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 John Hargrave

John Hargrave

Birth
Midhurst, Chichester District, West Sussex, England
Death 21 Nov 1982 (aged 88)
Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Burial Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Plot H12/81A
Memorial ID 8546851 · View Source
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British writer, artist and politician. John Gordon Hargrave was born in Midhurst in Sussex, the son of a landscape painter, and was brought up in Hawkshead in the Lake District. By the age of twelve, he was providing line illustations for the books of, among others, John Buchan; and, at seventeen, he was made the chief cartoonist for the London Evening Times. During the First World War, he served, first with the Royal Army Medical Corps, and then with the 10th. (Irish) Division, and fought at Gallipoli and Salonika; but, in 1916, was invalided out with malaria. In 1919, he married Ruth Clark, and they had one son. John Hargrave had been a member of the Boy Scouts since the age of fourteen, and had risen to become Commissioner for Woodcraft and Camping; but, in 1920, left to form his own organisation, the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, which took its name from a Kentish dialect phrase meaning "a proof of great strength." This began with the intention of encouraging youth "to seek health in mind, body and spirit" and to become expert in woodcraft and outdoor pursuits. In the 1920s, however, Hargrave became interested in the concept of Social Credit, whereby a living income was to be paid from the national credit to every man, woman and child. In 1931, the K.K. changed their name to the Green Shirts and came to resemble a para-military organisation. Green bricks were thrown through the windows of Downing Street and the Bank of England; and, in the General Election of 1935, the Green Shirt candidate took as many as 11% of the vote in Leeds. In the same year, the Social Credit Party was victorious in the Canadian province of Alberta, and Hargrave acted as an advisor to them. The Advisory Committee of the Green Shirts included H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley, Rabindrath Tagore, Maurice Maeterlinck and Havelock Ellis, and Compton MacKenzie and Augustus John supported the party. Although the Green Shirts had nothing in common with Oswald Mosley's Black Shirts, the Public Order Act of 1937 banned the wearing of military uniforms, and the movement was suspended during the Second World War. Hargrave tried to revive it after the War, but met with little success. In the 1950 General Election, he stood for Stoke Newington and Hackney, but polled only 551 votes; and, shortly after this, the movement was dissolved. At about the same time, his marriage was dissolved. Hargrave did not re-marry until 1968, when he married an actress named Gwendolyn Gray, whom he had known since 1950. Among Hargrave's published works are six novels, several books on camping and economics, and a biography of Paracelcus. In 1967, Hargrave brought a case against the British Government, alleging that the "moving map" automatic navigation system used in Concorde was a copy of a system he had invented in 1937. The case took nine years to come to court, and the government admitted that his invention had been copied, but no financial award was allowed, due to a technicality. It was said that he never recovered from this blow.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 22 Mar 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8546851
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Hargrave (6 Jun 1894–21 Nov 1982), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8546851, citing Hampstead Cemetery, Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .