Ian David Carser 1968-2021

To be honest not many of us were that shocked to hear at the beginning of November of the death of John Bean (the 1960s leader of the BNP mark II) who was aged 94, and whose obituary will be in the next edition of H&D (#106). However, it came as a massive shock to learn of the death of Ian Carser (aged only 53) at the very end of October.

Ian had had some health issues for a few years, but nobody really knew how bad they were. Only a few weeks before his death I had chatted on the phone with him and he bought a copy of Troy Southgate’s Arnold Leese biography – Truth Dressed As a Lie. After not being seen for a few days, a member of his Orange Lodge, contacted his father, who in turn contacted the Police. They broke into his house at the start of the month, and sadly found him dead inside. Covid may have finished him off in the end, but at the moment that remains unclear.

Ian was a long-standing supporter and subscriber of Heritage and Destiny, who I had known since 2004, when I met him for the first time in Portadown, County Armagh, over the “12th July” weekend. However, he had been active in “the movement” and the Ulster Loyalist cause, since his late teens.

Ian in front of the famous Carrickfergus Castle. Born, Lived and Died in Carrick.

He was a former part-time soldier in the Royal Irish Regiment (Home Service), formerly the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) for many years. And, so he really did put his life on the line for Queen and Country every day of the year.

Politically Ian was both an Ulster Loyalist and staunch British nationalist. He had been a member of both the NF and the BNP, and later in the Northern Ireland based Ulster Awake group.

He was a proud protestant – a Free Presbyterian – and belonged to all three of the main loyal orders: No Kilroot True Blues LOL 1544 was his Orange Lodge; Lily Among The Thorns RBP 236 was his Royal Black Preceptory; and Woodburn Browning was his Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) Campsie Club. He held senior office at both private and district levels in all of the above orders and was also the treasurer of the ABOD Club of Research.

Ian travelled all over the UK on parade with the Loyal Orders, and in 2017 he went over to Germany with the Orange Order to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the castle door in Wittenberg in Germany – an act widely seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, which spread throughout Europe).

Ian outside the offices of the Northern Ireland Football Association, on Windsor Avenue, Belfast.

I attended ABOD parades with Ian in both Markethill – County Armagh – and East Belfast in the late 2000s. He always wanted to attend the ABOD parade in Southport (Lancashire) held every June, but sadly never got round to it.

However, Ian did travel over to Preston in Lancashire, on three occasions for H&D‘s annual John Tyndall Memorial Meeting, which he always enjoyed, making a weekend of it, taking in the sights of Preston afterwards! He also planned at some stage to come over to Lancashire, to watch some live English football, but again never got round to it.

Ian was a long-time supporter of Linfield Football Club (who play at Windsor Park in South Belfast) and a member of Carrick True Blues (his local Linfield Supporters Club). Known affectionately as “Stompee” Ian was a devout “Blueman” who was an ever present on the supporter’s bus for many seasons. Although a quiet, polite, and well-read (he had a library of well over 1,000 books at his house) gentleman, he was sometimes known to get a bit boisterous at the big games!

I travelled with him on the supporters’ bus from Carrick to an away game at Coleraine (in County Londonderry) back in 2007, and that was quite an experience I can tell you – even for a seasoned football fan like myself! I remember asking him if he thought the quality of Irish League football was very poor. He replied, no, but it was an acquired taste!

I also attended the Northern Ireland v Georgia game at Windsor Park, the same year, as well as a couple of Linfield home games in the early rounds of the Champions League in later years.

Apart from league games in Northern Ireland, Ian followed the Blues across Europe, including trips to Croatia, Denmark, Belarus, and various places in the in the Irish Republic for Setanta Cup games, to name but a few.

Ian supporting his beloved Linfield FC, whom he followed all over Europe – even to Dublin!

For most of his working life, Ian was a civil servant, working in the Belfast civil courts in his final few years.

He was born and bred in the Loyalist town of Carrickfergus (County Antrim), famous for The Siege of Carrickfergus Castle in August 1689 when a force of Williamite troops under Marshal Schomberg landed and laid siege to the Jacobite garrison. After a week the Jacobites surrendered, and were allowed to march out with the honours of war. William of Orange himself subsequently landed at Carrickfergus in June 1690.

Ian took me around Carrickfergus Castle on one of my many visits to the town around 2010, reminding me of another famous visitor in the summer of 1962 – George Lincoln Rockwell – who spent a day in the town, after driving up from the Irish Republic with Colin Jordan and John Tyndall, before getting the ferry over to England.

Ian was a true bachelor, his family being the Loyal Orders, and his British nationalist and Ulster Loyalist friends. He leaves behind his father Ronnie, to whom we offer our thoughts, prayers, and condolences at this difficult time.

On November 4th Ian was buried at Victoria Cemetery in Carrickfergus, with the Union Flag and his Orange Sash (complete with his “Enoch Powell Was Right” badge) on top of his coffin, which was carried by former Soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment.

As well as being a longstanding subscriber/support of H&D, Ian was a good friend and comrade, and I will miss him deeply.

Audaces Fortuna Juvat

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s”. Romans 14.8

Mark Cotterill, Preston, Lancashire

Ian (centre foreground in orange shirt) at the 2015 John Tyndall Memorial Meeting, in Preston sitting next to his friend and fellow Ulsterman Neil Hanna

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