Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, CBE, MA, OD, otherwise known as Patrick Leigh Fermor, was an English military officer, professor, writer and polyglot whose extensive services to his country gave him a knighthood and the title of Baron Fermor. He fought against the Axis and fought in several battles and earned the Victoria Cross. In his book, “The Great War”, Fermor wrote that he was a true survivor, and that he had not lived to enjoy his achievements, though he was proud to have made an important contribution to the war effort.
The book begins with the story of the war. Fermor was very much in command of a company of the Royal Artillery when the war broke out. He was the author of several novels and short stories about his experiences, including one called “The Lost Son”. He fought bravely against the Germans in Flanders and received numerous awards and decorations for bravery, particularly by the King and Queen.
Throughout his life, Fermor wrote on a wide range of subjects. He was a professor at a large University in England. This is the same university that once housed Winston Churchill. He also wrote a number of articles about the war, some of which are still considered seminal.
He was a prolific writer and produced dozens of books and hundreds of articles. His life was not always cheery. He suffered from depression for years and had trouble with alcohol, taking a lot of pain killers and being addicted to cocaine, although he eventually recovered from the addiction.
Fermor also wrote biographies on many historical figures. Some of them include Sir William Wallace, Richard the third, and William Wallace's son, Prince Rupert. He wrote about his experiences in the war in a number of popular textbooks, including one that was published posthumously.
One of the interesting things about Sir Patrick was that he never gave up on a project. He did not quit writing after a major battle or a major disaster. In fact, he continued writing throughout the war, even as many of his friends were killed, as well as after he himself was. He was a great chronicler, and chronicler was an important part of his job, but it must be said that he also wrote extensively to pass on his personal experiences to the next generation.
Fermor was born in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. From there, he went on to become an officer in the British Army, but in 1940 he served as a senior engineer, first in Burma and then India.
In the early part of the war, Fermor was also involved in the Indian campaign, being responsible for building a bridge over the Ravi River in India. He did a good deal of work with the Allied Forces, as he saw much action in Burma, in the Middle East and in Egypt. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Cross of Merit.
Fermor was killed during an attack in the Middle East. He was shot through the shoulder by an RPG-7, which is a Soviet weapon, and died in the hospital. His death was announced on the day he was expected to be laid to rest, and his remains were returned to England by the army.
During the war, the British Army took responsibility for the printing of all copies of Fermor's books and other materials. When his life was done, the material was then distributed to a very limited audience. It is estimated that he had around two thousand copies of his books and that his books were written about thirty different topics. The majority of his writings were written about the war, as well as about his experiences while in the British Army.
When he was laid to rest, Patrick Leigh Fermor was given a state funeral. There were numerous books given at his burial; however, the remains of a few other books were scattered throughout his casket. His headstone is in Stonechurch Crematorium, Stonechurch, Wiltshire.
His remains are interred with military honours in Westminster Abbey. His grave is marked in the cemetery of Westminster Cathedral. A statue of a soldier and eagle was put on it.