Arthur Thomas Markie OBE: 1920-2017
A convinced Christian whose life was defined by service, Tom Markie had a continuous commitment to the Baptist denomination and concern for overseas development
Tom Markie was born in Coventry and grew up in Northampton and Hampshire, returning to Coventry in his early teens. As a youth he was active in his church, the Scouts and Army Cadet Force (ACF). He was in Coventry at the time of the Blitz when both his home and his Baptist church were destroyed, along with much of the centre and the cathedral.
By then he had already met, through the church, the long-term love and partner of his life, Win. He volunteered for the army and was trained in the infantry and then joined the Intelligence Corps, seeing service in the Far East. As a convinced Christian, Tom’s life was defined by service and, on returning to Coventry in 1946, he became an officer in the ACF, which he believed could be a valuable formative experience for many boys and young men.
Beginning in 1948, Tom, together with his wife Win, worked to establish a Baptist church in a new council housing area of Coventry at Limbrick Wood. He was at various stages secretary and treasurer, taking a major responsibility for the construction works and youth activities. He served on Coventry’s youth and education committees and was awarded the OBE for his work in the ACF in 1972.
He continued to take a leadership role in the church with the family’s move to the Orpington area and then once again when fully retired at Langham in Rutland.
Tom served as General Secretary of the Baptist Men’s Movement from 1985 to 1990. Always concerned for overseas development, he served on the Baptist World Mission Council and continued to support the joint overseas development arm (Operation Agri) until well into his 90s. He served as BMM president in 1990.
His commitment to the Baptist denomination was continuous but never restrictive and throughout their lives Tom and Win both worked with Churches Together and were often engaged in pioneering interdenominational witness and fellowship.
In addition to his voluntary work Tom had a rewarding career as a Procurement and Supply Director in a multinational engineering firm and was devoted to his family. He and his wife Win formed a close team as she worked as a leader in the Girl’s Brigade, and as a Justice of the Peace, Chair of the Juvenile Bench and South London Probation Committee. Tom was lucid and supportive to the end, and the last of his generation within the family. He will be sorely missed by his two sons, their wives, his granddaughters and great-grandchildren.
A Thanksgiving Service is to be held at Langham Baptist Chapel, Rutland at noon on 29 December.