Walter Marshall, Baron Marshall of Goring

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The Lord Marshall of Goring
Born5 March 1932
Died20 February 1996 (1996-02-21) (aged 63)
Alma materBirmingham University
Spouse(s)Ann V Sheppard
AwardsMaxwell Medal (1964)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCentral Electricity Generating Board
Doctoral advisorRudolf Peierls

Walter Charles Marshall, Baron Marshall of Goring CBE FRS[1] (5 March 1932 in Rumney, Cardiff – 20 February 1996, in London) was a noted theoretical physicist and leader in the UK's energy sector.

Early life[edit]

The son of Frank Marshall and Amy Pearson, he attended the grammar school St Illtyd's Boys College (now St Illtyd's Catholic High School).

He 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.

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.[1] In 1977 he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

In 1981 he chaired a Task Force, set up with representatives from major interested parties to evaluate the basis for the Sizewell B Design of nuclear power station.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1955 he married Ann Sheppard in Cardiff and had a son and daughter.

Appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1973,[3] he was Knighted in 1982.[4]

For his success in keeping the country's “lights on” during the protracted miners’ strike of 1984–5, Margaret Thatcher rewarded him with a life peerage and he became Baron Marshall of Goring, of South Stoke in the County of Oxfordshire on 22 July 1985.[5]


  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ Nuclear Lessons Learned. The Royal Academy of Engineering. October 2010. p. 14. ISBN 1-903496-60-8. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  3. ^ "No. 45860". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1973. p. 8.
  4. ^ "No. 49120". The London Gazette. 24 September 1982. p. 12413.
  5. ^ "No. 50208". The London Gazette. 25 July 1985. p. 10221.

External links[edit]

  • The Marshall papers were catalogued by the NCUACS, Bath, England [1] and deposited in the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, in 2009. The finding is available in both electronic and analogue form.
Business positions
Preceded by
Glyn England
Chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board
Succeeded by
Gil Blackman
Business positions
Preceded by
New Post
Chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators
Succeeded by