Sir Wilfred Thesiger was born in 1910 at the British Legation in Addis Ababa, and spent his early years in Abyssinia. He was educated at Eton and Oxford. In the Second World War, serving under Orde Wingate in Abyssinia, he was awarded a DSO. He later served with the SOE in Syria and the SAS in the Western Desert. Thesiger's journeys won him the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Lawrence of Arabia Medal of the Royal Central Asian Society and the Burton Memorial Medal of the Royal Asiatic Society. His writing won him the Heinemann Award, Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature, and an Honorary D.Litt from the University of Bath. In 1968 Thesiger was made CBE. He is an Honorary Fellow of both the British Academy and Magdalen College, Oxford, and was honoured with a KBE in 1995. For more than twenty years until 1994, he lived mostly with the pastoral Samburu at Maralal in northern Kenya. He died in Surrey, England, in August 2003.