Property spotlight: South Hornchurch’s wartime relationship with a far-away Pacific island 

New Zealand Way sign in South Hornchurch

South Hornchurch's connections to New Zealand go back to the First World War - Credit: Ben Lynch

Not far up the road from the Rainham Tesco and just around the corner from Rainham Steel is a collection of South Hornchurch roads with a particular Antipodean connection. 

Those living in the area may well be familiar with streets named after New Zealand places, from New Zealand Way to Christchurch Avenue, Dunedin Road, Auckland Avenue and Queenstown Gardens, among others. 

New Zealand places some of the roads are named after include Christchurch Avenue, Queenstown Gardens and Gisborne Gardens

New Zealand places some of the roads are named after include Christchurch Avenue, Queenstown Gardens and Gisborne Gardens - Credit: Ben Lynch

According to Havering Council, the roads were named after Kiwi locations by Hornchurch Urban District Council in 1949 to commemorate the close ties forged between the country and Hornchurch during the First World War. 

The relationship began in January 1916, when Grey Towers Camp in Hornchurch was established as the base for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in England. 

Later that same year, after it was deemed too small for such a purpose, it was used as a hospital for the New Zealand troops, a role it continued until the end of the war. 

Queenstown Gardens in South Hornchurch

Queenstown Gardens in South Hornchurch - Credit: Ben Lynch

Former names for some of the streets include Halstead Road (Christchurch Avenue), Chesterford Avenue (New Zealand Way), and Tiptree Gardens (Queenstown Gardens). 

According to RightMove, homes in New Zealand Way sold for an average of £339,333 over the last year. 

Dunedin Road in South Hornchurch

Dunedin Road in South Hornchurch - Credit: Ben Lynch