Colonel the Reverend Robbie George Russel Hall QGM
On being posted to the Main Building of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in Whitehall, Robbie wasted no time in getting in touch with the Combined Christian Fellowship there. It was in that context we first met. And it was an encounter with gold. Pretension was entirely lacking from Robbie’s character. What you saw was what you got. He had the star combinations of sensitivity and directness, insight and propriety, intelligence and tact. He quickly proved indispensable to the work of the Fellowship – and his zeal, hard work, loyalty, reliability and unflagging support contributed to the Fellowship’s rapid growth and witness within the MOD. Robbie loved the Word of God, the Gospel – and was ever eager and active to learn it and minister it. Tough, disciplined and unfailingly cheerful he never missed the Fellowship’s regular early morning prayer meetings held in the little chapel situated in the Main Building’s basement. He was always encouraging to other Christians around him. His counsel was far-seeing and wise.
Robbie played a key part in the MOD’s ‘Read Mark Learn’ group at St Helen’s in the City, later running a succession of successful and well-attended lunchtime ‘Read Mark Learn’ Bible study courses within the MOD itself. A servant-heart lay at the core of his being. No task was too lowly for him – and he was usually the first to arrive and last to leave when practical action beckoned. The Fellowship loved and respected him.
Robbie’s sense of humour was second to none – never unkind nor disrespectful – but with the capacity to burlesque the paradoxes that lurk within both the military and a government department. The passage of years has made instances of his humour hard to recall. But I will not forget the several experiences of being rendered helpless with laughter at his quips.
The last time I saw Robbie was after I had preached at a special anniversary occasion in the Guards Chapel. I was graciously empowered to preach with a Gospel directness that day. I hadn’t seen Robbie for several years, and his first words to me after the service were: “Charles, when are you going to come off the fence?” Only Robbie could deliver encouragement in that way!
Robbie was a heart-sincere Christian who loved the Lord Jesus and loved those around him, ever reaching out with the Gospel. I am not surprised to hear that he made a wonderful pastor.
Truly he was a brother-in-arms. I loved him dearly.