The Club is sad to inform its members of the recent death of Peter Hall (1953 Blue).
Matriculating at Corpus, Peter won blades in the 1952 Lents, and with his college crew went on to win the Wyfolds at Henley in that year. In 1953, Hall stroked a Boat Race victory for the ages, with the unfavoured Cambridge crew winning by 8 lengths over the Dark Side.
His crewmate TAJ Leadley recalls,
“His great rhythm, pace, and leadership was the reason we won the race, beating Oxford by over 8 lengths. Only a handful of races over nearly 200 years have been won by such a large margin. The press of the day had us as underdogs and too “pretty” to be any threat to the ‘Dark Side’“.
After Cambridge, Peter was commissioned into the Royal Navy from whence General Sir John Macmillan, a fellow member of that 1953 Blue Boat, takes up Peter’s career, and aspects that impressed Sir John, “His expertise as a very early nuclear propulsion engineer in the RN, including installing the mini nuke that they used to train Naval engineers at Greenwich.
The fact that he escaped to a real sailor’s job commanding a ship at sea, ( I believe he had a Landing Ship Tank under his command in the Gulf in the early 60s) , and his huge love of sailing, particularly in Mediterranean Ionian and Aegean seas.” While still in the Navy, Peter was seconded to the US Department of Defense in Washington DC where he worked on the development of the guidance system for the UK’s Polaris missile system – apparently without being security cleared by the US, so Peter informed Nick Bliss at Henley this year.
After leaving the Navy, Peter became a very successful consultant teaching the art of leadership to senior business leaders, drawing upon his tales of leadership and teamwork experienced during his CUBC days. Latterly, Sir John continues, Peter came to stay with him in Scotland when Peter “came to get his knuckles rapped for speeding on the A 9 and stayed with us before driving to court. He found it awkward to be told he had no licence when his case was concluded, and the car was sitting in Stirling, and he lived in Hampshire!” – direct evidence, again, of speeding from the stroke seat…..”
Seventy years on, having maintained a strong relationship with his crew, Peter visited the crews during Race Week, and attended a 70th anniversary reunion of his crew at Henley. We interviewed Peter in March 2023 to celebrate the crew’s reunion. Read the interview.
Peter will be mourned and remembered fondly by all who were fortunate enough to know him.