John Pendlebury and the Battle of Crete – Paddy’s speech

The following is the text of a speech given by Patrick Leigh Fermor at Knossos, Crete, on 21 May as part of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Crete. by Patrick Leigh Fermor First published in The Spectator 20 October 2001 John Pendlebury is an almost mythical figure now, and, in […]

John Pendlebury details from Winchester College War Cloister memorial site

Pendlebury’s biography taken from the Winchester College War Cloister memorial website to mark the 76th anniversary of his death He was the only son of Herbert Stringfellow Pendlebury FRCS, a consulting surgeon at St. George’s Hospital and then of the Royal Waterloo Hospital in London. John Pendlebury’s mother was Lilian Dorothea, the daughter of Sir […]

The magnetic John Pendlebury

Archaeology’s first modern hero was dazzling in life and heroically defiant in death. Paddy wrote the foreward to the 2007 book – The Rash Adventurer: A Life of John Pendlebury by Imogen Grundon. J. D. S. Pendlebury, excavator of Amarna, Curator at Knossos, he of the glass eye and the swordstick, who died defending Crete […]

Perkins and Pendlebury in Crete, and a hunt for Xan Fielding’s grave

It’s holiday time and some of your fellow readers have been setting off in the footsteps fairly early this year. We had the excellent report from Paddy’s Italian Fans; the report from Kardamyli by our on the spot reporter John Chapman, and now a postcard from Julian Aburrow who visited Crete with his wife back […]

Obituary: John Smith-Hughes who served in Crete with SOE

Young officer who served in Crete and then joined SOE working with many of Paddy’s colleagues. It is almost certain Paddy and Smith-Hughes met but there is no mention in this obituary. by Antony Beevor First published in The Independent Thursday, 17 March 1994 John Smith-Hughes, soldier and barrister: born 27 November 1918; OBE 1945; […]

Your responses – out of print travel and nature books

Dear Readers, I hope that you are well. It is a colder day here in Winchester, with wintry showers, sleet and rain, suddenly interspersed with dazzlingly low and bright sunshine. Despite the virus, there’s a lot of activity as people in this little city prepare for Christmas. I shall be putting up the tree tomorrow. […]

Patrick Leigh Fermor addresses the Special Forces Club on its 40th anniversary

My thanks to Gaz Wild who discovered this gem in the PLF archive of the National Library of Scotland last year. There are two versions, one a pdf of Paddy’s original with many handwritten corrections, and a tidied up draft made after his death. It would have been written in 1985 for the 40th Anniversary […]

‘The Ariadne Objective:’ Spooks, Germans and the battle for Crete

A review of Wes Davis’ recently published book by Alexander Clapp. First published in Ekathimerini.com 8 March 2014 On May 27, 1941, days after the first airborne invasion in history, the German army hoisted a Nazi flag atop an abandoned mosque in Hania, western Crete. The gesture was poignant. Crete – which had overthrown three […]

Rory Cooper at Souda Bay and Chania

The pictures below were sent in by Rory Cooper who is a regular correspondent to the blog. Hello Tom, Am in Crete at the moment and have just come back from a visit to the CWGC in Souda Bay where John Pendlebury is buried. Here are a couple of photos as well as one of […]

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s 1998 interview with Amalia Negreponte

I was alerted to this interview by Mark Granelli. As ever we have to be cautious about things that may have got lost in translation but I was a little suspicious about this interview as Paddy appears to go further out on a limb than recorded elsewhere. You will understand what I mean when you […]

Crete, Greece: Ghostly soldiers on the Battle of Crete anniversary

It was sunny but cold, last month in Crete – what the locals call “ilios me dontia”, sun with teeth. I sat on the beach at Sfakia on the south coast of the island. Around me a toddler played among the stones while taverna owners were applying final licks of paint in preparation for the […]

Life by the scenic route: Max Hastings reviews ‘Words of Mercury’

First publushed in the Daily Telegraph 12 Oct 2003 Paddy Leigh Fermor has lived one of the great picaresque lives of the 20th century. He left a minor public school under heavy clouds with no money and a penchant for wandering. From 1934, for five years, he sustained a lotus existence in eastern Europe and […]

Bibliography

This is intended to be a complete bibliography of Paddy’s books with additional entries for his friends and associates, particularly those who served in the SOE. Paddy’s Books The Traveller’s Tree (1950) The Violins of Saint-Jacques (1953) A Time to Keep Silence (1957) Mani – Travels in the Southern Peloponnese (1958) Roumeli (1966) A Time […]