Famed English writer Ian Fleming, who created the iconic James Bond character, came from an aristocratic background that included Eton and prestigious military academy Sandhurst. His early education was at an obscure primary school in Dorset, Durnford.

The school had a very Dickensian education model involving bare-footed runs along the beach in winter, cold water showers and slit trenches for toilets. The school’s spartan inspired headmaster was held in great affection by the pupils. One of Fleming’s contemporaries at the school went on to serve in the famed Special Air Service, the toughest regiment in the British army. What did he say about his early education at Durnford as regards his later service in the SAS?

Answer: “After Durnford, the SAS was a piece of cake.”

Source: Ian Fleming by Andrew Lycett

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