The death has been announced of former Conservative Councillor and Hove Mayor, Jim Marshall QPM.
Jim was a stalwart of the local Party for many years, and played a crucial role in the development of the much valued Hove Polyclinic. Big Jim, as he was often known, represented the residents of Nevill ward on the old Hove Borough Council, and the esteem in which he was held was marked by the road to the new Clinic – Marshall Way – being named after him.
The citation on the Queen’s Police Medal awarded to Jim, ‘to serve’ was very appropriate. Jim’s whole life was one of remarkable public service, of which local politics was only a relatively small part.
He served for 3 years in Burma during the second world war, something which in common with many old servicemen of the time he did not talk about much.
After his wartime service he joined the police, moving to Brighton in 1959. He rose through the detective ranks, acquiring a legendary status as an investigator amongst his colleagues and the wider public alike. Jim retired from Sussex Police as Head of the CID in 1976, leaving a record of solving 100 murders.
Probably his most famous case was the Ollie murder, where Hell’s Angels killed the unfortunate Clive Olive and dumped his body in Shoreham Harbour. Jim later became an author, writing a very readable book about how this immensely difficult case was solved through old fashioned methodical detective work (it was long before the days of DNA and CSI).
Jim was devoted to his wife, Bette, caring for her for many years up until her death last year.
Hove Conservative Councillor, Graham Cox (himself a former Sussex detective) paid tribute to Jim,
‘Mr Marshall, as I called him, was spoken about in the most respectful terms when I worked in the Hove CID office. As a junior detective I remember him expressing his mild disappointment at our failure to prevent thefts from the Nevill Road allotments, another cause close to his heart.
He also helped us when we , sadly unsuccessfully, reopened the investigation into the murder of Keith Lyon in the mid 1990’s. I think this was just about the only murder Jim investigated which went undetected, and we really appreciated the time he gave us briefing us about his investigation of 30 years before. It was incredible seeing how thorough and meticulous he had been, all without the help of computers and other modern technology.’
Heather Newberry-Martin, Conservative Party Agent for Hove, said,
‘I have the fondest memories of Jim. He had a heart of gold and told a really good story! He was a true gentleman who will be very much missed.’
Jim Marshall’s funeral takes place at Wessex Vale Crematorium in Southampton on January 29.