The three volumes of Bob Stewart's MI5 file open in September 1920 with a report from SIS that identified him as a Communist and ‘a secret agent for England on behalf of the Third International’. Born in February 1877 in Eassie, in Angus, Stewart was trained as a ship's carpenter, but never went to sea to practise his trade. Instead he took up politics, became a member of the Dundee Town Council and achieved some considerable notoriety locally until he moved to London in 1929. Even then he did not sever all his connections with Dundee, and stood for the city as the Communist Party candidate in the June 1929 general election, when he polled 6,160 votes, and again in 1931 when his vote increased to 10,261, although he was in September that year sentenced to thirty days’ imprisonment for obstructing the local police.