheikh and a Saudi prince” in The Boltons for the majority of her adult life and is buried in the grounds of the church there. She had one daughter, became Lady Ridsdale when her husband was knighted in 1981 and was appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in her own right, for political services, in 1991.

 

Of her relationship with her one-time employer Fleming, she concluded: “Ian had so many girlfriends that I was not tempted to become one of them”.

 

 

 

The Roll Call - WILDCARDS

1

Evelyn McHale (1923 – 1947)

2

‘Mr Black Lives Matter’

3

Gabriel and Sarah A. Chrisman

4

Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976, née Eileen Smith)

5

Robert Adam

True wildcard Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett) – Dame Paddy Ridsdale was an intelligence operative, secretary to Ian Fleming and the inspiration for the Bond character Miss Moneypenny.

6

Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett)

7

Bob Marshall-Andrews QC

8

Charlot Malin (1969 – 2017)

9

Baba Vanga (баба Ванга, AKA ‘Nostradamus from the Balkans’, 1911 – 1996)

10

Mr Make a Big Issue

11

Mary Millington (marital name Mary Maxted, born Mary Quilter, 1945 – 1979)

12

Sir Ken Adam OBE (born Klaus Adam, 1921 – 2016)

13

Will and Calum Thompson (AKA “The Eat Wild Boys”)

14

Arthur Woodham

15

Hannah Wick

16

Daniel Lismore

17

John Patrick Hannan

18

Max Whitlock (nicknamed “Maxi”)

19

Kelly Killoren Bensimon

20

Lee Miller (Lady Penrose, born Elizabeth Miller, 1907 – 1977)

21

Ted Richards

22

Victoria Pendleton CBE (married name Victoria Gardner)

23

Christopher Mason

24

Bonnie Lee Bakley (1956 – 2001)

25

Gino D’Acampo

26

Gillian Clarke (1941 – 2015)

27

Francesco Macera

28

Nicholas Loeb

29

Reverend Robert Parker

30

Gillian Duffy

31

David Hallberg

32

Ruthann Aron (AKA “Ruth Aron”, née Ruthann Greenzweig)

33

Lady Alice, Lady Eliza and Lady Violet Manners (AKA “The No Manners Girls”)

34

Topsy Taylor (born Lesley Taylor)

35

Peter Dinklage

36

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olson

37

Nina Campbell

38

Crispin Baynes

39

Bill Martin MBE (born William Wylie MacPherson)

40

Henry Blofeld OBE (AKA “Blowers”, “Tycoon” and “Typhoon”)

41

Emma Sayle

42

Nancy Cunard (1896 – 1965)

43

Elliot Bssila

44

Joudie Kalla

45

Ross O’Connell Jennings

46

Alexa Jago

47

Claire Zambuni

48

Amanda Eliasch (née Amanda Brown)

49

Charlie Anson

50

Count Louis-Marie de Castelbajac

51

Jeremy Lloyd OBE (1930 – 2014)

52

Sandra Howard, Lady Howard (née Sandra Paul)

53

Anne Naysmith (1937 - 2015, AKA “The Rag Lady of Chiswick”)

54

Claudine Longet

55

The Fantasy Cyclist

56

Sarah, Duchess of York (AKA “Fergie”, née Sarah Ferguson)

57

Fredrik Eklund

58

Sir Gerald Nabarro (AKA “Old Whiskers” and “The Abominable Showman”, 1913 – 1973)

59

Lord Bell (Tim Bell, Baron Bell of Belgravia)

60

Teresa Gorman

61

Julia Child (1912 – 2004)

62

Keith Floyd (1943 – 2009)

63

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (1880 – 1963)

64

Dan Bilzerian (AKA "Blitz")

65

Cognac Wellerlane

66

Thai Dang Cao (1953 – 2014)

67

Craig Brazier

68

Alejandro Flores

69

Doris Thompson

70

Gloria Minghella MBE (AKA “the Queen Mum of the Isle of Wight”, 1930 – 2014)

71

Clarissa Dickson Wright (1947 – 2014)

72

Wayne Bryson

73

Mary The Elephant (AKA ‘Murderous Mary’)

74

Fred Dibnah MBE (1938 – 2004)

75

Emeritus Professor Jane Somerville

76

Russell Brand

77

Cindy Crawford

78

Lady Camilla Bloch (born Lady Camilla Bingham)

79

Terry Deary

80

Dame Norma Major DBE

81

Jeannette Etheredge

82

Michael “Chalky” White

83

Nubar Gulbenkian (Armenian: Նուբար Սարգիս Գյուլբենկյան, 1896 – 1972)

84

Huguette Clark (1906 – 2011)

85

Viola Herms Drath (1920 – 2011)

86

Ian Towning

87

Ryan Lochte (nicknames 'Reezy' and 'The Lochtenator')

88

Jerry Hall

89

Austin 7 man

90

Martin the Poet

91

The Waitrose Clepto

92

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba (1926 – 2014)

93

Tim Tebow

94

The Most Hon the Marquess of Bath

95

Judy Joo

96

Toby Flood

97

Justin Timberlake

98

Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan (1971 – 2007 and 1966 – 2007)

99

Norman Balon

100

Bubble (2012 – 2013)

101

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

102

Martin Miller (1946 - 2013)

103

Lady Docker (Norah Docker, née Norah Turner and also Norah Callingham and Lady Collins, 1905 – 1983)

104

Beverly Cohen

105

Patricia Kluge (née Rose)

106

Charmian Brent (better known as Charmian Biggs)

107

David Nalbandian

108

April Ashley MBE (born Toni Jamieson)

109

Scott Disick

110

Andrew Embiricos (1985 – 2011)

111

Shireen Ritchie, The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Ritchie (1945 - 2012)

112

Eugene Carokis

113

Anouska Hempel (Lady Weinberg)

114

Joseph "Joey" Barton

115

Neil & Christine Hamilton

116

Iris Apfel

117

Marisa Masters (1925 – 2016)

14 COMMENTS

  1. Dame Paddy was a delightful lady. I recall her functions at her home being packed to the rafters with the bold and the glorious. She knew how to mix a drink and she knew how to stick a spike in a robber. You should have mentioned she stuck the heel of her shoe into some imbecile who dared try and rob her in 1997.

  2. Like Yolanda I went to receptions at the home of Sir Julian and Lady Ridsdale. They were great occasions and their beautifully decorated residence just a perfect setting. I miss that era and am getting old myself now.

  3. WHERE’S GLENMORE TRENEAR-HARVEY WHEN YOU NEED HIM? I BET HE’LL CLAIM TO KNOW HER. I BET HE’LL CLAIM HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE WHOLE SAGA. I BET HE’LL CLAIM THEY GAVE LECTURES TOGETHER LATER ON. WHERE IS THE KNOW-ALL SPY MASTER? WE MUST BE TOLD!

  4. I love that film. Great that you shared a link to both the trailer and the whole thing. Thanks. I’ll watch this afternoon.

  5. She did nothing to help dear Gerry and Kate McCann to find their beloved daughter Madeleine from what I recall. That is very disappointing and I do not see why she is at all relevant now. Instead focus on FIND MADELEINE, FIND HER NOW.

    • Hmmm… from what I recall she was 86 when Madeleine went missing what exactly did you expect here to do? Set out of for the Algarve (was it?) with her spade and start digging?

      • Plainly. Gillian expects us all to do everything in our powers for ‘FIND MADELEINE, FIND HER NOW!’ and has done since I set up this publication in 2012. She is quite determined to remind us and has left hundreds of comments in this regard. She is about as exciting as other ranters such as Rod, Glenmore Trenear-Harvey (thankfully now gone), Sandra Shevey (thankfully quiet for the moment) and the ‘Rolf Harris is Innocent’ person (also thankfully mostly quiet these days).

        • Everything is nice and quiet Matthew, don’t put the kiss of death on it. Remember Rolf has an encore this week I think.

    • Actually Gillian, she has been working very hard on this issue, it’s just that she has been working undercover and couldn’t tell you about it. If she had, she would had have to kill you.

  6. There’s an error in Wikipedia. It states in her entry that she was the daughter-in-law of Sir Aurelian Ridsdale, but in his entry it states that Sir Julian was his nephew, not his son.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Exit mobile version