Beyond the Balmoral: Major Claude Raul Champion de Crespigny


A portrait of a fine gentleman and Auxiliary Policeman, Claude Raul Champion de Crespigny, 5th Baronet.


This family had an interesting time of it. From the end of the Second World War, the baronetcy passed three times in as many years along the hereditary lines of succession. In 1910, the heir to the family estate, Claude Champion de Crespigny (presumably the elder brother to Claude Raul/Raoul) committed suicide allegedly after having his heart broken by a married woman; he had been named in her divorce case as a co-respondent. The coroner described that too many heavy falls from Polo and influenza had brought about a state of ‘temporary insanity’ which preceded the early death.


Claude Raul became the heir and went first to Ireland where he served as an Auxiliary Officer (Company 2i/c C Coy, Macroom), with the Company that had suffered such depredations at the hands of Tom Barry’s IRA Active Service Unit in Kilmichael.


An account of the death of the elder brother may be seen below from the New York Times (20 May 1910).



About eamonntgardiner

Dr. Eamonn T. Gardiner, is a Consulting Historian. He has previously conducted research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst veterans of the First World War serving as Auxiliary Policemen, during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. He has written extensively on British central and colonial administrative responses to popular insurgencies. In 2009 he published 'Counterinsurgency and Conflict: Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War (CSP, 2009).' Published papers include; 'The training of the Irish Volunteers, 1913-1916' (The Irish Sword, 2017); 'Scattered, Ambushed and Laid Out: War and Counterinsurgency in the greater Tuam area, 1919-1921' (JOTS, 2015). Research interests include De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism; Insurgency, Police/Military Histories; Institutional Histories; Modern Irish/World History; History of Conflict, Protectorates and Peace-Keeping; Hegemony; Old and New Terrorism.
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