The 30th Greek Festival of Sydney proudly presents and honors Patrick Leigh Fermor, generally known as “Paddy”. On April 4th at the Greek Orthodox Community Club, Anastastia Anastasiades is going to speak about this great Philhellene, who was an author and a soldier, as well.
Born in 1915, he was left behind in London by his family when his mother and his sister moved to India to live with his father. He joined a special school for “difficult children” and later studied in the King’s School of Canterbury. Despite his strong will to study, he was expelled by the school due to his affair with a young girl. But he never stopped reading Greek, Latin, the writings of Shakespeare and History.
When he was 18, he walked from the Netherlands to Istanbul. He wrote two books about this journey (A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water), which ended on January 1st, 1935. Being so close to Greece, he couldn’t escape walking along his country.
He took part in many wars of that time, always on the Greeks’ side. During World War II, he fought strongly against the Germans. Being one of the officers who organised the island’s resistance against the Germans, he disguised himself as a shepherd and lived in the mountains for two years. The natives called him Michalis or Filedem, so that the Germans could not recognise him.
His greatest achievement during the War was that Captain Bill Stanley Mossas and Paddy captured the German General Heinrich Kneipe. This arrest was later filmed with this exact name.
Fermor and his wife lived in Kardamyli (Mani) during their later years. Having written several books about his life in Greece and his journeys, he passed away in 2011.