Patrick Leigh Fermor

The Doundoulakis brothers and their comrades would soon find themselves in close contact with some of the most important British officers of the war, including Thomas Dunbabin and Patrick Leigh Fermor. It was with Fermor that Helias would form an enduring relationship.

Patrick Leigh Fermor was a soldier, scholar, and adventurer who a BBC journalist once described as  "a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene". After having been kicked out of the ancient and prestigious The King’s School, Canterbury, where his last school report noted he possessed “a dangerous mixture of sophistication and recklessness,"set out to walk the length of Europe. He was in Romania in 1939 when Britain declared war on Germany and immediately returned home to enlist.

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Photograph of Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Fermor spent most of the Second World War as an SOE agent on Crete, where he was disguised as a shepherd and used the aliases “Michalis” and “Filedem.”

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Captain Patrick Leigh Fermor with his bodyguards on Crete. Left to right: Nikos Souris (from Alexandria), Patrick Leigh Fermor, and Yannis Tsangarakis.

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Yannis Tsangarakis (left) and Patrick Leigh Fermor (right).

Helias and Fermor would have a lifelong correspondence and Helias would write a book about their relationship.