Peter Fleming was born in 1907. His father, Valentine Fleming, a barrister, was MP for Henley 1910-1917 and was killed in action in 1917. Peter's brother Ian, the creator of James Bond, was born in 1908. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, Peter Fleming became literary editor of The Spectator and travelled widely, chiefly as Special Correspondent for The Times, for which he also wrote many Fourth Leaders during the later 1930s. He published popular travel books during this period, including Brazilian Adventure (1933), One's Company: a journey to China (1934) and News from Tartary (1936). In 1935 he married the actress Celia Johnson.
In 1939 he joined the Grenadier Guards, serving in Norway in 1940, in Greece in 1941 and subsequently in Burma, ending the war as head of strategic deception in South East Asia Command. In 1945 he received the OBE. After the war he retired to Merrimoles, his estate at Nettlebed in the Chilterns, to lead the life of a literary squire. He wrote pieces for The Times and The Spectator, the latter under the pseudonym Strix. He also published four books recounting historical episodes, including an account of the threatened invasion of Britain in 1940, the Younghusband expedition to Lhasa, the siege of Peking during the Boxer rebellion, and a study of the White Russian leader Admiral Kolchak. Peter Fleming died in August 1971, while on a shooting expedition to Scotland.
From 1947 onwards he was a member of the Court and Council of The University of Reading, and he served as one of the Curators of the University Library from 1967.
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