Monsieur Robin William RATCHFORD

Photo 681741
Domicilié à Ixelles (1050, Belgique)
Né à « Localité inconnue » (Belgique) le lundi 13 janvier 1964
Décédé à Ixelles (1050, Belgique) le mercredi 25 août 2021 à l'âge de 57 ans

Espace condoléances 

Cet espace condoléances a été créé le samedi 28 août 2021.

Les hommages

9 hommages (5 privés)  

Dearest Robin

I can't believe it's a year since we lost you. There's hardly a day I don't remember something from our travels - they were such fun. One of the best new year's I've ever had is standing on the rim of the volcano, bubbling lava sloshing below, having (painfully) arrived by camel, drinking fizz, dressed up (encouraged by you), despite having to sleep in a 'sheep pen' as you described it. So many other things - your wonderful hosting, the Brussels beers, the London beers, the rendezvous cities with the other 'Uzbeks', the Blekpul tower outing. You continue to be greatly missed, and very fondly remembered.


Kate Whitaker- 26-08-22


for robin

ciao robin
looking sharp today

yes sorry
we have to write a press release
yes it’s urgent
yes I know
they’re always urgent
no the benefits
what are the benefits
are there any benefits
we have to explain
the benefits
yes the porte-parole is waiting for it
le porte-parole
the carrier of words
excuse me a moment
oui on est en train de le faire
oui ça marche
je te rappelle dans cinq minutes
so what else can we talk about
no clearly and simply
will small businesses
export more
will prices
come down
excuse me a moment
klar es ist fast fertig
ich rufe dich in ein paar minuten
not too formal
yes we’d better say something about
and civil society
the more civil
the better
maybe we can tighten up
the last paragraph
yes that’s good
that’s perfect
great job everybody
right I’ll check with the cabinet
and we are done
it’s a pity we had to take out
my sentence
about tea

you were never just a carrier of words
you played with them
shuffled them
tossed them in the air
and laid them out
in precise cascades

there were still
frontiers to cross
to write
your keyboard
your fountain pen
requiescas in pace

ciao robin
you looked sharp
every day

august 2021


service du porte-parole, official commission spokesperson
yes we are just finishing it
don’t worry
yes that works for me
I’ll call you back in five minutes

right it’s almost finished
I’ll call you back in a few minutes

cabinet = the team which supports the commissioner

latin, may you rest in peace
in the subjunctive mood because of may and in the 2nd person you
the more usual form is requiescat in pace in the 3rd person, may he rest in peace
I think Robin would have liked that subtle linguistic difference which very few people would notice

Please excuse me. I was away last week and I was not able to include this with the tributes from colleagues. Sorry also I could not format it. Let me know if you would like the formatted version.

With my deepest condolences,


niall matthews- 06-09-21


Robin was a great mentor for me in the Commission and the first person I met in DG Trade as a fresh-faced young intern. I'm from Altrincham, and knowing that he was from the same area made me feel a career in the EU was possible. Always kind and courteous and a true gentleman, he was never afraid to ask awkward questions about whether what we were doing would be understandable to normal people. He was also an inspiration in the constant thirst for knowledge, specifically languages.

I will miss his languid and dry humour, his sharp sense of style, and hearing about his constant battles with some of the dodgier establishments that had popped up around his beautiful house, which I regret I never had the chance to visit.


Christopher Ruff- 31-08-21


I had the privilege of working with Robin for a number of years during which I discovered Robin's extraordinary personality: a gentle and mild character, very reflective and curious and the same time, with a strong sense of collegiality, loyalty and friendship. Robin surprised me so often with his outstanding qualities and his sometimes unexpected sides: his travel experiences and journeys, his reflections and insights in culture, society and politics; and his joy of life! We miss you so much, Robin!

Lutz Guellner- 31-08-21