Major-General Sir Fitzroy Hew Royle Maclean of Dunconnel, 1st Baronet, KT CBE lived from 11 March 1911 to 15 June 1996. He was a diplomat, a soldier, an adventurer, a writer and a politician: and, according to some accounts, a partial model for the fictional character of James Bond. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Fitzroy Maclean's ancestral home was at Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull. He was schooled at Eton College before going on to study at King's College, Cambridge, where he read Classics and History. On graduating in 1933, he joined the Diplomatic Service. After a pleasant posting at the British embassy in Paris, Maclean requested something he saw as more challenging, and was posted to Moscow. He stayed there until 1939, witnessing first hand the Stalinist purges, and often evading the NKVD, Stalin's secret police, to meet contacts or visit areas prohibited to foreigners.
Maclean was prevented from joining the army on the outbreak of the Second World War because of his position as a diplomat. He was only able to leave the Foreign Office by standing as an MP in 1941. He immediately joined the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders: and also, almost incidentally, found himself elected as the Conservative MP for Lancaster. Maclean quickly made a name for himself with the newly-formed SAS in North Africa: and further afield when he kidnapped the German Consul in Iraq. In 1943, Winston Churchill chose Maclean to liaison with Tito's Partisans in Yugoslavia. Maclean reached the rank of Brigadier during the war, and was promoted to Major-General in 1947. For his wartime services he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, the Russian Order of Kutuzov, and the Yugoslavian Order of the Partisan Star.
After leaving the army, Maclean took up the life of a Member of the House of Commons. He was briefly appointed as a junior Minister at the War Office from 1954 to 1957, and in the 1959 general election he gave up his Lancaster seat, instead standing for, and winning, the Bute and North Ayrshire Constituency. He was then re-elected at each successive election until his retirement from Parliament in 1974.
In 1946, Maclean married Veronica Nell Fraser-Phipps, the daughter of the 16th Lord Lovat and widow of a naval war hero. Sir Fitzroy was awarded the baronetcy of Maclean of Strachur and Glensluain in 1957; made the 15th Hereditary Keeper and Captain of Dunconnel Castle in 1981; and was made a knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle in 1994. He died in 1996.