Described by the Essex County Chronicle on 13 November 1914 on the occasion of the re-interment of the remains of Lieutenant Norman Champion de Crespigny as a “mausoleum of polished granite” The former free-standing monument comprised of a drum rising over a square podium having stringcourse and corbelled cornice. Oculus window to drum having square-headed door opening to podium with oak door having a carved cross. Enclosed by an iron railing and approached by a flag stone pathway. The mausoleum was designed to accommodate eight coffins.
Built in 1910 by Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, 4th Baronet (b.1847-d.1935) for his eldest son, Captain Claude Champion de Crespigny D.S.O (b.1873 d.1910).
The 4th Baronet served in both the navy and army and was a well known sportsman and athlete, (riding steeplechase, hunting big game, swimming, diving, sculling). Sir Claude was also the first to cross the North Sea in a balloon in 1883.
His eldest son, Captain Claude Champion de Crespigny D.S.O saw active service in British East Africa and upon his death, in 1910, was interred within the mausoleum.
A further son, Lieutenant Norman Champion de Crespigny was killed in action near Nery, France in 1914. Norman was buried at Nery but his remains were later repatriated in the family mausoleum in the grounds of Champion Lodge. Identification of his body from a grave of some 17 other solders was said to have been by the neckband on his clothing. He was one of the few officers whose body was returned to England prior to a banning of the practice in 1915 (Gosling,L).
The 4th Baronet was laid to rest, alongside his two sons in 1935.
The current owner confirms that there is no visible above-ground trace of the mausoleum.
Grant, J (date?). Essex: Historical, Biographical and Pictorial. London: The London & Provincial Publishing Company. 149-159.
Gosling,L. (2013). A son brought home to rest - Lieut. Norman Champion de Crespigny. Available: http://blog.maryevans.com/2013/04/an-officer-brought-home-to-rest-lieut-norman-champion-de-crespigny.html. Last accessed 26th April 2014.
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Formerly located in grounds to the South West of Champion Lodge (now Totham Lodge),