Phil Marshall
1931 - 2010


Phil Marshall, popularly known to club members as "Phil the Flute", sadly, passed away at the age of 79 on August 17th 2010.

After a courageous fight against prostate cancer in 2007 and given the "all clear" the illness recently returned in a more aggressive form and spread to his gastrointestinal tract. Despite this Phil remained resolute and optimistic of recovery until the end came at the Royal Gwent hospital just two weeks after his 79th birthday.

Philip William Malcolm Marshall was born on August 4th 1931. He was brought up in his early years by foster parents and worked much of his adult life as a motor mechanic. He joined the diving club in 1975 after which diving came to play a large part in his life.

During his 35 years within the club, Phil was a very active member and held several positions on the club committee and dived all over the world in locations as far away as the Great Barrier Reef off Australia and Cocos Island off Costa Rica. Other far flung locations that Phil visited included; Malta, the Red Sea, the Florida Keys, the Maldives and the Andaman Sea off Thailand and Burma.

Phil was also active in UK waters. He was regularly seen in diving in Pembrokeshire with the club throughout his long membership. He also organised several diving trips to other parts of the UK, notably to Plymouth, a favourite of Phil's due to its maritime history and the wrecks that are to be found there. He also dived off the west coast of Ireland, The Scottish Isles including Mull and Skye and he also visited the world famous Scapa Flow in Orkney. He was also involved in the "Mary Rose" project which resulted in the recovery of that famous historic shipwreck.

Phil's knowledge of maritime history and shipwrecks especially military vessels was encyclopaedic. Diving on wrecks was his first love and he always expressed a desire to visit the wartime wrecks of Truk Lagoon in the Pacific.

Phil was also known for his dry sense of humour coming out with comments like; "if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any f****ing luck". In 2007 after diving on Richelieu Rock off the coast of Thailand where Phil had just encounted an enormous Whale Shark he was heard to say "I can die happy now because I've seen a whale shark and I've always wanted to see one".

Phil's popularity was without question and his presence within the club will be sadly missed by us all.

The funeral was held at the Cwmbran Crematorium on Thursday 2nd September at 4.00pm. Club members were invited for refreshments after the funeral at the Greenmeadow Golf and Country Club in Cwmbran.

Our Dad - His Life - By Carl Marshall

Dad did not have an auspicious start in life. Soon after he was born his mother decided not to keep him and instead gave him away.

He grew up with foster parents and regarded them as his mother and father. Dad was not the only child they fostered and here he found the family he had been denied.

He developed some strong convictions from an early age, perhaps because of his circumstances, the most notable being a rejection of religion in all its forms. He was sent to Sunday school just like all the other children, but the teachers found the arguments that he put forward hard to deal with in someone so young. He remained an Atheist all his life.

World War II broke out when he was 8 and continued throughout his formative years. Like most boys of his age, he became interested in the machinery of war and built models of the ships, planes and tanks of the period.

At a personal level, things changed when, at 13 he discovered his foster mother dead in the outside toilet. His foster family had lost its heart and slowly began to disperse. Although he eventually went his own way, as did the others, he never lost contact with them and they always remained part of his life.

He was called up to do his National Service during the time of the Korean War, but fortunately was never called on to fight. Instead, he went from camp to camp working on the artillery there. Perhaps the seeds of his later deafness were sown at this time.

In 1952 he married our mother and for the first 5 years of their marriage they lived with his in-laws. Dad never got on with his mother-in-law; or rather she never got on with him. She had not wanted him to marry her daughter, and was always on to him about something. One day, he had had enough. He picked her up and dumped her head first into the coal bunker. She lay there with her feet waving in the air screaming for her husband to rescue her. Once he and Dad had stopped laughing, they dragged her out. What happened next is not a matter of record.

In the early sixties, word came to him that his real mother had died. Armed with her address, he determined to find out more. We all travelled to Marshfield, where having found the house, he knocked on the door. Once he had convinced the occupants who he was, he found that he was the youngest of four children, with two brothers and a sister. The woman who had answered the door was his sister-in-law. He was finally reunited with his blood family.

By now he was working as a Crane Driver at the Port Talbot Steelworks, another noisy environment that must have also contributed to his deafness.

Dad had always enjoyed driving (perhaps the earliest of his passions) and was able to combine this with his interest in machinery when he left the Steelworks and started his own car repair business; first in partnership with others and then on his own.

Dad took up scuba diving, something that would become a major feature in his life. He joined a local sub-aqua club in 1975 and took every opportunity to go diving, both in this country and abroad.

He was part of the diving groups that helped salvage the Mary Rose in 1982. He became heavily involved in the diving club's activities and was its secretary for a number of years during the 1980's.

By now his deafness was becoming evident. The television had to be on louder when he was watching, than it was for the rest of us. This was, of course, something he always strongly denied.

Dad was divorced in 1989. This started another itinerant phase in his life, and one where he was out of contact with the rest of his immediate family for many years.

He continued with his car repair business, now working solely on his own. His diving also continued, with more trips all around the world.

On the advice of his dying brother, he underwent tests for Prostate Cancer and these proved positive. He was to fight this illness for the last 11 years of his life.

As retirement came and went, he was able to spend more time on another of his pursuits - dancing. His life now became an exhausting round of the three D's - driving, diving and dancing. Although these were certainly not his only activities, as holidays and card-playing also seem to have figured strongly in his punishing social schedule.

It was through dancing that he met Jean. She became his partner and, for his remaining years, became the focus of his life and love.

In early June 2010, he was diagnosed with Stomach Cancer. This was in addition to his existing condition and proved to be a far more aggressive opponent.

He died peacefully at Royal Gwent Hospital on 17th August 2010. He will be sadly missed by us all.


In Loving Memory
Philip William Malcolm Marshall

4th August 1931 - 17th August 2010

Service at
Gwent Crematorium

Thursday 2nd September 2010
at 4:00pm



Donations in memory of Phil
to St. David's Hospice,
Macmillan Cancer Support
or the RNLI.


Phil's family would like to thank
the staff at the Royal Gwent Hospital
and all his friends
for all the kindness and support
he received during his illness.


Friends who would like to join
the family following the service
will be most welcome at the
Green Meadow Golf and Country Club


Order of Service

Entry to

"The Old Fashioned Way"

Charles Aznavour


Philip William Malcolm Marshall

Our Dad - His Life

A Quiet Minute of Reflection

Words on behalf of the
Llantrisant Sub-Aqua Club

Committal to

"Octopus's Garden"

The Beatles

In accordance with his wishes,
Dad's ashes will be scattered
on the waters of St. Bride's Bay.
An appropriate end to a life
spent so much underwater.


Look through the whole world
and there is no one
like the one you have lost,
but that person still lives on
in your memories.

Exit to

"A Whiter Shade of Pale"

Procol Harum