John Gray (1831-1891) was one of the two men known to have survived the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War at Balaclava in 1854 and to have come to Fremantle. (The other is Henry Dyson Naylor.) He was born at Chatham, and fought unscathed at the Battle of the Alma (20 Sept 1854), and then escaped with only a 'slight wound' from Balaclava (25 October 1854). He also took part in the Siege of Sevastapol. After being discharged from the army in 1861, he joined the prison service. He arrived in 1866 on the Belgravia with his first wife Isabella, and served as a warder in the Prison.
Isabella having died, his second wife was Maria Wickliffe, whose sister was Sarah Harding (nee Wickliffe) widow of harbourmaster, Captain James Harding, the first owner of land at Butler's Swamp which became the (now former) Perth suburb of Graylands. Maria Gray administered the land when her sister became incompetent, and her husband bought it in 1889.
John Gray died in 1891, of 'paralysis alcoholism, acute', in Adelaide St, and was buried in the cemetery which was then at Skinner St. Maria had the land put on the market in 88 lots in 1896, and it was called the Graylands Estate after her.
Gray gravestone and railing which was in Karrakatta Cemetery until the area was 'renewed'. Only Maria is interred here.
Sacred to the memory of John R. Gray who died 24th June 1891 aged 60 years. Also Maria Gray wife of above died 15th June 1923 aged 84 years.
Image from Mikus: 31. >
Mikus, Pamela 2013, Graylands: The Evolution of a Suburb, Hons dissertation, Murdoch University.
Page at Diane Oldman's WA Crimean War Veterans site
Pensioners page, as an example of a warder who got a military pension
Garry Gillard | New: 19 January, 2015 | Now: 3 November, 2016