Marius Re Goring was born in Newport, Isle of Wight on 23 May 1912.
His mother, Kate Macdonald (1874-1964) was a writer, suffragette and talented pianist who had studied under Clara Schumann. Kate had spent a considerable time in Paris and this was where his parents were married in 1905.
Charles Goring worked in various institutions, including at HMP Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight, where he was a prison doctor at the time of Marius's birth in 1912. Their first child, a son Charles Donald Austin Goring, known as Donald, had also been born on the Isle of Wight in 1907.
The family moved to Brixton in London and later to Manchester where Dr Goring was employed as Chief Medical Officer at HMP Strangeways. In May 1919, shortly before Marius turned seven years of age and during the height of the Spanish flu epidemic, Dr Goring contracted the influenza and died. He was only 49 years of age.
After the death of their father, Donald and Marius became the wards of their godfather Dr Ernest George Leopold Goffe. Dr Goffe was born in Port Maria, Jamaica in 1867, the ninth son of John Beecham Goffe, who owned sugar plantations and who was a descendant of Willy Goffe, one of Oliver Cromwell’s major generals. John’s wife Margaret was the natural daughter of a landowner and his favourite household slave.
Ernest Goffe was sent to England to study medicine at University College, London. During his time at University College and Hospital, he became a good friend of Dr Charles Goring and Donald and Marius were frequent visitors to the Goffe’s home at Kingston Hill, spending Christmas and other times with the family.
Marius first became enamoured of the theatre at the age of three when he saw a pantomime. From then on, he was determined to become an actor when he grew up. His mother encouraged him in his ambitions but insisted that he obtain a good education. He attended the Perse School in Cambridge for eight years as a day student and lived nearby in Lyndewode Rd with his mother and older brother Donald. Perse was founded in 1615 by Stephen Perse, its motto is 'Qui facit per alium facit per se', taken to mean 'He who does things for others does them for himself'
Tragically, Donald died in 1936 in Aden, Yemen as the result of a car accident at the age of twenty-nine. He had been working there for Shell Oil.