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New collection added: Kent of Borrisokane

Uncovering the Kent Collection: A Window into Borrisokane’s Past

Tipperary Studies is delighted to announce the addition of a fascinating new collection to our digital archives: the Kent collection. This treasure trove of historical documents and photographs was kindly loaned to us for digitization by Roland Dyer, the great-grandson of Walter F. Kent, a prominent merchant and grocer from Borrisokane, County Tipperary.

Walter Francis Kent was a merchant and grocer who operated a business in Borrisokane, County Tipperary, Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in 1856, Kent was one of 13 children to Thomas and Esther Kent of Elmville, Terryglass. Before opening his own shop, Kent apprenticed at Fayle’s Hardware in Birr, County Offaly, where he learned the trade. His shop in Borrisokane offered a wide range of goods, including builders’ supplies, farm and garden seeds, coal, and groceries. The shop’s ledgers, which date from 1884 to 1932, provide insight into the daily lives of the local community, including farmers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and shopkeepers. Kent married Sarah Mary Hickie in 1881 and had eight children with her. He was also a licensed auctioneer and valuer. Kent continued to trade in Borrisokane until his death in 1930 at the age of 74. He was remembered as a respected and popular resident of the town.

Two of Walter Kent’s sons, Roland and Wilfred and his nephew Harold fought in World War 1. Both Roland and Harold Kent enlisted in the South Irish Horse in November 1915 and the collection includes photographs of Roland both during his training in Cahir barracks and his time in hospital in France and other memorabilia of his time in the army. He left the army in 1919 and returned to live in Borrisokane.

The Kent collection is a valuable addition to our digital archives, offering a unique window into the history of Borrisokane and its people. The ledgers in particular hold a wealth of genealogical and social history for Borrisokane and surrounding areas. We are grateful to Roland Dyer for entrusting us with this precious family treasure, and we hope that it will inspire further research and exploration of Tipperary’s rich heritage.

Read Mary Flynn’s article on Walter F. Kent here

View the digital archive here

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