David Marsh was a social scientist who held professorial posts both in the UK and abroad.
He was born in Aberdare on 9 Jan 1917, and was brought up in John St, Foundry Town where he attended the Town Council School in Clifton Street. His father, Frederick Charles Marsh, was a plumber & water inspector who came to Aberdare from Bristol at the turn of the century. His mother Edith, née Rees, was the daughter of David & Jane Rees who both came to Aberdare from Carmarthenshire - Pencader and Abergorlech respectively. David had a brother Arwyn who was considerably older.
David arrived at the County School in 1929, and went through school with his friend Tom Evans, who was later to teach geography at the school. David took his School Certificate in 1933, passing with matriculation equivalence. Two years later, in 1935, he sat his Higher School Certificate passing in English, History and Economics.
He then left Wales for Birmingham University, with an award of a County Commercial Exhibition. He graduated from there with a First Class degree in economics. He was then awarded a doctoral research scholarship 1938-39, but due to the outbreak of World War 2, he cut short his research, took a masters degree instead, and joined the army. He was in The Royal Artillery from 1940 to 1946, where he gained the rank of captain.
He subsequently returned to academic life when he was appointed Lecturer in Social Sciences at U.C. Swansea, 1947–49. His first professorial post came when he was appointed Professor of Social Science at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, 1949–54.
In 1954, he returned to the UK, to take up the Chair of Social Administration at Nottingham University. This professorial appointment was the first in this field in the UK. There were just 5 other staff in the department at that time, when Sociology was taught in a separate department of Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology under Professor Jack Sprott. David retired from this post in 1982, when he became an emeritus professor. Following his death, the university established in 1985 The David C Marsh Prize, which is awarded annually to the student judged to be the best student in all aspects of the work of the first year of any single or joint honours degree in the School of Sociology & Social Policy.
During his career David wrote extensively in the Social Sciences.
His output included the following titles:
David Marsh lived in Bramcote, Nottinghamshire with his wife Masie, née Done. The couple married in Birmingham in 1941 and had one son.
David died in Nottingham on 2 July 1983 at the age of 66. Masie died eight years later