It is with great sadness that we record the death of Group Captain Ian Roger Tapster (53D) on 18 February 2023 following a long illness. His interest in the RAF and all things aircraft-related was sparked by his childhood during the Second World War, and as soon as he was old enough he joined the Air Training Corps.
After graduating from Cranwell, he served at RAF Jever and RAF Uetersen then, following a brief posting at RAF High Wycombe, he was posted to the Air Attache’s staff at the British Embassy in Paris in 1957. On returning to the UK he spent a year at RAF Upavon, followed by a year in charge of the RAF recruiting office in Edinburgh. After a Staff Course at Bracknell, he had a short tour at SHAPE in France. The mid-1960s took him to RAF Newton and the MOD in London, interspersed with nine months at RAF Sharjah in the Persian Gulf and a course at JSSC Latimer. His final postings were to RAF Andover and RAF Innsworth.
Retiring from the RAF in 1974, Ian entered the Civil Service as a Principal and was assigned to the DSS at Longbenton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It was during his seven years there that he took up hill walking and became enamoured of the hills, fells and wide-open spaces of the North-East. Reluctantly, he had to return southwards on promotion and transferred to the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
After the death of his first wife Olive in 1986 he took early retirement and moved to Morpeth in Northumberland. He later remarried and declared himself “unretired” where he truly found his metier as a part-time farmer, magistrate and National Park warden.
He and his second wife Benita travelled the world and wrote two books together.
In his own words, Ian had “a good innings”. In fact he had a double innings, and his drive and dedication were exemplary.
He leaves behind three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.