Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor DSO OBE 11 February 1915 – 10 June 2011
I have just been reading, with great sadness, some of the many
obituaries to Patrick ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor, perhaps my all time hero.
Indeed this blog takes it name from the title of my favourite of his
books: Between the Woods and the Water. Despite my great esteem for the
man few of my peers or contemporaries seem ever to have heard of him.
Having been expelled from public school and aged 18 Paddy decided to
walk across Europe from The Hook of Holland through a number of
countries along the Rhine and the Danube and over mountain ranges to
Constantinople in Turkey. During WWII as a SOE officer he lead the
mission which successfully pulled off the only successful kidnapping of a
German general by ailed forces during the war and was subsequently was
played by Dirk Bogarde in a Hollywood film about the event. Later in
life he started his career as a writer documenting his many travels and
adventures, he has been called Britains greatest travel writer by many
critics and his books are writen in the most wonderful form of English I
have ever come across, a real joy to read.
I’ll raise a glass to him tonight.