Sir Michael Marshall CBE DL

He was an incredible man who led the family's business to great heights, was a champion of Cambridge and showed endless energy in supporting many good causes.

Here we take a look at his lifetime milestones highlighting some of his greatest achievements.

1930s to 1940's

Born in Cambridge on 27th January 1932, Sir Michael went on to be educated at Eton College and then to Jesus College, Cambridge where he obtained an Honours Degree in History.


Between 1950 and 1952, he was commissioned as a Royal Air Force Pilot during National Service.
He held a Private Pilot’s Licence since March 1949.

As a keen rower, he was stroke for the Cambridge University Crew in 1954 and went on to row for England in the European Championships in 1955.

In 1955, Sir Michael joined the private family group of companies which was founded by his grandfather in 1909.


In 1963, Sir Michael was appointed Managing Director of Marshall (Cambridge) Limited which has since grown into Marshall Motor Holdings.

In 1965, Sir Michael was appointed Deputy Chairman of Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Limited, and assisted his father with the growth of the aerospace and vehicle body building businesses which have grown into Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.


Between 1975 and 1984 Sir Michael held a non-executive directorship of Eastern Electricity Board and membership of the BL Cars Distributor Board.

He was Chairman of the City of Cambridge Squadron of the Air Training Corps from 1975 to 2013 when he was elected Honorary Life President.


Sir Michael was High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire in 1988/89, following which he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

In 1989, after his father’s retirement, he became Chairman and Chief Executive of Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Limited.


Between 1992 and 2006 Sir Michael was Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire.

From 1993 – 2003 he was Vice-President of the IMI and a Vice-President of the EEF.

Sir Michael served on the National Air Cadet Council from 1994-2006.

He was President of the Cambridge ’99 Rowing Club from 1996 to 2002. The club celebrated its Centenary in February 1999.

He was Chairman of The Air League from 1998 – 2003

In the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours List he was awarded a CBE.


In 2001, He was elected to an Honorary Doctorate of Anglia Polytechnic University (now Anglia Ruskin University) and later became an Honorary Visiting Professor from 2009 - 2012.

In 2003, he was appointed Honorary Air Commodore of No 2623 (East Anglian) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment and stood down in October 2018.

He was also made an Honorary Vice Patron of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in 2003. (pictured right is Sir Michael Marshall with Marilyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, at RIAT 2016)

From 2004 -2009 he was President of The Air League.

Sir Michael was a member of The Prince’s Charities Council from 2009 - 2015 and became a World Land Trust Ambassador in 2009


In the 2010 New Year’s Honours List he was awarded a knighthood.

He has chaired a number of very successful fund raising activities for major charities in the Cambridge area, including for the Prince’s Trust, the Ely Cathedral Restoration Appeal and the British Olympic Association Appeal and was made a Vice Patron of the Order of St. Etheldreda, Ely Cathedral in 2012.

At the beginning of 2012, Sir Michael handed over his responsibilities as Group Chief Executive to his son, Robert, and in 2016 was appointed President after standing down as Chairman.

He was made an Honorary Life Vice President of the Cambridge Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2012 and was later awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2016.

In 2014, he received the Award of Honour from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.

In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Kingston University. He was also a member of the Royal Air Squadron.


Sir Michael led the growth of the Marshall Group to enable it to be what it is today.

Employees past and present have been honoured to have known Sir Michael and to have had the opportunity to have worked alongside him while he laid a great foundation for the next chapter of the business.

We shall remain forever grateful for his achievements and inspirational character which have had a huge influence on so many lives.