Hiding in a cave

I got back from Crete yesterday where I'd been checking out the hotels for our proposed tour in April/May 2017. I was in the company of both Costas Mamalakis, curator at the Historical Museum in Heraklion, and Chris White, the historian who has been involved with editing and publishing Patrick Leigh Fermor's Abducting a General. On our last day I asked if we could devote the time to finding a cave where we know a number of SOE agents hid as we have photographs which include the agents (and authors) Patrick Leigh Fermor, and Xan Fielding, as well as the Cretan resistance fighter George Psychoundakis (and author of The Cretan Runner) together with a number of others, including my father, Arthur Reade. Chris White had assembled a number of photographs and said he believed they had all been taken at the same location (though each writer had given the location a different name!). After various conversations with locals we identified an area to explore only to bump into a shepherd, Dimitri, who said he'd take us straight there as the cave was on his land. We'd scrambled down a steep slope of jagged limestone to reach the cave and before long had been joined by another shepherd. We took some photographs of ourselves posing as they had posed 73 years ago, and then accepted the kind offers of hospitality that so often flow from such encounters on this most hospitable of islands. At the second house a man of 84 leaned across the table and said to me: "Was your father a lawyer in Cyprus?". I was astonished and gulped 'yes'. The old man recalled how as a 10 year old he had ferried food to the cave where the agents were hiding, and he remembered how after the war my father had written from his new life in Cyprus. A remarkable finale to my visit.

 Dimitri and Rufus Reade in October 2016 at the 'Lice cave', Crete

Dimitri and Rufus Reade in October 2016 at the 'Lice cave', Crete

 Patrick Leigh Fermor and Alec Tarves,  January/February 1943 at the 'Lice cave'.

Patrick Leigh Fermor and Alec Tarves,  January/February 1943 at the 'Lice cave'.