Walter Marshall, Baron Marshall of Goring
Walter Charles Marshall FRSCBE (5 March 1932, Rumney, Cardiff – 20 February 1996, London) studied mathematical physics at Birmingham University and gained a PhD there under Rudolf Peierls. He joined the Theoretical Physics Division at AERE Harwell in 1954, succeeding Brian Flowers as Head of that Division in 1960 and becoming Director of AERE in 1968; he eventually was appointed Chairman of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority in 1981. As a champion of nuclear power, he was appointed, in 1983, to be chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board. For his success in keeping the country’s “lights on” during the protracted miners’ strike of 1984-5, Mrs Thatcher rewarded him with a peerage and he became Lord Marshall of Goring.
In 1989, with the government’s plan to reorganise and privatise electricity generation, the position of Chairman of the CEGB disappeared. He was made Chairman of National Power which included a large number of the coal- and oil-fired power stations and all of the nuclear power stations. National Power was a division of the CEGB until it was privatised in 1990. This was done as he had a close association with nuclear power, from the early years. But before the privatisation process was complete, the city was not happy with the nuclear component in National Power, and it was removed from the process and placed into another state-owned company (only to be part privatised some 5 years later). It was as a result of this political decision that he resigned his post as Chairman of National Power. Marshall then entered into several jobs in the private sector connected with the nuclear industry and died in 1996.
As a scientist, Marshall was recognised as one of the leading theoreticians in the atomic properties of matter and characterised by his penetrating analytical powers. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1971. In 1977 he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
- Fishlock, D.; Roberts, L. E. J. (1998). "Walter Charles Marshall, C. B. E., Lord Marshall of Goring. 5 March 1932-20 February 1996". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 44: 299. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1998.0020.
- The Marshall papers are currently being catalogued by the NCUACS, Bath, England . Deposit in the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, is expected in the spring of 2009.