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Car inventor’s grave restored in Hale

John Henry Knight

Published by Josh Kerr at 9:38pm 15th March 2019.

A grave in the churchyard at Hale's St John’s Church belonging to the motor vehicle inventor John Henry Knight has been restored.

The grave dates from 1917 and had fallen into disrepair before the church sought and received the go-ahead from John Knight’s descendants to repair the monument.

It comes at a time when the church is celebrating its 175th anniversary and its links with the community past, present and future.

John Henry Knight's Grave

John Henry Knight, who was born in 1847 and lived in Weybourne House, Weybourne Road, Farnham, invented one of Britain’s earliest petrol-powered motor vehicles.

In October 1895 he also became one of the first recipients of a motoring fine when he and his assistant James Pullinger were found guilty at 'Farnham Petty Sessions' in Farnham Town Hall of using a locomotive without a licence and of not having a red flag carried in front.

James Pullinger had been stopped while driving the vehicle in Castle Street, Farnham, earlier in the month. The car can now be seen in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu.

John Knight was responsible for several other inventions, including a steam-powered hop-digger, a brick-laying machine, a grenade-thrower, a radiator and a 'dish lever' for tilting plates when carving meat.

Rev’d Lesley Crawley from St John’s Church said:

“John Henry Knight seems to have been a colourful and clever man who was always using his ingenuity to create something new and solve problems of the day.

Everyone in the parish has the right to be buried in our churchyard and everyone is equally special and equally loved by God.

"I find it humbling to think of all the people who have been associated with the church over the past 175 years and who will be in the future.

"The church is for everyone from the most eccentric inventors to the quietest passers-by.”

John Henry Knight’s grave can be seen in the St John’s churchyard along Hale Road.

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