Marius at War
After war was declared in September 1939, he was back in the West End as Pip in a production of Great Expectations, adapted for the stage by Alec Guinness. Along with all other plays, it was closed down temporarily by the war but was the first to resume when theatres were reopened in early 1940. In May 1940, he registered for conscription under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act.
In June 1940, Marius sent his estranged wife Mary and their daughter Phyllida away from England for safety to Jamaica to stay with the family of his godfather, Dr Ernest Goffe. He would not see his daughter again until after the war was over.
He joined the army (the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment) in July 1940, and was seconded in 1941 to the BBC as supervisor of radio productions broadcasting to Germany. He made broadcasts under the name Charles Richardson (using his father's first name and maternal grandmother's maiden name), because of the association of his name with Hermann Göring. In 1944 he became a member of the intelligence staff of SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) where he attained the rank of colonel. Because of the broadcasts he had been making to Germany, set up by the Foreign Office as an antidote to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw), he was put on a Nazi hit-list.