Huelva in Spain has paid tribute to Major William Martin. In fact a street has been named after him. The only problem is that Major William Martin never existed. He was probably dreamed up by former British Consul in Mallorca, Alan Hillgarth and Bond creator Ian Fleming.

Major William Martin was the key piece in a major espionage operation, called Operation Mincemeat, during the Second World War. It was designed to trick the Germans into believing that the allies would be landing in Sardinia rather than Sicily. Two members of British intelligence obtained the body of Glyndwr Michael, a tramp who died from eating rat poison, dressed him as an officer of the Royal Marines and placed personal items on him identifying him as the fictitious Captain (Acting Major) William Martin. Correspondence between two British generals that suggested that the Allies planned to invade Greece and Sardinia, with Sicily as merely the target of a feint, was also placed on the body.

The body was then washed ashore off the Spanish coast with British intelligence hoping that the Spanish would hand-over the documents to the Germans and they did. The body of William Martin was buried in Huelva cemetery. The false Mayor is believed to have helped change the course of the Second World War with the allies landing in Sicily with few casualties than expected.

Earlier this week a small ceremony was held at the graveside at a street named in his honour.