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British Industrial History

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Claude Champion de Crespigny

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Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, fourth baronet (1847–1935), military adventurer and sportsman, was born in Chelsea on 20 April 1847, the eldest son of Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, third baronet (1818–1868), of Wivenhoe Hall, Essex, and his wife, Mary, second daughter of Sir J. Tyssen Tyrell, bt, MP.

He attended Temple Grove School, East Sheen, until the age of thirteen, when he entered the navy, serving as a midshipman in the Warrior in 1862.

In 1866 he transferred to the army as an ensign, and was with the King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th) in Ireland and India.

In 1882 Sir Claude took up ballooning, and in July 1883 became the first man to cross the North Sea, winning the Balloon Society's gold medal for this feat.

He died at his home, Champion Lodge, Maldon, Essex, on 26 June 1935, and was buried in a mausoleum he had built in the grounds for his eldest son, who died in 1910.

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