The New York Times says of him:
Once described by the BBC as “a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene,” Mr. Leigh Fermor was as renowned for his feats of derring-do as for his opulent prose.Latterly Leigh Fermor was best known as a travel writer, particularly for the two volumes - A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water - describing his journey as an 18-year-old across a Europe on the verge of war. The good news is that he did complete the final part of the trilogy and it will be published.
After joining the Irish Guards during World War II, he was judged to be promising officer material for the Special Operations Executive, the unit created by Winston Churchill to wage war by unconventional means. Mr. Leigh Fermor’s superiors deemed his fluency in modern Greek useful in leading resistance to German occupation in the Aegean.
For 18 months he lived disguised as a shepherd in Crete, emerging from the mountains with a team that in 1944 kidnapped Gen. Heinrich Kreipe, the island’s German commander. The operation provoked brutal reprisals toward the local population. It earned Mr. Leigh Fermor the Distinguished Service Order and later became the basis for the 1957 English film “Ill Met by Moonlight,” directed by Michael Powell and starring Dirk Bogarde.
One trivial fact that will not make the obituaries is that there is a suburb of Leicester named after Leigh Fermor's father-in-law. Eyres Monsell is named after Bolton Eyres-Monsell, from whom the land upon which it is built was compulsorily purchased. His daughter Joan married Patrick Leigh Fermor.