It’s been a while … can you help us with information about Sydney Greaves SBS

Hello dear readers. It’s been a while since we posted. And what times we live in! The news here in the UK as elsewhere is basically all gloom, and the weather is just awful. With the prospect of us all having to put in some “social distancing” (and many of you in Italy or Spain already locked down), or even worse, self-isolation, this year is not working out so great. 

It is at times like this that we have to be positive and try to lift our spirits. Some of you may have seen the delightful videos of Italians singing from their balconies to maintain contact with each other. Go for it Italy and well done. Even the dogs are joining in.

As I sit here looking at the rain and low cloud over the South Downs, I am enjoying some peaceful music and also looking at the flowers that I buy myself each week. If you are feeling a little worried and fed up I encourage you to buy yourself flowers, or buy them for someone you know. It will cheer them up.

I have also received a message from Rachel Vowles who is seeking information about her grandfather, Sydney Greaves who was SBS and died on active service in WW2. Rachel and her mother would like to know more about what activities he got up to and ‘how he lived’. If you can help, please message me (see about and contact) and I shall pass on the information to Rachel. You can also post it directly on the Patrick Leigh Fermor Facebook page where I shall add a similar request.

Given that we are all likely to have more time on our hands I shall step up posting on here as there’s quite a lot of back material as ever. If you do find yourself in isolation and don’t just want to watch endless Netflix box-sets, why not have a good trawl through the blog? Do a search or press on one of the tags or categories (scroll down they are on the right hand margin). If you are also interested in reading more of Paddy’s books I have a number of first editions that I need to clear from my bookshelves. Get in touch. I shall post up some information and pictures in due course.

And if you want to keep up with the UK’s Coronavirus staged response, the team from Yes Minister have a simplified version for you …

8 thoughts on “It’s been a while … can you help us with information about Sydney Greaves SBS

  1. Paul Kelly

    This was a cheering post. Sad to hear that pubs may be closing down due to isolating!!! Even the Blitz didn’t manage that!!! A stiff upper lip and stoicism will get us through. Time to re-read my PLF books. Best wishes everyone.

  2. rlindsaybrown

    “And what times we live in.”

    Just a comment on that phrase and the general sentiment of your post. Nothing on the specific query I’m afraid.

    When I came across your remark, it immediately called to mind the famous Cicero quote, O Tempora, O Mores and almost as instantaneously the rather intellectually debunking Flanders and Swann dialogue in At the Drop of Another Hat: “O Tempora O Mores- O Times O Daily Mirror.”Not that we live in particularly humorous times at the moment, but I was struck by the perspective the original quote gives in that all generations and cultures suffer difficult times such as this and hopefully come through them at the end and that in that process, humour is a great and universal balm. I would commend Flanders & Swann to those who do not know of them (if not of a certain age and origin) as one antidote to what we are all currently experiencing.

      1. rlindsaybrown

        Indeed. have a much treasured autographed copy of The Space Between the Bars. This book is a very moving account of Donald Swann’s world view and philosophy, including his service in the Ambulance Unit. A very different war experience to that of Paddy Fermor, but interestingly echoing an equal encounter and love of Eastern Mediterranean and especially Greek societies.

  3. ian clark

    Sidney greaves mm..all his information is in gavin morimers book….the sbs in makes for heavy reading,,,the book is stunning and highly recommended..i have 2 copies of the sas war diary here…..ill check..but its not got an index,,,,mainly operations reports tho
    my teacher was on op. houndsworth 1944
    nobby clark

  4. antoon van coillie

    To have an idea, read “Aegean Adventures” by Michael Woodbine Parish, an account of another extraordinary Brit in the Med in the Second World War. ISBN 0 86332 788 5

  5. Chris White

    If they become members of the British Library they can ask to see the ‘SAS War Diary’ which may well have his details in. Also held by the Imperial War Museum. A very interesting read. I plan to be looking at it again so if I come across any details I will repost them.


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