This is my first post following the Sepia Saturday theme. The prompt for this week was a photograph of musicians in 1947. While the musicians were in their shirt sleeves, I chose this photograph as it was taken the same year.
John Chauncy Champion de Crespigny was born on 25 August 1908 at Royal Park Melbourne to Philip, a journalist, and his wife Birdie. He was the youngest of four surviving children:
- Annie Frances born 1903
- Lorna Blanche born 1904
- Philip George born 1906
There had also been a baby who died at birth in 1901.
John’s father enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1918 and was killed in Palestine in July 1918. (My earlier bog post from April 1913). John was only nine years old.
John enlisted in World War 2 and was a prisoner of war of the Japanese. He was captured in Java and imprisoned in Thailand where he was ADC to “Weary” Dunlop in camp number 4. Twenty years later John wrote about celebrating Mothers’ Day while a prisoner of war. (AN ECHO FROM MOTHER’S DAY, 1943— IN A POW CAMP. (1967, June 28). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 14. Retrieved August 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42114056 .)
|Summary of service in World War 2 retrieved from http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/VeteranCertificate.aspx?VeteranID=416833 29 August 2013|
The wedding pictured above is John’s second marriage. His first marriage of 1932 ended in divorce in 1939. At the time of his divorce he was an advertising specialist of Dawson Street, Ballarat. ( DIVORCE COURT. (1939, April 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 2. Retrieved August 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12115198 ) John’s second wife, Margaret Nicol (1909 – 1998), was the widow of Esmond Bernard Serisier (1905 – 1945).
John died on 7 February 1995. His wife Margaret died three years later.
John does not look nearly as relaxed as the musicians: weddings are not relaxing and it is not long after his experiences as a prisoner of war.