Obits in Brief: Captain Les Fernandez

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Captain Les Fernandez, who died on 16 July aged 91, was a war hero who parachuted behind enemy lines in 1944 and who worked for the Special Operations Executive training others to do the same – including Violette Szabo, whose story was immortalised in the film Carve Her Name With Pride.

Born in Bristol in 1918, Leslie Fernandez was serving at the Commando Training Centre in Iceland in 1941 when he was assigned as an instructor to the SOE, where his specialities were physical training and close combat skills. In 1944, he joined Special Forces and worked with the Partisans along the Franco-Italian border.

After the War, Fernandez joined the Foreign Service and did intelligence work in Africa and the Middle East. In 1958 he acted as military advisor to Carve Her Name With Pride, which starred Virginia McKenna as Szabo.