Graham Layton   1917-1999


"This country has been good to me. This is where I made my money so why not give something back."

Graham Layton’s story is a remarkable one. The late philanthropist, industrialist and decorated officer wanted to give something back to the people who had become his countrymen. In partnership with his dear friend Zaka Rahmatulla, they founded the Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT) to provide high quality, free eye care for the poor in Pakistan. By restoring basic human dignity in this way, they gave people the opportunity to live productive, independent lives. In the same year Graham set up the Graham Layton Trust (GLT) in the UK, to help raise awareness and funds for LRBT.


Our film commemorates the contribution of the British Indian Army to the Burma Campaign in World War II

Humble beginnings

Graham and Zaka contributed Rs 500,000 each to set up the first mobile eye unit in Karachi and quickly realised the need was far greater than they had anticipated. Within the year, plans for a permanent, fully equipped hospital were formulated. Zaka passed away a year later and it fell to Graham to take the project forward. Funds raised in the UK through GLT provided some of the financial backing for the first purpose-built hospital in Tando Bago in Karachi. 

Throughout the development and rapid expansion of the LRBT hospital network and right up to the last week of his life, Graham Layton continued as the dynamic Chief Executive despite a debilitating stroke in 1989. Graham Layton always remained a hands-on manager with an outstanding ability to motivate and generate loyalty in those around him.

Graham Layton was honoured with the Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam (Star of Pakistan) in 1990 for his tireless work for the underprivileged in Pakistan; he was advanced a CBE in the UK’s 1994 New Year’s Honours. Graham Layton died in 1999 leaving the bulk of his estate to further the work of his remarkable charities.


Patron, Trustee and Chief Executive's insight into the charity's origin