Grieving Widow Finds Husband's Old Papers, Discovers He Lied to Her for 64 Years and Led Double Life as a Secret Agent

Ayesha Muhammad
Apr 21, 2022
04:20 A.M.
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An astonishing secret, mind-boggling details, and nagging questions that could never be answered — a widow's life was turned topsy-turvy when she found her husband's old documents. Was she truly prepared to handle the truth?


In an unimaginable turn of events, a woman, who thought she knew everything about her life partner, was baffled when an unexpected discovery altered her life completely.

For years, she was sure she knew the man she called her husband. But years later, she was left doubting everything and wondering why it took so long for her to figure things out.

[Main] Glyndwr and Audrey Phillips with their daughter; [Inset] Audrey Phillips. | Source:



Audrey and Glyndwr Phillips were happily married and loved each other immensely. The couple from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, South West England, lead a blissful married life. Glyndwr was a civil engineer who enjoyed playing for his local football team and led a relatively normal and fulfilling life as a family man. 

The Phillipses had two children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandkids. Their life was picture-perfect and filled with endless joyous moments until a tragedy struck. Glyndwr died from Parkinson's in January 2015 at the age of 83. 

Audrey was married to Glyndwr for 64 years, and her husband's demise left her utterly devastated. She missed her soulmate and continued reeling from the heart-rending pain and loss. Taking a walk down memory lane came naturally to the widow. 


An old photo of Glyndwr Phillips. | Source:


The Trowbridge woman recalled the times when her husband was away for prolonged periods, but she never paid much attention to it then. Audrey explained:


"I never noticed any time that he was away for a long period, as he used to work away from home quite a lot."

However, the grieving widow had no idea that her deceased husband had led a double life — a top-secret that he took to his grave. In 2017, Audrey stumbled upon something that astonished her and revealed her deceased partner's clandestine life. 

An old picture of Audrey and Glyndwr Phillips. | Source:



While clearing her husband's paperwork, the then-85-year-old woman found documents corresponding to his double life throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s — after they married. It turned out Glyndwr was more than a civil engineer and a family man.

In his story, Glyndwr stated how "the Captain" recruited him as one of the 20 youngsters from around the country.

The documents indicated he became a "spy" when he was pulled out of school in 1944 because of his photographic memory. Then, he started working for Operation XX.

An old photo of Audrey Phillips. | Source:



The operation was an MI5 counter-espionage project which saw Nazi agents in Britain used by the British to broadcast misinformation back to their controllers in Germany.

Glyndwr was recruited by a British Intelligence Force member only known as "the Captain." As a kid, he was trained to crawl through concrete pipes, "fifteen feet by eighteen inches," into prisons to talk to German POWs and then crawl back out. 

Audrey Phillips and Glyndwr Phillips. | Source:



"The Captain" had sought the permission of Glyndwr's dad, the only other person who knew about his secret job. He was also sent on a top-secret mission to a place in Cornwall — something that was incredibly astounding for Audrey. She exclaimed:

"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 continued to feel startled after learning appalling details about her deceased husband's secret life. She learned that even after the war, Glyndwr's secret mission was not over, and "the Captain" continued to appear throughout his adult life — even after his marriage.


Audrey Phillips. | Source:


The retired Home Economics teacher went on to publish her husband's astonishing life story in a book titled "Operation XX And Me: Did I Have A Choice?" She expressed:


"I was completely oblivious. I have so many questions now that will probably never get answered. Why did I not know?"

Audrey recollected that her husband always kept the papers in a drawer and occasionally took them out to update his writing, but he never invited her to read them. In his story, Glyndwr stated how "the Captain" recruited him as one of the 20 youngsters from around the country. 

Audrey and Glyndwr Phillips pictured with their two children. | Source:



According to the story, Glyndwr was small for his age and loved horses. He was even made to attend the gym two afternoons a week, where he learned self-defense to prepare him for carrying out tasks assigned by the Intelligence Force. 

"The Captain's" three vivid appearances were during Glyndwr's adulthood. Each time, he came with another mission, and each time, Glyndwr recounted asking him, "Do I have a choice?" 

On one occasion, he was only 18 or 19 years old when he was paid £20 ($25) by the Captain for helping to capture two spies — the equivalent of two weeks' wages then. Audrey wondered if her husband had any other jobs that paid him.


Audrey Phillips. | Source:


Audrey recollected one occasion when officers showed up at their place, and Glyndwr shouted at them and pushed her into another room. The older woman described that her "stomach churned a bit" when she deciphered the context of her husband's odd behavior that night. 


Also, when Glyndwr wrote about another job in Cornwall, he admitted asking "the Captain," "What do I tell the wife?" He mentioned in his story: 

"I look back now and think about what sort of life she must have had and how she put up with me."


Audrey agreed that although her husband wasn't a private man, he compartmentalized things. What is your takeaway from this eye-opening story? Have you ever experienced an instance where a person extremely close to you ended up being a complete stranger?

Life is full of endless surprises, and the Phillipses story is a resounding reminder that sometimes, fate might ambush us with staggering details and soul-stirring secrets that we might never have thought possible.