Royalieu Dana ‘Roy’ Champion de Crespigny (1905 – 1985) was the fifth of the six sons of Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850 – 1927).
Roy was a close friend of his nephew Philip George ‘Phil’ Champion de Crespigny (1906 – 2001), the son of Philip de Crespigny (1879 – 1918). They were about the same age and enjoyed each other’s company. Roy and Phil spent many years farming together. Phil used to talk with great pleasure about their bachelor days in the Avoca district, a couple of hours west of Melbourne.
In 1927 Phil enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces (Army Reserve). He was then twenty-one, living in East Kew and working for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney at Ringwood. The CBC had just merged in January 1927 with the Bank of Victoria. Phil’s grandfather – Roy’s father – had been general manager of the Bank of Victoria until the merger. Philip de Crespigny senior died in the same year. Phil now felt free, it seems, to give up his banking career.
I don’t know if Roy ever worked for the bank, and I am not sure when Phil and Roy began farming together.
I believe that Phil and Roy share-farmed together for the first few years, working land owned by someone else. From what I remember of Phil’s stories they grew tobacco. It was a hard life. Phil’s obituary recalls he “endured the prewar years of depression and drought as a bachelor with those virtues for which he was beloved among his wide family: courage, humour, uprightness, honesty, hospitality and a marvellous plain-speaking charm.”
In 1934 the Weekly Times and the Age reported that Phil and Roy de Crespigny had bought a property of 1260 acres called Glenshee, near Elmhurst about 35 kilometers northeast of Ararat.
Phil and Roy joined in the social life of the district. Phil became president of the Elmhurst Tennis Club.
In 1937 Roy married Nancy ‘Nan’ Temple Smith (1914 – 2005). Phil was best man.
On 13 May 1940, seven months after Australia declared war on Germany, Phil enlisted in the army. His engagement to Jane Beggs (1913 – 2005) was announced a week later. They married in July 1940. Roy was Phil’s best man.
In June 1943 Nan and Roy de Crespigny’s only child, a son, Royalieu Peter, also called Roy,(1943 – 1964) was born.
Roy enlisted in the army in 1942.
After the war in July 1946 Phil and Roy dissolved their partnership in Glenshee. Phil took up a Soldier Settlement block near Wickliffe, thirty miles south of Ararat.
Roy and Nan’s farm was destroyed in the February 1983 ‘Ash Wednesday’ bushfires. Roy never recovered. He died two years later, on 10 February 1985.
- National Archives of Australia B883, VX14856: DE CRESPIGNY PHILIP GEORGE CHAMPION : Service Number – VX14856 : Date of birth – 23 Feb 1906 : Place of birth – MELBOURNE VIC : Place of enlistment – CAULFIELD VIC : Next of Kin – DE CRESPIGNY JANE retrieved from https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=6220200
- ARARAT. (1934, February 9). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203378375
- Conditions and Recent Happenings in Rural Areas (1934, February 17). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954), p. 50. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223199514
- OTHER DISTRICTS (1934, October 13). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 21. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10981044
- Wore Mother’s Wedding Gown (1937, November 10). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205547420
- Family Notices (1937, November 25). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939), p. 45. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152536790
- ENGAGEMENTS (1940, May 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12462614
- Family Notices (1940, July 23). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11301472
- World War Two Nominal Roll – listing for CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY, ROYALIEU DANA V361905. (2002). Retrieved from http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=A&veteranId=646180
- Advertising (1946, August 12). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22317790
- Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 16540 consignment P0001 unit number 6 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Purchase Lease Preparation Files; Champion De Crespigny, P.G. Narrapumelap Lot 5 0069/27
- Advertising (1950, January 21). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78619651
- Obituary for Philip Champion de Crespigny (2001, May 25). Sydney Morning Herald