Lieutenant William George Field Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The plaque at the gravesite commemorates Lieutenant William George Field, Assistant Surveyor to Colonel William Light who died in 1850.

The grave was restored by the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia and a plaque was set in concrete at the grave site. 

The grave of one of South Australia's important early explorers and surveyors has been found at Willunga. The damaged gravesite, which is in a state of considerable disrepair was found at the Willunga Cemetery by members of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia last year. They were researching the activities of Royal Navy Lieutenant William George Field, who played a signficant part in the early history of the State. The society's historical memorials committee has notified the Willunga District Council of the discovery and is anxious to see the restoration of what they consider to be an important historical site. 

The committee believes that the memory of this man should not be lost to South Australians. Lieutenant Field arrived at Kangaroo Island in August, 1836 as first mate on the H.M.S. Rapid. He became the first man to enter the Port River which he reported as a river of "considerable extent." He assisted Colonel Light with survey work, particularly along the coastline, and in 1837 introduced the orange tree to S.A. Later that year he took the first produce from the province back to England and was given a "bonus" by the S.A. Commissioners. After returning to S.A. Lt Field continued to work with the Rapid and was involved in survey work in the Port River. From 1841 he was engaged in pastoral pursuits with Alfred Barker in the Yankalilla district where he died in 1850, aged 43 years. Members of the committee will meet council representatives to discuss means of restoring the gravesite. The Heritage Unit of the Department for the Environment, has also been approached to support the project.
Victor Harbour Times (SA), 21 January 1981.


Address:Aldinga Road, Saint Stephen Anglican Cemetery, Willunga, 5172
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.271531
Long: 138.541267
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial


Front Inscription

Arrived with Col. Light to assist surveying,  
Discovered Port River 1836,
Took first produce to England 1837,
Overlanded stock from NSW 1839
Pastoralist Yankallila District 1841,
Died 30 November 1850  Aged 43

Source: MA,RGSSA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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