In October 1877 my great great grandmother Annie Frances Chauncy (1857-1883) married Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850-1927). At the time of their marriage Philip was the manager of the Bank of Victoria branch at Epsom five miles north-east of Bendigo. Their first son Philip was born at there on 18 June 1879.

Annie Frances Crespigny nee Chauncy about 1877
In early 1882 Philip moved from Epsom to Queenscliff, a small town on the Bellarine Peninsula 30 kilometres south-east of Geelong. The Bank of Victoria was at 76 Hesse Street.
THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER (1882, February 3). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved from
General view of Queenscliff from Adman’s Tower (later known as the Vue Grand Hotel at 46-48 Hesse Street), about 1882 photographed by Fred Kruger from the National Gallery of Victoria
Hesse Street from Baillieu’s Tower, Queenscliff. Baillieu’s Tower was later called the Ozone Hotel and was on Gellibrand Street.. The Bank of Victoria can be seen towards the centre foreground. Image from the National Library of Australia PIC/8760/67 LOC Album 19/nla.obj-140532878.

On 5 March 1882 Philip and Annie’s son Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny was born in Queenscliff in the Bank of Victoria where his father was manager.

We have some transcripts of family letters. One that survives from January 1883 is to his mother Charlotte Crespigny nee Dana about her visit to Queenscliff.

From: Philip Crespigny
To: Charlotte Frances Crespigny [his mother]
Queenscliff 21st Jany 1883
My dearest Mother
Only a few lines to tell you how eagerly we are all of us looking forward to your visit. I do hope you will start immediately after the mail is delivered. You had better come by the mid-day train reaching here at 2.45. I have enclosed Vi a ticket by the Williams which will defray half her expenses when she pays her visit and this will prevent your feeling the extra expense of taking a single ticket instead of a return which is only available now from Friday till Monday.
Your loving son

(Philip was called Lou or Loup, ‘wolf’ in French, by his family. Vi was his sister Viola (1855-1929).


One month after Philip wrote to his mother, at the young age of 25, Annie Frances died after a three week illness of what was diagnosed as pelvic cellulitis, a bacterial infection of tissue adjacent to the uterus. Pelvic cellulitis was often a complication of childbirth. Annie quite possibly died after a third pregnancy. She left two small children, Philip was 3 and Constantine Trent was 11 months.
Death certificate of Annie Frances Crespigny, Victoria 1883/2892 (click to enlarge)

Annie is buried in Point Lonsdale cemetery. Her sons are remembered on her gravestone. Philip (1879-1918) was killed in action near Jerusalem in World War 1. Constantine Trent (1882-1952) died in Adelaide and was cremated.


Gravestone in Point Lonsdale for Annie Frances Crespigny and her two sons from FindAGrave

The building which was formerly the Bank of Victoria at 76 Hesse Street is still standing. From Google street view it looks as though it is now a cafe. It is mentioned in the Queenscliff Heritage Study 2009.

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