Meyer Ilse and Ernst
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Ilse and Ernst Meyer
llse Meyer, born 1907, was part of a wide and extended Jewish Communist family which was forced to leave
Ilse and her then husband Ernst, an accomplished composer, lived in Hampstead. Ernst became a close and life-long friend of Alan Bush in these years (see separate entry). But, with no permit to stay, or ability to work, both Ilse and her husband had to reapply to remain in the country every six months, and there was always the fear they would be expelled. Ilse was evacuated to Cambridge with her daughter Eva Simmons during the war, later returning to the borough to work as a translator and English and German teacher until she retired in her seventies.
Ernst Hermann Meyer had received his first piano lessons at the age of six, and started composing at the age of eleven, eventually obtaining a musicology PhD. In the
The couple amicably parted when Ernst returned to
Ilse became the partner of trade union official John Carter, who died suddenly in the 1970s when he was in his Sixties.
A regular contributor to the Morning Star, Ilse was an avid supporter of the Communist Party, the Ethical Society and the Humanist Association. She died aged 101