Eric Sykes

BBC History Magazine - - The Special Operations Executive -

1883–1945 Bill NICK­NAME:

Sharp-shoot­ing with pis­tols, EX­PER­TISE: high-stress point shoot­ing (in­stinc­tive shoot­ing with­out sights) and close phys­i­cal com­bat. “And then kick him in NO­TABLE QUOTES: the tes­ti­cles.” Shoot­ing to Live PUB­LI­CA­TIONS: (co-au­thored with Wil­liam Fairbairn) Sykes died of a WHAT HAP­PENED NEXT: heart attack in May 1945. The au­topsy said it was “caused by over­work, anx­i­ety and stand­ing about in snow, rain and mud”. Sykes had pre­vi­ously said that “he didn’t want recog­ni­tion” for his work. All he ever wanted was to pre­serve the lives of as many sabo­teurs as pos­si­ble. An un­named lady, per­haps his lover, de­scribed him as “the kind­est, straight­est man I have ever met”.

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