Educated at Beechfield Junior Boys School, Doncaster Grammar School and Leeds University, he commenced his legal career at New Scotland Yard in London as a junior prosecutor for the police. He appeared almost daily in the courts in and around the Metropolis and became known in the profession as “Hargrave of the Yard”. In 1978 he was appointed by the Home Office as the deputy senior Legal adviser at the Yard, heading up over 90 qualified staff and several hundred legal executives and looked after the interests of over 38,000 police officers, 600 traffic wardens and civilian staff and was regularly involved in replying to Parliamentary questions from MPs.
To a larger or lesser extent, his advice was sought in some of the well-known criminal cases which hit the national press and this included many public and familiar names on the TV and radio some of whom were the subject of much controversy in the public eye.
On the birth of the CPS in 1986, he transferred to the Independent Criminal Bar for a further 25 years and shortly thereafter was invited to sit on the bench. Hitherto prior to this appointment he was regularly in demand to represent and defend persons of dubious character and modelled himself on “Rumpole of the Bailey” and sought to bring some humour or lighter moments.
His former Headmaster would be the first to suggest that he was not a perfect schoolboy, aged 8, as he was banned for 12 months from travelling on the school bus (Don Motors Ltd) for fighting at the back of the bus and then alighting by means of the emergency door to escape his assailant. He took his penalty in his stride but when sitting judicially always recalled his own youth and was at great pains to understand those appearing before him and was able to identify his own situation and attempted to treat the defendants with a greater breadth of understanding.
Sixty years later, he still feels attached to the Doncaster area and many of its inhabitants who have not been as fortunate as he himself. It is often said that “you can always tell a Yorkshireman but you cannot tell him much”. Henry Hargrave is very proud to be still associated with Doncaster, with such real people and he admires many of them.
Society has changed considerably in the last 20-30 years and there are real needs and opportunities to serve. He is keen to return to his roots.
With a desire to give something back to his home town Henry spoke with his solicitor Mark Toseland of Dawson & Burgess, who recommended South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation as the organisation that could help.
HH Henry Hargrave said when asked his reasons for setting up a Legacy gift with SYCF: “As an expression of gratitude for all Doncaster did for me and rather than always supporting larger national charities, I feel we should not overlook some very special local needs where a gesture of support would be greatly appreciated and given by the great army of charity workers who have big hearts and do their level best to alleviate and improve the suffering and understanding of those less fortunate.
“Such persons or organisations are often not recognised by the local authorities owing to the lack of funds at their disposal.
“I suggest ‘THINK LOCAL’ and try to recall how you would appreciate the generosity of local charities in and around the Vale of the River Don and its surrounding areas if you were in a similar situation.”
With thanks to HH Henry Hargrave for providing this feature on his career and thoughts on giving local.