ALMOST 180 years after he left these shores to build a new life – and, in time, a new community – in Australia, Benjamin Gray finally has a lasting memorial in his home town of Littlehampton.
The man who put Littlehampton on the map in Southern Australia is now remembered on the map of the original Littlehampton.
The main road running through the new Kingley Gate estate to the north-west of the town has been named Benjamin Gray Drive in honour of the 19th century pioneer.
Former Littlehampton mayor Alan Gammon, who visited Littlehampton, South Australia, in 2009, when the township was celebrating the 150th anniversary of its naming, is delighted that the new road itself bears Benjamin’s name.
Alan, who has written a booklet, The Benjamin Gray Story, describing his life story and remarkable achievements, said: “Naming the road after him is a great tribute to him. It’s a sad fact that for many years, his story was relatively unknown, but now this road, the main road through the estate, will be a reminder of what he did in his life.”
Benajmin, his wife Eliza and son Guildford left London on October 7, 1838 on the sailing ship Resource, bound for South Australia. With a group of other settlers, he helped to found the community which would in due course become the new Littlehampton, adding the skills of brewing beer and surveying to his original trade of carpenter, and becoming a magistrate.