THE mystery surrounding the exploits of Majorca war hero Allan Hillgarth deepens as it has been revealed that the island's former vice-consul was involved in the murky world of espionage.
Notorious double agent Kim Philby details the work of Captain Hillgarth, who was a Royal Navy attache in Spain during World War II.
Bulletin reader David Page, of Wolverhampton, discovered the link between Hillgarth and the British traitor when reading Philby's autobiography My Silent War.
It reveals that Hillgarth, who could have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming's James Bond character, gave himself the codename Armada to protect his identity from fellow officers.
Philby, who was a high-ranking British secret service officer, while also spying for the Russians, talks about Hillgarth's intelligence work and his close relationship with Winston Churchill.
In his book, Philby states that naval attaches did not normally undertake secret operations, but action man Hillgarth was an exception.
The British Prime Minister of the time authorised secret funds to be made available to Hillgarth for clandestine undercover operations.
Churchill insisted that Hillgarth, who worked on a major intelligence operation named Goldeneye with Fleming, only had contact with him to protect the identity of the naval officer's sources. “The ostensible reason for this was security. Hillgarth's sources were to be particularly sacrosanct. But the condition also helped to feed the gallant officer's illusions of grandeur,” Philby's work stated. “As a pseudonym for correspondence with the Chief, he chose Armada,” Philby wrote. He goes on to say that Armada was given extremely large sums of money to buy details of leading German Military Intelligence officers in Spain.
Hillgarth, who saved the lives of hundreds of Jews and refugees smuggling them out of Spain, obtained this information from his top-secret contacts, believed to be high-ranking officials in the Direccion General de Seguridad. But Philby claimed he already had the information in his possession.