- What’s On
The Levantine Heritage Foundation presents a talk by Ian Lyster
‘My grandfather, Alfred James Lyster (1860-1949) was sent from London to Constantinople in about 1886, to join the Imperial Ottoman Bank, and married there in 1887, and my father - Henry Newbolt Lyster, was born there in 1888. My father also joined the OB - in London-, and was sent in 1915 to repatriate the gold bullion from the Paris branch of the bank before the Germans arrived.
My father stayed in the city and took-up as a commercial agent for various UK firms, but I feel still had a minor espionage role as he (with his new wife and my brother) were expelled from Turkey in 1935. Following the 1945 Armistice, I was living with my mother and brother in Exeter when dad was about to be demobbed, but the RAF were hoping to sell Vampire jets to the Turkish airforce and as they had no Turkish-speaking officers, dad was moved to an RAF unit back to Turkey and my mother and I followed him there in 1947. A great stroke of luck for her to be able to re-unite with her local family.’
IAN LYSTER was born in London and attended the English High School for Boys in Istanbul. He went to a UK boarding school from 1951-55, and returned to Istanbul for the summer holidays each year. His mother was from local Italian stock and the family owned property where they enjoyed pleasant times. He had a career in the UK book-printing industry.