Patrick Leigh Fermor was of English and Irish descent. After his stormy schooldays, followed by his walk across Europe to Constantinople, he lived and travelled in the Balkans and the Greek archipelago acquiring a deep interest in languages and remote places.
He joined the Irish Guards, became a liaison officer in Albania, fought in Greece and Crete where, during the German occupation, he returned three times (once by parachute). Disguised as a shepherd he lived for over two years in the mountains, organising the resistance, and led the party that captured and evacuated the German Commander, General Kreipe. He was awarded the DSO and OBE, was made Honorary Citizen of Heraklion, and later of Kardamyli and Gytheion.
He lived partly in Greece in the house he designed with his wife Joan in an olive grove in the Mani, and partly in Worcestershire until his death in 2011.