A man credited with taking some of the most memorable photographs in photojournalism has died aged 85.

John Sadovy was just 31 years old when he waded into a vengeful rebellion, dodging bullets and staring death in the face to snap award-winning photographs.

His moving shots captured the Hungarian uprising, which began as a student movement in cafes, but escalated into a revolution with shootings at point-blank range and freedom fighter attacks.

Mr Sadovy found himself in the thick of the action, after becoming one of only a handful of photographers to infiltrate the revolution in 1956.

Czechoslovakian by birth, he got past the border guards by disguising himself as an ice cream salesman. The resulting photographs were published internationally, earning him the second ever Robert Capa Gold Medal.

Tim Foote, a journalist who infiltrated Hungary with Mr Sadovy, said: "[He] was a rare spirit. A privilege to know. Though he was low-key, I think he knew that and was proud of it."

Mr Sadovy's most memorable pictures were four frames taken in rapid succession as rebels cut down security forces as they poured out of a communist headquarters building.

He also contributed to Vogue, Time, Life, Paris Match, Picture Post and Illustrated while he freelanced throughout the 1950s - going on to win many awards.

Mr Sadovy always dreamed of being a photographer and, as a teenager, he would order knives, harmonicas and cutlery boxes from Germany to sell for a profit.

It was with this money he bought his first camera and, when he fled his village in 1939 to avoid German labour camps, he went on to join a Polish unit of the British Army, where he was the company photographer.

After moving to London in 1949, Mr Sadovy tried to establish himself as a photographer, but for 15 months was forced to survive on two shillings a day, living off liver sausage and bread.

The turning point came in 1951 when, down to his last two rolls of film, he snapped swans on Chiswick pond. The shots were bought by Picture Post, which asked if £40 would be enough, a huge amount then.

In the 70s, Mr Sadovy set up Mill House Press, a printing company in Villiers Road, Kingston, where he taught himself the entire trade, just as he did the art of taking photographs - which he described as his religion.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, he lived nearby with his family in Kingston Hill, in a house he designed and built with his photojournalism earnings.

In 1983 Mr Sadovy's health deteriorated and he suffered the first of many strokes. He never took another photograph and died on December 21, 2010.

He is survived by his first wife Pamela, their daughters Yvonne and Jane, and his second wife Andree Gabrielle.