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

I am a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I am conducting research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst British First World War veterans serving as Auxiliary Policemen in Ireland during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. I have previously conducted research into local Irish Volunteer/Old IRA units in Munster as well as British responses to popular insurgencies in areas they administered. I have previously published a book on the British Counterinsurgency responses to the IV/IRA conflict in Ireland, 1919-1921, entitled 'Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War: Counter Insurgency and Conflict.' I have also published papers on various aspects of that war and also on other insurgencies. I write a regular blog on those and other related matters, which can be read at My research interests include Feminism and De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism, Insurgency, Police and Military Histories, Institutional Histories. Subaltern Studies, International History of the 20th Century, Modern Irish History, Historiography, History of Conflict, Peace Keeping/Enforcement/Protectorates, Spheres of Influence, Hegemonic Theories, Old and New Terrorism.
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