Thomas Wolfe (1899 – 1980)

Thomas Wolfe was born at Potash Farm in Platt on 27 November 1899 and baptised in the parish church on 11 February 1900. He was the eldest of four children of Tom Wolfe, a local farmer, and his wife Emma Agnes (née Barham) who was from Penge. He attended Platt School from 8 August 1904 after which he joined his father, who was a market gardener, working on the farm.

Generally known as ‘Tom’, he was conscripted on his eighteenth birthday at Maidstone Barracks and called up for service one month later on 27 December 1917. Posted to join the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) he subsequently transferred to ‘D’ Company of the 2/1st West Kent (Queen’s Own) Yeomanry on 3 March 1918. Formed as a Second-Line regiment in Maidstone in September 1914, at the time Tom was taken on strength the yeomanry formed part of the 3rd Cyclist Brigade and moved to Ireland the following month. On 10 October, while based in Galway, Tom transferred for the final time and joined the 1/8th (Cyclist) Battalion, Essex Regiment in Naas, County Kildare. He saw out the remainder of the war in Ireland, demobilised on 3 December 1919, and awarded the National Service Medal.

Tom’s father died in 1932, after which Tom took over the farm and lived there with his sisters Cecily and Dorothy until his death at the Emily Jackson Hospital in Sevenoaks on 9 September 1980. None of the Wolfe siblings married and they are all buried in the Platt Churchyard.