Dermot Lysaght was born on 19th January 1935 and died on 21st February 2010.
He joined the 8th KRI Hussars as a national service officer in the Autumn of 1954. He served in ‘B’ Squadron under Major Tim Pearson as a cornet in command of a troop of Centurion tanks until his service ended at the end of 1955.
Stationed at Lüneburg as part of the 7th Armoured Division, the regiment had a good mix of national service and regular officers. Dermot Lysaght enjoyed his time as a successful and popular officer with a natural gift for leadership and the ability to work and play hard.
After leaving, he joined an engineering company and married on 25th November 1961 Tessa Susan – only daughter of Captain Terence Back CBE RN – with whom he had a son Cornelius and a daughter Georgina. The family moved to Gloucestershire to farm and, after a time, took over Ross Books in Ross on Wye which Dermot and Tessa ran together for over 30 years.
His love of books was equalled by his love of horses which had developed during a childhood spent between England and Ireland. His distinctive Irish ‘hunting seat’ became a feature of subalterns’ riding school and over the fences on the Lüneburg airfield during his time with the regiment.
He became a familiar figure at Hereford and at Cheltenham races where his young son Cornelius aged around five shared his father’s enthusiasm leading to his becoming in adult life the voice of racing on BBC radio.
The Lysaght’s are an ancient Irish line being a branch of the O’Briens of Thomond. Originally in Irish, the name was Mac Giolla Iasachta which was thankfully later anglicised to Macgillysacht, Gillysachy, McLysaght, then Lysaght.
Dermot will be remembered for his charm, wit and skill as a raconteur. Given the right company and adequate refreshment, his stories would invariably continue into the early hours. He will be missed by his family including his adored granddaughter Isabella, his friends and also his many customers at Ross Books.