Source: Twitter/TheSun
Source: Twitter/TheSun

Here's How an 85-Year-Old Widow Discovered Her Husband of 64 Years Was a Spy and Led a Double Life

Odette Odendaal
May 24, 2019
10:38 P.M.

85-year-old Audrey Phillips knew her husband as a family man. She never knew about his double life as an MI5 agent until after his death when she discovered memoirs detailing his earlier years.


From Trowbridge, Wilts, Audrey and her husband Glyn shared 64 years of marriage, during which they had two children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Silhouette of a man in a hat and coat. | Source: Shutterstock.

Silhouette of a man in a hat and coat. | Source: Shutterstock.

Throughout that time until his death from Parkinson in January 2015, Audrey had no idea that Glyn worked as a British Intelligence officer since he got recruited at age 13.

“I was completely oblivious,” Audrey said, who published his life story in a book called “Operation XX and Me” early in May 2019.

She found documents that detailed his work as a secret agent during the 40s, 50s, and 60s when she cleared his paperwork after his death and was astonished that it carried on well into his adult life after they married.

Vintage documents. | Source: Shutterstock.

Vintage documents. | Source: Shutterstock.

The documents showed that Glyn got recruited by a nameless British Intelligence captain in 1944 as one of 20 young boys for their slight stature, photographic memory, and love for horses.

At the young age of 13, Glyn had to attend the gym two afternoons a week where he learned self-defense and received training related to his missions.

He got trained to crawl through a concrete pipe, “fifteen feet by eighteen inches” to gain access into prisons where he spoke with German POW’s and then crawled back out.

"He wrote in his story that one of his missions was in a place called Portwrinkle in Cornwall. I couldn't believe it when I read that. I didn't even know where Portwrinkle was. I had to look it up," Audrey told The Sun.

Blank page with copy space, pen, portable radio, binoculars and photo camera on a black spy agent table background. | Source: Shutterstock.

Blank page with copy space, pen, portable radio, binoculars and photo camera on a black spy agent table background. | Source: Shutterstock.

The elusive captain appeared three more times during Glen’s adult life, and with every mission, Glyn asked the question - “Do I have a choice?”

"I never noticed any time that he was away for a long period, as he used to work away from home quite a lot,” said the retired home economics teacher. "I have so many questions now that will probably never get answered. Why did I not know?"

Glyn’s final mission came while he worked at a dog training center in Upavon, Wiltshire when the captain approached him at work.

His mission followed only days later in Cornwall, where he had to meet an incoming boat due to pick up a “load of arms.”

A person spying through a window. | Source: Shutterstock.

A person spying through a window. | Source: Shutterstock.

“When loaded, it will be intercepted by two gunboats. The problem is, one of our men is on board, and we have to get him off before the boat is boarded,” the captain said, who by then had advanced to a commander.

He got tasked with shining a spotlight on the righthand side of the gunboat to allow a dinghy to glide alongside it. By doing so, it would let their man get off the boat and to safety in the dinghy before it got intercepted.

While Glyn documented the event as a “pleasant” drive to Cornwall, where the Commander propped a gun into his hand and wished him well, Audrey recalled his cover, “All that he told me about that was that the job was good, the weather was good, and the canteen was good.”

A Top secret file. | Source: Shutterstock.

A Top secret file. | Source: Shutterstock.

After everything Audrey found out, she has only one wish as she said, "I wish I could ask him, 'Why didn't I know?’”

In a similar story late last year, the husband of disillusioned Mary Turner Thomson from Scotland made headlines.

While Glyn kept his spy status from Audrey, Mary’s husband William Allen Jordan claimed to be a spy for the CIA.

But soon it came out that his excuse for being away from home was not due to secret spy missions. Somehow William duped six other women into marriage and fathered 13 children.


For his deceitful efforts, William got prosecuted for various offenses which included bigamy, fraud, and illegally possessing a stun gun. He got sentenced for five years, of which he served two and a half.

While some may wonder how a spouse can keep such secrets, people find a way. Even celebrities who have eyes on them everywhere they go manage to keep things secret.

One of those celebrities surprisingly enough is Stevie Wonder, who reportedly had a secret relationship for years.

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