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The Legend that was Patrick Leigh Fermor

Rather macarbrely one of the many obitiuaries, published around the world upon his death at 96 in 2011, is, perhaps, the best outline of the man and some of his exploits.

The UK newspaper, 'The Telegraph' offers up one such example.

To some he was just a dashing hero and to some others he was both a dashing hero and a consumate sponger.

His literary output was small considering the number of years it took to write his books. Paddy would cross a continent for a good party, or social and literary discussion lubricated by like minded people and thelocal liquid specialities! These diversions often slowed the writing! However, what was finally produced is supurb. He is considered, by many, to be the best travelouge writer of the 20th century.

Brent, from Passport Travel, is a member of the Patrick Leigh Fermor Society and has read many of his books and books writen about him - biography released last year. In addition, Brent participated in a rather exclusive small group tour (2016) organised by the PLF society to explore apsects of Paddys life and history in Greece.

Written by Billy Moss about the kidnap, which became the 1958 movie (same name). The book is still available as is the movie.

Brent recently returned from an outback trip across the Simpson Desert and whilst driving back to Melbourne via South Australia popped into a 2nd hand shop (as he is most often prone to do) and added a 1st edition hardback copy of Paddys book, The Mani (very hard to find), to his home collection - out with paper back in with the hard back!

This 'Rebetika Tour' is not designed as a dedicated PLF fan tour, but weaves aspects of his life into the overall tour fabric. Paddy had a prolific memory and could sing Greek and Cretan folks songs and recite poems from memory. He embraced all Greek music. Paddy lived the majority of his long latter life in his beloved Greece. His name still echos around the hills of Crete from the mouths of villages discribing both his and Billy Moss's exploits during WW2.

There is a saying on Crete: The islands poulation is 400,000 and 400,000 locals claim that someone in their family was associated with the General Kreipe kidnap - such is the legend of these two men!

19 years old -into year 2 of gap year walk from London to Istanbul - somewhere in the Balkans.
'Relationshiped' up with bohemian Romanian princess 10 years his senior.

 

Survived both the battles of Greece and Crete only to be parachuted back into Crete. Worked as a spy (SOE) living (in caves) as a Cretan shepherd for 18 months.
The General Kreipe kidnap team. Centre left is Paddy and centre right is Billy Moss - both still in their impromptu German uniforms! To the left of Paddy is Manoli Paterakis and to the right of Billy is Georgios Tyrakis, these being the other prime memebrs of the team. There are direct relatives of both these men living in Melbourne - we are, after all, the 3rd largest Greek city!  Over memebrs of the group were; Ilias Athanasakis, Efstratios Saviolakis "Saviolis", Dimitrios Tzatzadakis "Tzatzas", Nikolaos Komis and Antonios Zoidakis
Above: He then built an incredible house, with his partner Joan (also his financiar) and created rooms that the worlds literary, film and artisc community, labled, 'One of THE rooms to be within'.
Right: Then the people of Crete built a memorial to the Kidnap and the people involved, Paddy, Billy and his Cretan comrads. Brent at the road intersection where the General was taken. An event which has gone down in Cretan folklore history.

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