A correspondent writes:
THE Revd Desmond Agar-Ellis Ker, who died in Folkestone on 19
August, aged 99, was educated at Malvern College, where his father
was bursar. He served in the Second World War as a commissioned
officer in Iceland, later attached to the Durham Light Infantry, in
coastal defences in the south of England. In 1944, he married
Priscilla Riley, whose father commanded the Home Guard in the
After the war, he resumed work as a journalist in
Worcestershire, and was for some years a night editor in Edinburgh.
Having become closely involved in the Scottish Episcopal Church, he
decided to train for the ministry. In this he was following family
tradition: his grandfather, Welbore MacCarthy, had been Archdeacon
of Calcutta and the first Bishop of Grantham; earlier ancestors
included an Anglican bishop and an archbishop in Ireland, and a
Roman Catholic bishop appointed by King James II, who later Bishop
of Segni, in Italy.
Ker trained at Mirfield, served as deacon in Wells, and as an
assistant curate successively in Coventry, and at Chelston with
Cockington in the diocese of Exeter, before becoming Rector of St
John's, Bovey Tracey. In 1980, he was appointed Rector of Rothesay
on the Isle of Bute. His time there was cut short by Mrs Ker's
death in August 1982.
He continued his ministry at St Sylvan's, Limpsfield, Kent, and
at Holy Trinity, Hastings. In his later years, he lived in
sheltered housing, and then in care homes in Folkestone, near his
surviving sister, Sheila Davies. His funeral was taken by the Dean
of Argyll & The Isles, the Very Revd Andrew Swift.
Ker leaves a son, Stephen, a musician, and a nephew and niece. A
requiem mass will be held at St Peter's, Folkestone, on 25 October
at 2 p.m.