Sir John Brook Marriott, K.C.V.O., R.D.P., F.R.P.S.L.
BWISC Bulletin September 2001
As many of the members of the Study Circle already know John Marriott passed away on 3 July 2001.
John was born on 27 July 1922 and was educated at Merchant Taylor’s School, Northwood, from where he won a scholarship to St. John’s College, Cambridge to read mathematics.
He played cricket and rugby for the University and graduated with a First Class Degree.
During the Second World War, he served in the Army Operational Research Group and in 1944 was posted to Bletchley Park where he worked under Maxwell Newman on the Colossus code-breaking machine.
After the war, John became a mathematics master at Charterhouse School, where he remained until his retirement as Senior Master in 1982. He was a house master from 1960 to 1975 and was for many years in charge of cricket coaching at the school.
John was a member of the Royal Philatelic Society for many years becoming the Society’s Vice-President in 1979 and then its President from 1983 to 1986. He was appointed Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection in 1969 on the retirement of Sir John Wilson and he himself retired as Keeper in 1995 after 26 years in the post. He was knighted in 1995 for Services to Philately.
As you will have observed, John was a greatly respected person in the world of philately and had been a very keen stamp collector and philatelist since the age of 12. His personal interest in collecting was in the stamps and postal history of Trinidad for which he received a Gold Medal as far back as 1960 and many other medals followed.
John’s philatelic activities also included becoming a member of the British West Indies Study Circle a month or two after its formation and on 27 January 1955, it was announced at a Study Circle meeting that he had accepted an invitation to become a Vice-President of the Study Circle, a position from which he resigned in December 1998.
In 1963 the Study Circle published John’s book entitled The Philatelic History of Trinidad to 1862 which is much in demand but is out of print today.
John was a great supporter of the Study Circle through out the years of his membership. He frequently wrote articles and notes which were included in the Bulletin; he gave displays on aspects of Trinidad whenever asked and attended our biennial Convention at Royal Leamington Spa regularly. His knowledge on philatelic matters was immense and we shall miss him greatly as a fellow philatelist who was always willing to be of assistance to others.
John and Mary Thompson were married in 1952 and had two sons.