To find out how my grandfather moved from the Navy to the secret world of spying, I'm meeting historian Phil Tomaselli, close to the Admiralty -- headquarters of the Navy's Intelligence Department.
-I'm here to talk to you about your grandfather's career in the Navy, as displayed on these copies of his naval service record.
Presumably, you knew he'd been in the Navy, or?
-Yes, I knew he'd been in the Navy.
It's about all I know.
[laughs] -He joined in '39 and was posted to the, uh, Naval Convoy Service in Southend, looking after the convoys that came in and out through the Thames.
It's an important job because an enormous amount of food, ammunition, that kind of thing, came in through the Thames.
So then where does he go, Phil?
-Well, this is where it starts to get interesting.
He's recruited to the Naval Intelligence Division, in 1941.
"Additional for duty outside the Admiralty."
When you see "duty outside the Admiralty," it means he has been appointed to one of the security services.
-So when we say "intelligence officer"... Spy, in some sense?
I was going to come onto that.
-And having been appointed to an I.D., he is appointed to HMS Morgan, which isn't a ship.
It's perfectly possible that this man might have been involved, who is Ian Fleming, the writer of the James Bond books.
[both laughing] -So he may have been mates with Ian Fleming?
-He would have met Ian Fleming, without a doubt, -Fantastic.
-because Ian Fleming was the personal assistant to the director of Naval Intelligence throughout the early part of the war.
-This is possibly my best chance at Bond.
You know, in my head, I've got this picture of people coming to him in black suits and dark glasses and- and sort of tapping him on the shoulder and telling him his life's going to completely change.
That's probably not how it-- -how it works?
-Almost certainly not.
[both laughing] I mean, he may have been approached in a London club.
-An old boys' network?
-Old boys' network.
He's vetted by MI5 themselves, to make sure he's not a problem, and, suddenly, you're in.
I'm now going to go and tell everyone that my grandfather was actually Bond.
But it is- it's interesting.
Fleming- this is before Fleming wrote those novels, and he would have met all sorts of people, um... in the service, and possibly my- my grandfather was one of those.
I mean, he went to Jamaica, um-- Fleming.
So he- he most likely would have met my grandfather.
So in a really roundabout way, Harington might have inspired Bond.
I'll take it.