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The English Consul: Chief of British Intelligence in the Aegean

Levantine Heritage Foundation Zoom lecture with guest speakers Tom Rees, Noël Woolrych and George York

April 20, 2022
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Many will have heard of MI5 & MI6 but probably not of MI9, the agency responsible for helping escapes from Axis-held territory. Lieut. Cdr Noël C Rees OBE RNVR, born into a wealthy Levantine family became a high-level agent in MI9 during WWII in the Mediterranean. A Philhellene, with a Greek wife, based in Alexandria, Izmir and Rhodes, he had an intimate knowledge of the Dodecanese Islands. As a British Vice-Consul on the island of Chios and in Izmir he enjoyed Diplomatic Status in a neutral country. This presented great opportunities and challenges in his work for MI9. Pictured above at the liberation of Chios in 1944, he is the third British officer from the right.

Noël Carlisle Rees was born in 1902 in Izmir. He was the son of Thomas Bowen Rees and Zoë Theophanie Werry. He died in England in 1947. Noël Rees loved Greece. He could best be described as living the life of a playboy, sailing around the Aegean in his yachts until war broke out.From then his life changed. A maverick who was often seen as a thorn in the side of the security services, he was responsible for the rescue and repatriation of Allied troops, members of the Greek Royal Family & government. This is the first time his full story, subject of a best-selling book in Greece, has been told in England.


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