School Hill, Lewes (1917 postmark)
Wholesale stationer, 1 Terminus Place, Eastbourne. When the 1911 census was held, Ernest Gray was boarding with William Potter, a bath chair proprietor, at his home at Shirley House in York Road at Eastbourne. Ernest is described in the census as a wholesale stationer. Kelly's 1911 Sussex Directory gives his place of work as 1 Terminus Place, but he was gone from this address by the time Gowland's 1912 Eastbourne Directory was compiled, and may already have left the town.
The 1911 census reports that Gray was 25 years old and had been born at Smarden in Kent. No entry for him has been found in the 1901 census, or in the index of births for England and Wales. The nearest match in the 1891 census is an Ernest Gray at Biddenden in Kent, who was the son of Margaretta and Charles Gray, an agricultural labourer. His place of birth is stated to have been Biddenden, not Smarden, but he had a brother and sister, who had been born at Smarden. Already 9 years old, he would have been 29 in 1911, not 25 as recorded for the Eastbourne stationer.
No evidence has been found to suggest that Ernest Gray was in any way connected with the firm of Gray & Co., who in 1905 were hardware dealers at 161 Seaside, but by 1912 were trading as stationers at 108 Seaside Road.
The label "E. Gray, Publisher, Eastbourne" appears on a series of halftone cards of Lewes (for example, Cliffe High Street, a general view of Lewes, the High Street and Lewes Prison) and Brighton (such as the Aquarium and Marine Parade). Cards of both places were on sale by 1911. It is curious that Gray does not seem to have published any cards of Eastbourne, but perhaps he stayed in the town only for a short time.
An Ernest G. T. Gray, aged 35, died in Kent early in 1921 (the death was registered at East Ashford). More research is needed to establish whether he was the former publisher of Gray's Sussex postcards
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