Stuart Mole on the funeral for Commonwealth and diplomatic veteran Sir Peter Marshall. Photo shows 2017 interview with Round Table Journal Editor Venkat Iyer and Peter MarshallFrom a 2017 discussion on the future of the Commonwealth between Sir Peter Marshall and Round Table Journal editor Venkat Iyer

As the trumpet sounded the Last Post, family, friends and former colleagues paid their final respects to Sir Peter Marshall – Second World War veteran, respected British diplomat, writer and devout Anglican, and irrepressible Commonwealth champion. The funeral of Sir Peter Marshall, who died in June shortly before his 99th birthday, was held at St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington, a short distance from Peter’s home.

The Requiem Eucharist reflected many aspects of Peter’s life – his deep, if unobtrusive, Christian faith; his love of choral music (as befitted a Cambridge choral scholar); his commitment to service, and delight in family; and his eternal optimism and good humour, even in the face of death. The service was led by the Vicar of St Mary Abbotts, Rev..Emma Dinwiddy Smith, the Address was given by the former Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt.Rev. Dr Stephen Platten, and the prayers were taken by the Rev. David Burton Evans. The Choir of St Mary Abbots, under the direction of Matthew Morley, sang the ‘Sanctus’ from Faure’s Requiem and a plainsong Benedictus, from the Missa Pro Defunctis. At the distribution of the Eucharist, they sang the Agnus Dei from Byrd’s 4-part Mass , and Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum Corpus’. Ben Frost played the organ and Ali Hancorn the trumpet.

Sir Peter Marshall 1924-2023

After the service, Peter’s children Fiona and Guy, hosted teas and refreshment in the Vicarage Garden, by kind permission of the Vicar. The guest included many Commonwealth friends and former colleagues, as well as some of those who had worked with Peter in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or alongside his support for the United Nations.

“So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.”

Stuart Mole is a former chair of the Round Table editorial board and is currently chair of the Commonwealth Association.


Articles for the Round Table by Peter Marshall

The Coronation: An occasion for worldwide elebration
Tribute to the Queen by Sir Peter Marshall
Why the Commonwealth’s future is on the way up – A discussion with Sir Peter Marshall
Round Table Journal Editor Venkat Iyer in discussion with Sir Peter Marshall – video


Articles and videos from Stuart Mole

A ‘living memorial’ for Patsy Robertson
Commonwealth Global Challenges
Desmond Tutu, apartheid and a ‘God-filled life’
Exploring Commonwealth myths

Find out more about the Commonwealth Round Table and the Round Table Journal