Fitzroy Maclean, Waugh’s commanding officer in Yugoslavia, was commemorated yesterday in an editorial on the Foreign and Colonial Office weblog. The occasion was St. Andrew’s Day. Maclean was, needless to say, Scottish. Here’s the opening paragraph:
‘A man of daring character, with Foreign Office training’: thus Winston Churchill perfectly summed up the glamorous and enigmatic Fitzroy Maclean, who combined the careers of diplomat, soldier, partisan, politician and writer. His talents — aided by personal charm and enviable contacts — enabled him to play an exceptional role during the Second World War. Widely believed to have been one of the models for his friend Ian Fleming’s creation James Bond, he also had something of the staunch gentlemanly bravery of John Buchan’s fictional hero Richard Hannay.
Waugh and Randolph Churchill are named as serving in Maclean’s command. Although not mentioned, Maclean gave Waugh permission to prepare what became his report on the treatment of the Roman Catholic Church in Communist Yugoslavia. Maclean was also involved as something of a mediator between Waugh and those within the government seeking to suppress the paper. This is explained in Martin Stannard’s biography Evelyn Waugh: The Later Years, pp. 138-43. The paper was finally published as “Catholic Croatia under Tito’s Heel” in The Salisbury Review, September 1992. Waugh wrote to Diana Cooper that he used Maclean as a model for Constantius Chlorus in his novel Helena (Mr. Wu and Mrs. Stitch, p. 83).