Daniel Norman 'Jock' Marshalsey 1965-2014
Daniel N Marshalsey was born on Friday 20th August 1965, at Long Island City in New York. Norman’s mother Ann went over to the States to work as a nanny. His father Daniel was an American and employed as a bartender in a Manhattan diner that Ann and her friends frequented.
The family though returned to Scotland when Daniel jnr was just two years old. By now he was referred to by his middle name of Norman... due to his father also being called Daniel... it just made things simpler... Norman also had to become a UK citizen as he had a US passport.
As an infant, the young Norman attended a small one teacher school on the wild side of Loch Lomond... It was while he was at his first school that he encountered his first taste of music when he was given accordion lessons.
At the age of eleven he moved on to the McLaren High School in Callander... a small town in Perthshire Scotland, situated on the River Teith... the town is a popular tourist stop to and from the Highlands.
Norman always loved school and did well academically, his GCSE’s in both subjects qualified him up to the potential rank of Corporal, meaning he would be spared the NAvy Maths & English Test (NAMET).
He was also very fond of music and took percussion lessons at school. He was the first pupil that was of a standard to play in public at their concerts.
He performed for a while with the Youth Brass Band for Scotland and was also introduced to the Army Cadet Force while at school... The group inspired young Norman to challenge his limits and abilities and gave him the platform needed to become a serviceman upon leaving school.
When the school took them to Glasgow for careers advice, Norman returned home full of information about being able to join the Army and play music, he subsequently filled in application forms to join. His mother said to him “If that’s what you really want to do then the band that have the best reputation is the Royal Marines Band”... more application forms were submitted!
Norman initially wanted to be a percussionist but there weren’t any vacancies at the time and it was suggested to him that bugle and side drum would be an alternative option... he successfully passed his audition.
On Sunday 18th April 1982… Norman boarded the train at the nearby Ardlui railway station, where he travelled via Glasgow to London on the overnight sleeper train then on to Deal in Kent... the home of the Royal Marines School of Music.
Arriving at Deal on Monday 19th... he joined the Royal Marines Band Service as a Junior Bugler of a fairly small 1/82 Troop, an entry of only nine, including Junior Musician Nick Grace who went on to be the Principal Director of Music of the Royal Marines and fellow Junior Bugler Andy McGowan (Mcgoo)... they were the only three ranks that completed training.
Throughout his time at the Royal Marines School of Music, Junior Bugler Marshalsey... more commonly known as ‘Jock‘ displayed great qualities that ultimately earned him ‘The Directors Cup’ for leadership. The cup was presented to him by the Principal Director of Music Lieutenant Colonel Graham Hoskins and a ‘Certificate of Merit’ to go alongside it for his abilities on drum & bugle.
Aside from the Band... Jock occasionally donned his pussers reeboks and ran for the Navy... he was extremely fit in his younger days.
After successfully passing his B3 exam and completion of training, Bugler Marshalsey’s first draft was to the Commando Forces Band at Stonehouse Plymouth... although it probably ranks as one of the shortest drafts ever recorded, as the following day 10th January 1984, he was redirected to the Royal Marines Band CinC Naval Home Command at Eastney, Portsmouth.
It was a busy period for Norman... and a very proud day when he performed the role of Best Man at his mother’s wedding to John.
He encountered his first taste of massed bands in 1984 with a unique double of Beating Retreat on Horseguards Parade quickly followed by the Royal Tournament at Earls Court.
Jock spent just over two years with an extremely experienced Corps of Drums at Royal Marines Eastney and progressed well as a Bugler under the guidance of Bugle Major Norman Gibbs.
By this time he was widely referred to by his middle name of ‘Norman’ or ‘Norm’ and on 1st April 1986 and still only twenty years old... Norm was afforded a dream draft. He didn’t have far to go... just across the city in fact to HMS Nelson. This was the shore base for the Band of HM Royal Marines Flag Officer Third Flotilla (FOF3). A sea going band of only twenty-three ranks under the leadership of WO2 Ben Robinson, Norman was a replacement for the departing Bugler Roy O’Connor and joined the other three remaining Buglers Daryl ‘Jess’ James, Simon Chappell and Paul Foley for what was to be a memorable twelve months at sea.
FOF3 Band was enjoying Easter leave before they were due back on 1st April and looking forward to a trip of a lifetime world tour when HMS Illustrious (R06) suffered a catastrophic gearbox failure which almost saw the end of the vessel's naval career. Just starting out on her global trip whilst reaching full engine revs, the gearbox exploded causing a fire lasting well over four hours. The Captain prepared to abandon ship but was then overruled by the fleet admiral who believed the ship could be saved. The trip was delayed for several months whilst the ship was taken out of service for extensive repairs. As a result of the unfortunate events onboard Illustrious, Norman and the Band profited an extra week of leave... returning to Nelson on the 7th April.
Following discussions... the band unanimously voted in favour of boarding HMS Intrepid (L11) as a replacement trip bound for the West Indies and the United States.
The ship slipped away on April 21st from Portsmouth, with a brief stop at Ponta Delgada in the Azores... The lads first exposure to the sun was when then enjoyed successive Banyans playing for the ships company on the islands of Tortola & Virgin Gorda. Norman being a Scotsman wasn’t even white when we landed on the beach at Tortola, he was a pale blue colour! After a full day of sun, sand and CSB... his skin changed and was now a shocking lobster looking colour!... he didn’t go on the second banyan he was that burnt...
The first port of call was Barbados... A thoroughly enjoyable five days and everything was going swimmingly until the final run ashore when Norm, who had by now recovered from third degree burns... returned from a run ashore with ankle ligament damage... not easy hopping around a ship, especially having to negotiate ladders!
Puerto Rico was the next port and due to his ankle problem not healing quickly enough... the band had to undergo a major reshuffle with the Drum Major Phil Smith borrowing Norman’s side drum, cornet player Gary Pumford promoted to Drum Major and clarinet player Wurzel Whaites was elevated to the role bass drummer... a very nervy cocktail party beating retreat ensued... cheers Norm!
The Intrepid then paid a visit to Mayport in Florida where the lads were given five days station leave... a mass of hire cars then headed for the playground of Orlando... his ankle miraculously improved!
A three-day visit to a rainy Boston Massachusetts completed a great first trip for Norman before the ship returned conveniently for him to Rosyth on June 20th.
Following three weeks leave the Band returned to prepare for arguably the best trip in the history of FOF3 Band. It was to be the second half of the world tour named ‘Global 86’. HMS Illustrious now having been repaired following its gearbox failure accommodated FOF3 Band on the first leg of the five-month deployment.
Lusty left Portsmouth on 21st July 1986 on the five-month deployment and following a day in Gibraltar it was full steam ahead through the Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal and onto Singapore where on arrival, the band spent all day shifting all their gear onboard their new luxury home... Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Fort Grange (A385). Norman celebrated his 21st birthday on a run ashore with the lads in Singapore.
Following a fantastic eight days in Singers... the fleet departed... The band were allocated the task of providing forty-eight hour round the clock armed anti-piracy patrols onboard Fort Grange, while transiting the Strait of Malacca on the way to Port Kelang near Kuala Lumpur...
In addition... the Band was actually tasked with running the crew bar... something Norman particularly aspired to...
Three days were spent in Malaysia before sailing south to Brisbane for what was the beginning of a month-long adventure in Australia.
Some great evenings were enjoyed at sea onboard the Fort Grange… Norman secretly performed the role of Best Man to Musician Steve Bacon when he was suddenly and unknowingly thrust to the alter to marry Stella... a transvestite (real name Stan).!!
Five days were enjoyed in Queensland..
Norman’s mum said he used to call her from all over the world and she would say, "Why don't you write a postcard and put a stamp on it”.. so he bought some and wrote one out to his Nana...
Illustrious sailed south where the fleet entered Sydney harbour for the highlight of the trip... the Royal Australian Fleet Review by Her Majesty the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy.
A glorious two week visit in New South Wales came to an end with a ten-hour flight in a Hercules transporter plane to Freemantle in Western Australia... avoiding the stormy twelve day sail around the south of Australia.
Norman was the instigator for seven of the lads to hire a car, he came back with a complete wreck, it cost them all $24 each for the week. The bonnet flew up on the highway, there were petrol fumes inside the car and the brakes failed approaching a set of lights !
While in Freemantle... the Band performed at many engagements including a Beat Retreat at the Yacht Club where they were hosting the Americas Cup. Another fantastic two weeks it was before the fleet departed for the long voyage home.
The ship sailed.. Norman had forgot to post the postcard home to his Nana, so he dispatched it into the nearest bin... I rescued it and added it to my collection.
There was however time for a few cultural experiences on the way back... a dream banyan on the Indian Ocean Island of Diego Garcia, followed with a weekend stop at Bombay, a day trip to Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza then finally a two day run ashore in Gibraltar before returning home to Portsmouth on December 18th and a well-earned Christmas leave.
Having previously been informed that FOF3 Band was sadly to be disbanded... Norman and the band returned to HMS Nelson in preparation for FOF3 Band’s final ever trip. Joining Norm in the Corps of Drums for their final trip was troop oppo Bugler McGowan (Mcgoo)... whatever could go wrong?...
The band embarked HMS Intrepid once again on January 19th for two months. The ship departed Portsmouth bound for the Mediterranean... enjoying visits to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, Naples, Istanbul, Piraeus Greece and Gibraltar.
On March 25th... FOF3 Band gave a farewell concert at Portsmouth Guildhall before it was officially disbanded on 31st March 1987. Norman’s sea time was complete, so too was his experience of Pompey, he later claimed his time in FOF3 Band was unforgettable and the best twelve months he’d had in the Band Service.
On completion of Easter leave... Norm along with six other ranks from FOF3 returned north of the border to join their new band... The Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland & Northern Ireland (FOSNI) based at HMS Cochrane.
1988 was an eventful year for Scotland Band... firstly they were one of the bands selected to play at the Mountbatten Festival of Music, then in June... Beating Retreat on Horseguards... where the buglers took inspiration from Torville & Dean with a walkabout to Ravel’s Bolero.
The following month FOSNI Band jetted off to Hong Kong for the disbanding ceremony of 3rd Raiding Squadron... It was formed for service in Hong Kong in 1978 to counter illegal immigrants. Norman then travelled to Deal for the third time of the year, where he passed his B2 qualification on 14th November 1988.
The following year saw the band give an open-air concert in Warrington where Norman showed off his capabilities by playing Sunset from the top of a nearby three storey building.
The band also travelled in July 1989 to Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea coast of Germany for the tenth anniversary of the town twinning with Dunfermline... a trip that coincided with their International Music Festival.
September included a week-long trip to Northern Ireland where the dreadful news was filtering in about the bombing at Deal... the band carried on with their tour of the province despite the increased security threat and the tragic loss of eleven comrades.
Following the band’s annual trip to Iceland to perform at the United States Marine Corps Ball, the year closed with a long trip to the Falklands for the Battle Day Parade.
FOSNI were indeed a widely travelled band with engagements covering the whole of Scotland and northern England. The only other foreign jolly besides the customary Iceland trip in 1990 was a visit to the Faroe Islands.
In 1991 there was a return trip to the Falklands before heading back to Deal for Horseguards rehearsals.
Norman was that year awarded the General Service Medal for his visits to Northern Ireland with the band during the troubles.
A double massed bands was booked for Scotland Band in 1992 when they were selected to perform at the 20th Mountbatten Festival of Music, then later in the year and much closer to home... the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Norman was based at FOSNI Band for just over six years. He performed admirably while in the Corps of Drums and frequently helped out as an extra percussionist, gaining glowing reports from Director of Music Lieutenant Peter Rutterford.
Norman was drafted to the Staff Band at the Royal Marines School of Music Deal on 20th April 1993... and back to where it all began... Norman had left a standard size band for a much larger band... so would the Royal Marines School of Music Corps of Drums benefit from his wealth of experience ? Not really... The Staff Band Corps of Drums was very large and as a result gigs were few and far between... small fish in a big pond... He did however sample the delights of Warwick Hall once again for the Royal Tournament in July 1993.
It was 29th November 1993 and an extremely testing day in the lives of many RM Band personnel and referred to as ‘Brown Envelope Day’... Norman had previously (against his mother’s advice) volunteered for redundancy but was officially informed of the decision along with another 115 ranks across the Band Service. So as not to make the decisions obvious, the whole of the band gathered in the concert hall and given a small pussers brown envelope... inside lay the smallest of slips of paper... ‘Bugler Marshalsey you have been selected for redundancy’.
Norm did however make full use of the twelve months’ notice and various courses available as part of his EVT resettlement. He opted to take a course in Bar and Hotel Management and also completed an IT course.
He was at Deal exactly twelve months living onboard in 61 block North Barracks, the room billeted four.. and Norman arranged his corner with a single bed and four lockers surrounding it... which afforded him an amount of privacy, he arranged it quite well with his mini-bar positioned in one of the lockers!
Norman was selected to play at the Mountbatten Festival of Music once again before returning north to FOSNI Band in April 1994 in order to complete his service.
Following his terminal leave Bugler Norman Marshalsey was discharged from the Royal Marines Band Service on 30th November 1994. From the day he joined the Royal Marines, Norman gave exemplary service with the Corps of Drums, he was a very friendly and popular figure amongst all that he worked and socialised with... as we all know Normski liked a beer or two... especially his favourite Tiger Beer, when he’d had a few he used to disappear without notice... saying it was his call of the wild!
Norman went to live in Newtonmore... in the Highland area of Scotland and only a few miles from a location that claims to be the exact geographical centre of Scotland, just to the north of the Cairngorms National Park...
Soon after his release from the Royal Marines... Norman’s resettlement training came to fruition... He was chatting with the owner of the Braeriach Hotel who owned another place that was once a ‘Little Chef’ diner with a large parking area for passing trucks. The owner asked Norman if he obtained a licence... would he come and open up a bar for him. It was called ‘Chefs Grill’, Norm had his own flat on the premises and was employed there for a number of years, a diner bartender... an unusual coincidence following in the footsteps of his American father.
Norman loved the lifestyle of Newtonmore, an ideal place to live for Norman’s passion for skiing and his new found love of golf. He was a keen football supporter and a lifelong follower of the ‘Jambos’... Heart of Midlothian FC.
He also became a fan of Shinty... a sport similar to hockey, Norm was an avid supporter of one of Scotland’s most successful clubs... Newtonmore Camanachd, many of the supporters congregated at the Balavil Hotel on match days.
Norman was doing a sterling job but was subsequently offered improved terms by the owners of the Balavil. They decided to convert part of the Hotel in Main St Newtonmore into accommodation... they persuaded Norman to buy one of the flats on the top floor and part of Norms role was keeping an eye on the completion of the rest of the apartments.
They arranged a mortgage for him and provided him with a loan to help to buy it. He worked for them for a good while until they decided to retire and sell up. Naturally they wanted back what they’d loaned to Norman, so he had to get a consolation loan to pay them back. Most of his wages went on paying off his loans so he decided to sell the flat... the new owners gave him a weekend to move out!
Most hotels were struggling around this time (2008-09) so work was not in abundance. Norman always saw the bright side of life even when it threw him some not so nice hands... he was never really good with money and in 2010 he declared himself homeless..
Norm managed to get back on his feet though and acquired council accommodation. He gained part time employment working at the Kingussie Golf Club and The Glen Hotel before being laid off... hence he was unemployed from October 2011 until at least the following March 2012... Norm loved playing Poker and was very good at it too... he took part in plenty of tournaments at the Glen Hotel and taught a few others how to play.
He latterly found a job working at the Duke of Gordon Hotel in nearby Kingussie... The hotel was originally built as a stopover for passengers travelling by stagecoach along the old A9 to Inverness and the North of Scotland. In 1861 the Duke of Gordon Hotel was honoured to receive a visit from Queen Victoria and her devoted consort Prince Albert.
Norman was still working at the hotel right up to the time he developed a sudden illness. He was admitted to hospital in Newtonmore for twelve days in April 2014 with a liver problem. None of his family, friends or colleagues were aware that he wasn’t very well... not even the man himself as Norman was planning on a return visit to Deal for the first time in 20 years. Norman wanted to be there for the annual Bandstand concert which would have been commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the bombing... he didn’t go in the end due to lack of accommodation.
Early in June he was back in hospital... this time at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness as he’d developed an infection...
Norman ‘Jock’ Marshalsey succumbed to his illness and sadly passed away on Friday 13th June 2014 at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness aged just forty-nine.
Norman’s cause of death was certified as cirrhosis of the liver... non-alcoholic.
It would appear that some people with a family history of liver disease are at an increased risk of developing genetic diseases without knowing. As was widely assumed at the time... Norman’s illness and subsequent passing was not due to alcohol or lifestyle.
Bright clothes were worn for Norman's Funeral which took place at Perth Crematorium on Thursday 19th June 2014. It was a good turnout from family, friends and former colleagues of the Royal Marines Band Service.
Norman was honoured with a superb rendition of Last Post & Reveille... a tribute he played to many others on so many occasions... On conclusion... all were invited to the Huntingtower Hotel in celebration of Norman’s life.
The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund benefitted from donations over £700, it was renamed The Royal Marines Charity in 2016.
In 2016, Ann finally received Norman’s postcard to his Nana from Australia, it only took thirty years !
Norman developed many friendships over the years and is greatly missed by all.