Richard Hope Hall

Richard Brathwaite Hope Hall ICD (5 June 1924 – 17 November 2007) was a British-born merchant banker, businessman, and politician active in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the 1960s and 70s. A member of Prime Minister Ian Smith's UDI cabinet,[1] he served as a member of parliament in Rhodesia's House of Assembly from 1965 to 1976.[2][3] He began his political career as a member of the Dominion Party, and served as its chairman from 1960 to 1962. In 1962, he was a founding member of the Rhodesian Front, but switched to the Rhodesian Action Party in 1976. After unsuccessfully running for re-election in 1977, he moved back to the United Kingdom, where he lived until his death.

Richard Hope Hall
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly
In office
1973 – 31 August 1977
Member of the Southern Rhodesian Legislative Assembly for Highlands South
In office
7 May 1965 – 10 April 1970
Preceded byAlan David Butler
Succeeded byAssembly dissolved
Member of the House of Assembly of Rhodesia for Highlands South
In office
10 April 1970 – 31 August 1977
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byJohn Christie
Chairman of the Dominion Party
In office
Succeeded byParty disestablished
Personal details
Born5 June 1924
Bideford, Devon, United Kingdom
Died17 November 2007(2007-11-17) (aged 83)
Tadley, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Resting placeTadley, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Political partyDominion Party (before 1962)
Rhodesian Front (1962–1976)
Rhodesian Action (1976–77)
Renée Tyndale-Biscoe
(m. 1952)
ChildrenRobert, Mark, & Andrew
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceRoyal Navy
Years of service1942–47
Battles/warsWorld War II

Early life and educationEdit

Hope Hall was born on 5 June 1924 in Bideford, Devon, England, United Kingdom.[4][5][6] He was educated at Charterhouse School in Godalming,[5] then he served in the Royal Navy during World War II as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve where he was mentioned in Despatches.[7] During the war, he became partially deaf as a result of exposure to gunfire.[2] In 1947, he was demobilised as Senior AA Gunnery Lieutenant on the carrier HMS Hunter.[1] He embarked on his career in merchant banking. In 1948 he got a transfer to Cape Town . In June 1950, he moved to Southern Rhodesia to set up a branch of what was later to be known as UDC in Salisbury.,[5]

Political careerEdit

Upon moving to Southern Rhodesia, Hope Hall became involved in business and politics. Initially setting up UDC in Salisbury he moved on to work for Standard Finance. Around the same time he went into partnership with John Smith with Smith & Hall pianos[1] He joined the Dominion Party, and ran unsuccessfully for parliament in 1959.[6] From 1960 to 1962, he chaired Dominion Party,[5][6] which after 1960 was solely based in Southern Rhodesia, when the party's Northern Rhodesian and Nyasaland branches split off to form the Federal Dominion Party. In March 1962, when the Dominion Party was reconstituted as the Rhodesian Front, Hope Hall was a founding member.[2][5][6]

In 1965, the year Rhodesia declared independence from the United Kingdom, Hope Hall won election to the House of Assembly as the Rhodesian Front candidate for the Highlands South constituency.[2][3][5][8][9] He was reelected in 1970 with 76% of the vote, and again in 1974 with 75% of the vote. On 27 March 1973, he was elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly and Chairman of Committees.[10][11] He was a member of the parliamentary caucus all through his career and was at the meeting where the PM The Hon. Ian Douglas Smith asked each member on their view of the way forward. Richard agreed the a declaration of Independence was the only way but stipulated that if declared then a national day of prayer be called. This was heartily seconded by Angus Graham (Duke of Montrose). There followed, 'two of the most peaceful years of my life' as he recalled to his son Andrew later.[12]

He was a member of the Police 'C' Reserve throughout his time in Rhodesia and ended as the Commander of the Highlands Police Station C Reserve. His son Mark served in the C Reserve in between call-ups to the army.

In 1977, the Rhodesian parliament was presented with a highly controversial bill that, if passed, would open up some areas of European-designated land to African ownership. The House of Assembly voted on Land Tenure Amendment Bill on 4 March 1977. On a three line whip, Hope Hall and 11 other conservative Rhodesian Front MPs voted against the bill. Nicknamed the Dirty Dozen by the Rhodesian press, Hope Hall and the other MPs left Rhodesian Front and formed the right-wing Rhodesian Action Party.[3] Prime Minister Ian Smith, whose party had now lost its two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution responded by dissolving the House of Assembly and scheduling elections earlier than previously planned. In the 1977 general elections, Hope Hall, along with the other Rhodesian Action Party members, lost his seat in parliament.[2][3] After 1977, Hope Hall never ran for elected office again.

Later life and deathEdit

Hope Hall remained in Rhodesia through the Zimbabwe Rhodesia period.[1] In September 1979, six months before Robert Mugabe would become president of the new Zimbabwe government, Hope Hall and his wife left and moved to the United Kingdom, losing most of their possessions.[1] They settled in Tadley, where his wife worked as a nurse at a local hospital.[1]

Hope Hall died on 17 November 2007 at his home in Tadley.[2] He died around mid-day, having gone for his daily hour-long walk earlier that morning.[2] He was survived by his wife, his three sons, and eight grandchildren.[2] He is buried in Tadley, next to his wife, who died in 2015.[1] Their shared tombstone simply says "Rhodesians."[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Hope Hall was married to Renée Evelyn Tyndale-Biscoe.[1][5] He met her in the early 1950s in Salisbury (now Harare), where she taught at Girls High School.[1] They were married at the Salisbury Anglican Cathedral on 16 February 1952.[1][5] After marrying, they bought a home in Salisbury on Wingate Road.[1] They later relocated to Dulwich Road in the Highlands area, the constituency Hope Hall would later represent in Parliament.[1] Together, they had three sons:[5][6] Robert, Mark, and Andrew.[1][2] Their sons were educated at St. John's Preparatory School and Falcon College,[1] and all fought in the Rhodesian Bush War, Robert in 4th Bn RR, Mark in the highly successful 3 Indep Company – then 4th Bn RR and Andrew in the BSAP Black Boots. Robert left Rhodesia in 1977, Mark in October 1978 and Andrew leaving Zimbabwe in January 1983. Renée Hope Hall worked at the Rhodesian Front headquarters and managed her husband's political campaigns.[1] Renee also trained Police reservists in First aid and helped out with ambulance driving and WVRS forces canteens.

Hope Hall was an amateur ornithologist and could identify a bird by its song from twenty yards away, despite his partial deafness from the war.[2]

Awards and honoursEdit

Electoral historyEdit

Parliamentary electionsEdit

Highlands South constituency, 1959

  • Opponent missing
  • Richard Hope Hall (DP)[6]

Highlands South constituency, 1965

Highlands South constituency, 1970

Highlands South constituency, 1974

Highlands South constituency, 1977

  • John Christie (RF) – 1,266 (76.5%)
  • Richard Hope Hall (RAP) – 230 (13.9%)
  • David Frank Sutherland (CP) – 158 (9.6%)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Hope Hall, Robert (January 2016). "Obituary" (PDF). The British-Israel-World Federation Newsletter: 14.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hill, Geoffrey (2007). "Richard Brathwaite Hope Hall". Rhodesians Worldwide. 21–23: 26 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d Harvey, Alan (9 August 2013). "August 2013 Edition". Springbok Cyber Newsletter. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Report". Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Uwechue, Raph (1991). Africa Who's Who. Africa Journal Limited. p. 768. ISBN 9780903274173.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Who's who of Rhodesia, Mauritius, Central and East Africa. Combined Publishers. 1967.
  7. ^ Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  8. ^ Povall Smith, Elsie (October 1995). "Our Kind of People". Bundu Times – via Rhodesian Association of Western Australia.
  9. ^ Summary of World Broadcasts. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1977.
  10. ^ a b Parliamentary Debates – House of Assembly. House of Assembly of Rhodesia. 1977. p. 18.
  11. ^ a b Votes and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. House of Assembly of Rhodesia. 1973. p. 304.
  12. ^ From Andrew Hope Hal's current works on his personal memoire "Recollections of War, peace, activism and faith".
Southern Rhodesian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Highlands South
1965 – 1970
Assembly dissolved
House of Assembly of Rhodesia
New constituency Member of Parliament for Highlands South
1970 – 1977
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly
1973 – 1977
Succeeded by