A FILM star’s hidden ‘bond’ with Greenock has been discovered – through his war hero ancestors who lived here.

Night Manager actor Tom Hiddleston, who is tipped to take over as the next

James Bond, may have been born in London but his roots lie in Inverclyde, where he had relatives until recently.

Hiddleston played the role of cavalry officer Captain Nicholls in the World War

One film, War Horse, which was inspired by the real-life heroics of his grandfather, Alexander, of Prospecthill Street, and namesake great uncle, Tom, who was also from Greenock.

Alexander served in the Royal Artillery and worked as a plater in the shipyards before moving to Sunderland.

And the actor was named after Tom, who was also in the Royal Artillery and a shipyard plater, and whose name is engraved in the war memorial at Broomhill.

Tom fought with the 51st Highland Division at the Battle of the Somme, where he survived a gunshot wound in August 1916, was taken to a British field hospital but died two weeks later of a skin infection. 

McLean Museum social history curator, Vincent Gillen, uncovered the link between the actor and Greenock.

He explained: “A member of the Hiddleston family brought in a picture of Tom 10 years ago when the museum was researching the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, and we linked it with his death notice in the Greenock Telegraph.

“It was only later that Tom Hiddleston became a famous actor and, looking at the pictures of the two of them, we made the connection. I sent a tweet to the actor to tell him about it, but I haven’t received a reply yet.”

Hiddleston is the son of James Hiddleston, a physical chemist from Greenock, and Diana Hiddleston, an arts administrator from Suffolk.

It is believed that Hiddleston’s only paternal cousin, John Allan, left Madeira Street around three years ago to live in Devon and that his father, John, another great-uncle of the actor, ran a post office in Gourock.

Hiddleston is said to feel Scottish and supports Scotland in sporting competitions.

While filming War Horse, he is believed to have told fellow actor Peter Mullan, who is also Scottish and a film-maker, that he would love to play a Scot.

Recalling childhood visits to Scotland, he is said to have described how Alexander took him to a pub where they watched football and played darts.

He visited his grandfather on his 90th birthday in 2002, just after appearing in The Gathering Storm TV film, when Alexander remarked: “Ach, I never thought I would have a grandson on the telly!”