1997 Onwards -
Below is the text of Sir John Major’s tribute to Sir Michael Marshall, given at the memorial service for Sir Michael on Friday 8th December 2006.
SIR JOHN MAJOR:
Michael Marshall was a man of many and varied interests, none of which consumed him to the exclusion of the others.
To know Michael was to know someone who was -
Michael loved Stanley Holloway monologues. One of them aptly sums him up. It tells the tale of a cockney who was much criticised for wearing brown boots at a funeral. But then the truth comes out:
“E’d given ‘is black boots to Jim Small
A bloke wot had no boots at all,
So, p’raps Aunt Hannah doesn’t mind,
She did like people who was good and kind”.
Michael was, in his very essence, “good and kind”.
He had a mature perspective on life that acknowledged duty but found time for pleasure. One of his guiding passions was the game of cricket, about which he wrote some stunningly good books. In his last months -
Another lunch was planned and aborted -
Michael believed in serendipity, and enjoyed the fact that he lived in Slindon, the tiny village that provided one of the greatest of the mid-
Throughout his long illness, Michael’s Roman Catholic faith sustained him. His God was ever present and the future held no fear. To those he leaves behind -
Such men are rare. While they are with us they make our world a better place. And when they are gone we can only be grateful that we were lucky enough to have known them.
Michael Marshall was such a man.