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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Gosse, William Christie

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Gosse, William Christie, sometime Deputy Surveyor-General, South Australia, was the son of Dr. Gosse, and was born in 1842 at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. He went to South Australia with his father in 1850, and, entering the Government service in 1859, was engaged on a trigonometrical survey at the far north. After holding various positions in the Survey Department, he was sent to explore new country lying 800 miles southward of central Mount Stuart, with the ultimate object of pushing over to Western Australia. He started on April 23rd, 1873, from Alice Springs, on the Port Darwin telegraph line, with five whites, three Afghans (with camels), and a native boy. On July 19th he discovered the "Ayers Rock"—a mass of granite two miles long and one wide—which he named after Sir Henry Ayers. He returned to his starting point in December, having failed, through the arid nature of the country, in pushing through to Western Australia. He, however, acquired an accurate geographical knowledge of 60,000 square miles of new country. In 1875 he was appointed Deputy Surveyor-General in recognition of his valuable services, and died prematurely on August 12th, 1881.