Lawrence George Hatton Marshall

(1884 – 1966)

Laurie Marshall was an early aviation pioneer in Victoria. As the early aviators in North America and Europe began to fly, Marshall was inspired to give up his butcher business and invest his money and time into developing an aircraft. 

Marshall had a shed next to the Grandview Hotel in Fairfield, and it was here that he developed and built the airframe. From an engineer in Armadale he got an engine and with help from his friends began his first attempt at flight around 1911. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful and the subsequent crash resulted in Marshall sustaining a broken arm. After recovering, Marshall tried again in February 1912, his airstrip being paddocks between Darebin Road and Bell Street; another crash.

On April 15th 1912 Marshall finally made a successful flight - Victoria’s first - reaching 30 feet and travelling 500 yards. It failed to bring financial rewards and Marshall attempted a demonstration flight from Northcote Football Ground to raise capital on 3 June 1912. When the aircraft failed to start the crowd became restive and Marshall was escorted from the grounds by police. The aircraft was seized by creditors and auctioned.

Marshall’s dream of flight cost him his Fairfield butchers business, leaving the family destitute but Marshall recovered, going on to become a Collingwood councillor and served as Mayor from 1936 - 1937.

Lawrence George Hatton 'Laurie' Marshall (1884-1966) (1996) Retrieved June 1, 2010, from