Fred Marsh - RAeC Vice President - 1925-2017

31st October 2017


Fred Marsh was widely known in sporting and general aviation circles and had made a significant and sustained contribution for more than 50 years.  Fred had also been a member of the Royal Aero Club for more than 50 years and served as Chairman in 1996-1997.  He was appointed as one of the Vice Presidents in 1998.

Fred began Air Racing in 1964 and was a founder and Chairman of the Formula Air Racing Association and was British Air Racing Champion for 1972 and twice Winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Formula One Trophy. Fred attributed the hand – foot – eye coordination essential for flying and racing to his apprenticeship in a bakery, where one of his jobs was operating a machine which stuffed jam into doughnuts. He told me that he became so proficient at this that he was soon promoted to stuffing cream into éclairs. 

Fred had also served as the UK Vice President to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and was founder and first President of Europe Air Sports in 1988 which Fred instigated due to concern about the potentially damaging impact of pan-European aviation regulations on air sport activities. Europe Air Sports now represents some 680,000 aviators and continues to actively fulfil Fred’s original remit. 

Fred also founded the Royal Aero Club Trust (where he served as Vice President and was a former Chairman) which looks after the RAeC Memorabilia and Archives and which has provided tens of thousands of pounds in bursaries to support the training and development of aspiring young aviators.

Fred received recognition from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in 2016, when they awarded him with their ‘Sword of Honour’, awarded for an making an ‘outstanding contribution to General Aviation’. 

In 2009, Fred wrote to Her Majesty The Queen mentioning that it was a shame that we did not possess a trophy bearing her name. After a humorous exchange of correspondence with the Keeper of the Privy Purse, he received a further letter proposing the supply of a beautiful piece of 18th century Irish silver, to be called “The Queen’s Cup for Air Racing”.  I had the great honour of accompanying Fred, along with RAeC Chairman Patrick Naegeli, to Buckingham Palace in 2011 to collect the Cup from our President, HRH The Duke of York.

Fred was a true gentleman with an encyclopaedic knowledge of UK aviation who always lit up the room with his affable charm, good humour and monocle.  On a personal note, he was always my first port of call whenever I had a query relating to the Club’s history, but he was also very active in offering his thoughts and views about potential future initiatives to try and ensure an enduring future for the Club.

I am sure that all members will join me in offering our sincere condolences to Fred’s wife Muriel at this sad time.  Further details will be circulated in due course.Fred Marsh was truly a ‘one off’.

           Dave Phipps

General Secretary






 It is with heavy heart that I notify you of the death of Fred Marsh on Friday 27th October at the age of 92.
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