About the Author

Rowland C. Marshall was born in London, England, in the aftermath of the First World War. Completing his education at St. Joseph's College in Blackheath, London, he trained as a radio operator and joined the Merchant Service in March 1936, at the age of seventeen.

A sea career spanning thirteen years enabled him to travel extensively to many countries throughout the world, until leaving the Merchant Service in 1948. He then joined the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company in Liverpool and, after many years service, was promoted to the position of Marine Supervisor. In 1976, an old war injury forced him to retire from the company at the age of fifty-seven.

He was married in 1944 to Gladys Leswell; she passed away at the end of August 1990. Until recently Rowland lived in Victoria, Canada with his sister Caroline. He passed away on July 19, 2008.

About The Book

Our journey through life, like the vast oceans, can be cruel and kind. Many of us have mountains to climb in an effort to reach our final goal, as predetermined for us by the hand of Fate.

In this autobiography, Rowland C. Marshall, who travelled throughout the globe visiting countries most people only dream about, tells of his many experiences in time of peace and war. He describes his early childhood and a career in the Merchant Service, including the seamy side, and his misfortunes with Malaria. The war year of 1942 saw him aboard an ill-fated merchant ship loaded with food, medical supplies and high explosives, bound for the beleaguered Island of Malta, whose people were starving. Facing almost certain death, he lived to fight on, unlike his shipmates, many of whom perished.

By September of 1943 he was back in the thick of it, ferrying troops between Alexandria and Toranto during the invasion of Italy. Then on June 6, 1944, Liberation Day for Europe, he served aboard one of many hospital ships, ferrying wounded American soldiers from Omaha Beach.

The author hopes some of his recounting will make you laugh or maybe at times shed a tear, as he did while writing his story. To this day he often looks back at the strange twists and turns that occurred throughout his life, to say, "Luck has been my constant companion."

Read an Excerpt

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Buy this Book

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In Sidney, BC, contact Tanner's Bookstore.



"LUCK a compelling companion"

April 30, 2008 -- Christine van Reeuwyk, writing in the Peninsula News Review, says Rowland Marshall's autobiography Luck was my Companion: Adventures of an Old Sea Dog is "a graphic and compelling tale ... memoirs of love and war set to make readers laugh and cry."

Van Reeuwyk said the book has "detail that brings the reader onboard the ship, into the inferno, the moments when his life flashed before his eyes and how he fought to survive ... the tales evoke both laughter and tears."



  • Author Rowland Marshall signed copies of his book at Sidney's Shoppers DrugMart on May 20th.

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