The death was announced last week of Professor Antony Alcock, who died aged 69. He was an Ulster-based historian and an expert on European minorities, who became a supporter of Unionism and an adviser to David Trimble.
The only son of a British naval officer and Hungarian mother, he was born in Valletta. He grew up in Devon and Hampshire speaking German. Educated at Harrow, he did national service and then joined the Seaforth Highlanders. He read history and political science at McGill University, Montreal, and took an MA in history at Stanford, California, in 1962.
He went on to work with the International Labour Organisation in New York and Geneva. Commissioned to write the history of the ILO in Geneva, he remained there until 1973, and wrote his doctoral thesis on the history of the south Tyrol question, becoming an expert on minority protection in Europe. He was later commissioned to write the official history of the Tyrol by the Austrian government.
He was appointed senior lecturer and head of department of West European Studies at the New University of Ulster (later the University of Ulster) in 1973, where he stayed for the rest of his working life. His major work, A History of the Protection of Regional Cultural Minorities in Europe, was published in 2000.