Egerton Sykes was born in London in 1894. I cannot be more specific than that. As a boy, he enjoyed reading Jules Verne, and those stories, particularly “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” led him to an interest in Atlantis. He started collecting Atlantean literature as a teenager. Friends knew Sykes as “Bill.”
In World War I, he served as a lieutenant in France; he was still a very young man. Shell shock sent him to the hospital. Sykes had some training in engineering, and spoke a number of languages, mostly German, French, and Polish; he went into journalism and diplomacy. From 1930 to 1942, he was stationed in Poland as a foreign correspondent for various newspapers. He continued to grow his collection of Atlantis books, and also helped to get a number of people out of the country as the Nazis became increasingly bellicose. In the 1939 siege of Warsaw, he lost his first Atlantean collection. Reportedly, he lost a son during World War II.