John Marsh

The writer John Marsh was born on 8th August 1907, son of Thomas William Marsh of Heathleigh, Skircoat Road, Halifax.

He went to Giggleswick School between September 1922 and July 1924.

He started his career writing historical romances under a number of pseudonyms, including John Elton, Harrington Hastings, Grace Richmond, Lilian Woodward, and others, including his mother's maiden name.

Some early stories included Criminal Square, The War Dog Stories, Maiden Armour, written in 1932.

He wrote about 140 hard-backed novels, mostly thrillers. Other titles included Body Made Alive [1936].

Locally, he made his mark in 1971 with the first popular book on the Cragg Vale CoinersClip a Bright Guinea – although F. A. Leyland had given a lecture on the subject in 1866, and Ling Roth had published Yorkshire Coiners in 1906.

His greatest success was The Young Winston Churchill which was published in 1955. This was a best seller – selling 300,000 copies – both here and in the US.

His books were published in the UK, the USA and Europe. He was named as one of the best read authors of 1989, and the National Library reports that his books were borrowed more than 140,000 times during the year.

He was Assistant Press Officer for the Ministry of Food HQ, London, during World War II, and he worked for 22 years as Press Officer to the King George's Fund for Sailors.

He was a founder member of the Halifax Authors' Circle

On 1st June 1938, he married Irene Andrew of Halifax, at St Jude's Church, Halifax.

He lived at Chalfont, Rawson Avenue, Halifax, and died there in 1996

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 13:12 / 19th January 2022 / 3657

Page Ref: X397

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