Death: 10th June 2011
Location: St. Peter's Church, Dumbleton, Gloucestershire, England.
Cause of death: Cancer
Photo taken by: PicturePrince
Buy books by Patrick Leigh Fermor
British travel writer, scholar and soldier who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during World War II.
At the age of 18, Leigh Fermor decided to walk the length of Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. He set off in December 1933, shortly after Hitler had come to power in Germany, with a few clothes, several letters of introduction, the Oxford Book of English Verse and a volume of Horace's Odes. He slept in barns and shepherds' huts, but also was invited by landed gentry and aristocracy into the country houses of Central Europe. Two of his later travel books, A Time of Gifts (1977) and Between the Woods and the Water (1986), were about this journey.
During the German occupation of Crete in World War II he was one of a small number of Special Operations Executive (SOE) officers posted to organise the island's resistance to German occupation. Disguised as a shepherd he lived for over two years in the mountains. With Captain Bill Stanley Moss as his second in command, Leigh Fermor led the party that in 1944 abducted the German Commander, General Heinrich Kreipe. Moss featured the events in his book Ill Met By Moonlight(1950) which was later adapted as a film of the same name, directed/produced by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. In the film, Leigh Fermor was portrayed by Dirk Bogarde.
In 1950, Leigh Fermor published his first book, The Traveller's Tree, about his post-war travels in the Caribbean. The book won the Heinemann Foundation Prize for Literature and established his career path: it was quoted extensively in Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming.