Acting Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 12/09/1966 - 28/02/1967
Judge of all District Courts of New South Wales, 01/02/1968 - 30/06/1973
Chairman of all Quarter Sessions of New South Wales, 01/02/1968 - 30/06/1973
Judge, District Court Civil Jurisdiction, NSW, 01/07/1973 - 24/07/1974
Judge, District Court Criminal Jurisdiction, NSW, 01/07/1973 - 24/07/1974
Hereward John Humfry Henchman was born on 24 July 1904 at Indooroopilly, Queensland, the son of Hereward Humfry Henchman, Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, and his first wife Theresa Francesca nee Goller. He was educated at Church of England Grammar School, Brisbane, the Armidale School, Armidale, and St Paul's College, University of Sydney (BA 1925, LLB Honours 1928). In 1924 he shared with A C Gain the Wigram Allen Scholarship No.1 for proficiency in the subjects of the Faculty of Law first year examination. (1)
Henchman was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 21 February 1929 and in the same year was an Associate for Mr Acting Justice Hammond. He was later also a member of the Queensland Bar and admitted to practice as a barrister with the Supreme Courts of the Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea and Fiji and the High Court of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. He was a member of the Council of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1940/41 to 1945/46 and from 1964/65 to 1965/66. Henchman was made a Queen's Counsel circa 1967. (2)
From April 1939, Henchman was Edgecliff Divisional Warden for the National Emergency Service in the Municipality of Woollahra, protecting civilians against air raids. In 1941 he was appointed a Captain (R of O) in the Australian Army Legal Corps, working as prosecution and defence at court martial trials. He was a counsel for the Minister of State for the Army in appeal tribunals for interned aliens. He was involved via the Attorney General in other internment appeals, including those connected with the 'Australia First Movement' group in March to May 1942 and the subsequent Commission of Inquiry held from June 1944 to May 1945. (3)
Henchman frequently appeared for the Director of Navigation in Courts of Marine Inquiry. He was Counsel for the Royal Australian Navy in many cases, including the two Royal Commissions held into the loss on 10 February 1964 of the HMAS Voyager. These Royal Commissions occurred in February to August 1964 and May 1967 to February 1968. Henchman also drew up the rules that covered Courts of Marine Inquiries in the District Court by the 1980s. (4)
On 16 August 1966 Henchman was appointed an Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in the divorce jurisdiction from 12 September until 16 December 1966. His appointment was extended until 28 February 1967. On 1 February 1968 he was appointed a Judge of all District Courts in New South Wales and Chairman of all Quarter Sessions. He was attached to the South-western circuit for a time. He retired on 24 July 1974. (5)
Henchman was active in the community. He was president of the Armidale School Old Boys Union for six years. From 1922 to 1942 he was a member of the committee of the Athletic Association of Greater Public Schools New South Wales (AAGPS). He was Chancellor of the Diocese of Armidale from 1937 to 1982, a fellow of St Paul's College at the University of Sydney from 1938 and chairman of its Council from 1975 to 1980. Henchman was deeply involved with the Art Gallery of New South Wales - as trustee from 1967 to 1974, vice-president and president of the Art Gallery Society from 1960 to 1977, and as an Honorary Life Governor by 1980. (6)
In 1982 Henchman wrote a supplement to HTE Holt's 'A court rises', biographies of the Judges of the District Court of NSW. This supplementary volume covered the 77 judges from 1959 to 1982, including his own biography. (7)
Henchman died on 1 September 1994. On 17 October 1934 he married Nancy nee White and they had a son and two daughters. (8)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald and Weekly Times, 1947, p.418; 1950, p.335; 1955, p.364; 1959, p.373; 1962, p.397; 1965, p.399; 1968, pp.413-4; 1971, p.459; 1974, p.494; 1977, p.511; 1983, p.403; 1985, p.403; 1991, p.570; 1993, pp.621-2; 1995, p.716; HJH Henchman, A Court Rises: the lives and times of the Judges of the District Court of New South Wales, Supplement No.1, 1959-1982, Sydney, The Law Foundation of New South Wales, 1982, Judge No.88 (n.p.); University of Sydney Calendar, 1925, pp.394, 542; 1926, pp.543, 815; 1927, p.548; 1928, pp. 496, 648; 667, 777, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 12 May 2008).
2. Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 17 February 1927-10 June 1955; Reel 2147, p.3; HJH Henchman, Court rises, op.cit.; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1941, p.60; 1942, p.60; 1943, p.60; 1944, p.60; 1945, p.55; 1946, p.55; 1965, p.78; 1966, p.80.
3. HJH Henchman, op.cit.
4. ibid.; D H Borchardt, Checklist of Royal Commissions Select Committees of Parliament and Boards of Inquiry, Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria, 1960-1980 and South Australia, 1970-1980, Bundoora, Borchardt Library, La Trobe University, 1986, pp.28-29, 36.
5. HJH Henchman, op.cit.; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1968, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1968, p.71; Australian Law Journal, Vol.41, p.445 (31 January 1968); The State Reports New South Wales, Sydney, NSW Law Book Company, Vol.67, 1966-67, 'Memoranda'.
6. Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; H J H Henchman, op.cit.
8. Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Sydney Morning Herald, death notice, 3 September 1994.