Martin Pearce tells the story of his uncle, Sir Maurice Oldfield, the Derbyshire farmer’s son who rose to head of MI6, despite harbouring a secret that could have ended his career before it started. The man who may have served as a model for Le Carré’s George Smiley and Ian Fleming’s M, Oldfield was an accomplished historian, organist and liar; a deeply religious family man, yet a rampant homosexual. Unmasked spy, Kim Philby, described Oldfield as ‘formidable’. He cleaned up MI6 despite the entrenched Oxbridge elite who regarded him as an outsider.
18 July 2017
10.00am - 11.00am