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Lieutenant Colonel Henry Robert Hall

Vice-President of The Scout Association and founder of The Robert Hall Foundation

25 May 1917–25 October 2012

A distinguished history

Colonel Hall, known to all as Bill, made an outstanding contribution to society and to Scouting in particular, with an involvement spanning a period of 76 years. He had an exceptionally distinguished history of leadership in the Scout Movement, which was interrupted only by military service during the Second World War. His charitable contributions have helped leaders and young people in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Bill Hall was born in Dulwich, London, and educated at Dulwich College, where he was invested as a Scout in 1930. He founded the 48th Camberwell Troop in 1937 and became Assistant District Commissioner for Camberwell until war intervened.

Serving his country

Bill had been commissioned into the Territorial Army and served with the Royal Army Service Corps, initially working with the 1st Anti-Aircraft Division in the defence of London. He served with the 8th Army, leading resupply convoys through the Western Desert, and then moved on to Syria, Malta and Western Europe, ending the war in northern Germany. He received the Territorial Decoration, and was twice mentioned in Despatches.

When the war ended, he joined the London Stock Exchange, and in 1955 became a partner in Philips and Drew, where he remained until his retirement.

Passion for Scouting

Bill returned to peacetime Scouting with renewed vigour, identifying a former anti-aircraft gunsite as a potential headquarters, initially for Scouting in Dulwich, and later, for the new Scout County of South London. Nicknamed The Fort, it has provided facilities for young people from across London, and thousands of visitors from overseas.

Alongside Scouting, Bill Hall served as a Justice of the Peace, and in 1967 was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London.

But the Scout Movement was his passion. As a Chief Scout’s Commissioner, he developed the Movement in Greater London and inspired future leaders.

As a member of the UK Scout Council he shared his experience, wisdom, and boundless enthusiasm.

Bill was awarded the Silver Wolf by The Scout Association in 1970 ‘for services of the most exceptional nature’ and more recently the Bronze Wolf from the World Scout Committee ‘for outstanding service by an individual to the World Scout Movement’. He was further honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in 1982 when appointed OBE ‘for service to the community’.

Retirement and a new home in Jersey brought fresh challenges; Bill became Island Commissioner, campaigning and fundraising for local Groups.

His extensive charitable work, personally and through Foundation grants, have enabled young people in Jersey, the UK and around the world to have greater access to Scouting. He was particularly keen to support young people with special needs and to encourage the Movement in countries with struggling economies.

Outstanding service

In later years, as a Fellow of the World Scout Foundation, he assisted Scouting communities in Eastern Europe and South Africa.

Throughout his life Bill Hall led by example and his generosity was unfailing; he never lost his belief that Scouting could contribute to a changing world.

Bill Hall died after a short illness. He is survived by his wife, his three children, and his ten grandchildren.



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