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
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.
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
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.
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.
he was working as a Crane Driver at the Port Talbot Steelworks,
another noisy environment that must have also contributed to his
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
with his car repair business, now working solely on his own. His
diving also continued, with more trips all around the world.
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.
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.
through dancing that he met Jean. She became his partner and, for
his remaining years, became the focus of his life and love.
June 2010, he was diagnosed with Stomach Cancer. This was in addition
to his existing condition and proved to be a far more aggressive
peacefully at Royal Gwent Hospital on 17th August 2010. He will
be sadly missed by us all.
Philip William Malcolm Marshall
August 1931 - 17th August 2010
2nd September 2010
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
Old Fashioned Way"
William Malcolm Marshall
Dad - His Life
Quiet Minute of Reflection
on behalf of the
Llantrisant Sub-Aqua Club
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.
through the whole world
and there is no one
like the one you have lost,
but that person still lives on
in your memories.