Phil Ashby – Keynote Speaker

A former Royal Marines Commando officer, notable for his escape and evasion in the jungles of Sierra Leone in 2000

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Specialist Subjects

  • Motivation
  • Leadership


  • English


Phil is a British Mountain Guide and a member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association. He was brought up in the Scottish Highlands, educated at Glenalmond and sponsored by the Royal Marines to read Engineering at Pembroke College, Cambridge (1988-1991). On completion of Royal Marines Commando Officer training in 1992, he was awarded the Commando Medal as one of the top recruits. Phil served on operations and training exercises around the world, undergoing a further year of arduous training to become a Mountain Leader Officer in 1996. When promoted in 1999, Phil was the youngest Major in the UK. In May 2000, Phil was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal (QGM) after leading an audacious escape out of captivity from the clutches of the Revolutionary United Front in war-torn Sierra Leone. Badly injured during escape and evasion in the jungle, Phil spent a difficult period recovering from partial paralysis and was forced to leave the Marines in 2003.

In 2005, Phil decided to re-train as a civilian Mountain Guide and now splits his time between Swanage, Dorset and Chamonix, France. He is married to Hester and has a baby daughter, Isla.

Phil is a particularly strong, robust all-round mountaineer and leader and prides himself on his ability to help his clients achieve their best. He is also a sought-after public speaker and the author of a best selling autobiography, Unscathed.

“Phil’s presentation was simply excellent. He held our audience captive for his entire presentation. After reviewing the feedback from our customers, all comments were 4 and above on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being Excellent. I would recommend Phil to any other event organizers”
Kara Staegemann, Marketing Specialist, IBM.

“Phil was just as inspiring and motivational as we thought he’d be, a powerful presentation delivered beautifully”
Darren Watkins, IGD Leadership Conference,

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