Cold War spy, Olympic skier and family hero

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A FORMER MI6 Cold War spy and Olympic skier whose obituary has appeared in all the national newspapers may be better remembered in Granborough for his alarming habit of practising his skiing on the local roads.

Peter Lunn OBE, who died on November 30 at the age of 97, lived in Granborough for many years.

One of the longest-serving members of MI6, retiring at the age of 72, he was also a passionate skier, who captained the British ski team at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Bavaria.

But in addition to his international exploits, Mr Lunn’s daughter Liz Mostyn remembered him as “a gentle man and a marvellous father to his six children”.

Mr Lunn was also a very devout Catholic and had been a member of Winslow’s Catholic church.

Mrs Mostyn said: “There were four things he minded in life – his work, skiing, God and his family. Anything else he didn’t mind about at all.”

And she recalled his habit of keeping fit for skiing in his old age by ‘skiing’ on the roads round Granborough using a pair of cross-country skis with wheels on.

Born in 1914, Mr Lunn joined the Secret Intelligence Service in 1941.

After the Second World War, he became head of the MI6 station in Vienna, where he masterminded a plan to excavate a series of tunnels under the city in order to tap into underground telephone cables and eavesdrop on conversations between the Soviet headquarters in the Imperial Hotel and the Russian military airfield at Schwechat.

The highly successful operation, called Operation Conflict, led to a great deal of information being gathered between 1948 and 1951.

In 1954 Mr Lunn was jointly responsible for the creation of a similar tunnel under Berlin into East Germany, an exploit described by David Stafford in his book Spies Beneath Berlin.

Mr Lunn began skiing at the age of two and continued to ski regularly until last year.

On his 90th birthday, he waterskied at Denham Waterski Club.

In a sermon read at Mr Lunn’s funeral in Sussex last week, his daughter-in-law Rosemary Lunn said: “Peter was a hero to all the members of his family. He not only looked like a patriarch, with his venerable white beard, he behaved like one too, with his wisdom, his lifetime of so many varied experiences, and such a wealth of stories; and he commanded the respect, as well as affection, of us all.”