Captain "A.J" Champion served in the First World War. He had joined the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and went to France in October 1914, the regiment being the first Territorial one to serve in France. He was awarded the Military Medal, which was gazetted on 11 Oct 1916. Page 9289. This was also listed on his Second World War Ringwood Home Guard records. He was then commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in March 1917, serving until December 1919.
He married 29 Oct 1918 in Ringwood to Marjorie Frances Ghrimes, a Red Cross VAD nurse who had served in France, the Dardanelles (hospital ship) and England.
He was an Estate agent, taking over the partnership of his firm, Ghrimes & Champion Estate Agents, 4 High Street, Ringwood, in 1925 and continuing in business through and after the war. His son Flight Lieutenant John Ghrimes Champion was tragically killed serving in the RAF as a Typhoon pilot in France in July 1944.
His Grandson Nick recalls; "My mother told me that he took her (a 2WW Red Cross VAD nurse) to Hengistbury Head just prior to D Day. No doubt his role gave him the correct passes to journey from Ringwood to Christchurch at such a sensitive time. She said that Bournemouth Bay was black/grey with D Day shipping. An amazing site".
He is recorded as being promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in June 1940 prior to the formation of Auxiliary Units, so this was probably while serving with the regular Home Guard in Ringwood. He became a full Lieutenant in February 1941 and was promoted Captain in August 1944, probably when he took over command of the Area.
|Unit or location||Role||Posted from||until|
|Hampshire Group 1 - Ringwood Area||Area Commander||10 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Hampshire Group 2 - New Forest Area||Area Commander||10 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Hampshire Group 3 - North West||Area Commander||10 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Hampshire Group 4 - Eastleigh & Baddesley||Area Commander||10 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Hampshire Group 5 - Soberton to Bishops Waltham Area||Area Commander||10 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Hampshire Group 1 - Ringwood Area||Group Commander||10 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
Architect, Auctioneer & Estate Agent
On the 1939 Register he is recorded as Late Lieutenant in Royal Field Artillery (SR).
TNA ref WO199/3391
Hancock data held at B.R.A
Grandson Nick Slinger