"Australia's best example of a garden suburb", Colonel Light Gardens is steeped in history with tree-lined streets, rounded street corners, wide grassed verges and open space.
Colonel Light Gardens was named in honour of Colonel William Light, South Australia's first surveyor. Colonel William Light, first Surveyor-General of South Australia and Founder of Adelaide, was the elder of the two sons of Captain Francis Light (the Founder and Governor of Penang, Malaya) and of Marina Rozells, referred to by some writers as a "Princess of Kedah". Colonel Light was born at Kuala Kedah (Malaya) on 27 April, 1786. His early years were spent in Theberton, Suffolk, England, from which the name 'Thebarton' was derived.
He served at various times in both the Royal Navy and the British Army. He was in France in 1803 when war broke out and was interned by Napoleon at Verdun, but escaped after only one month. He visited India in 1805 and 1806 and returned to Europe in 1807. He left the Army in 1821 and, in 1823, he went to Spain to join an international volunteer force to aid the Spanish Revolutionary Army and was given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.During an engagement at Corunna, Light was severely wounded and was desperately ill for some months. Eventually, he left Spain and returned to England in November 1823.
He arrived in South Australia in 1836, deciding upon the site for Adelaide on the last day of that year. His survey of Adelaide began on 11 January, 1837, at the north-western corner of South Adelaide at the junction of North and West Terraces, with the work being completed on 10 March. A granite obelisk marking the commencement of the survey is located on the northern side of the intersection. The naming of streets and squares took place on 23 May, 1837.
Colonel Light resigned as Surveyor-General in June 1838, and died from tuberculosis on 6 October, 1839. On 10 October, he was buried in Light Square, Adelaide, and there is now a memorial over his grave in the form of a marble column. A fine statue of Colonel Light was moved from Victoria Square to Montefiore Hill, North Adelaide, in 1938, and the area there is known as Light's Vision.