Tribute to a 'Generous Kind Loving Boy'

Tributes are paid to a teenage boy who died in a crash on the Thanet Way

16 year old Tom Brenchley died following a collision on the A299 Thanet Way last Tuesday evening (27 July) at 9.45pm at the Dargate turn off when his moped collided with a grey Volvo S80.

He was taken to the QEQM Hospital in Margate but died the following day.

Police are keen to speak to drivers who were in the area just before the collision and who may have seen the vehicles involved.

Here is a tribute from Thomas's family:

A big, cheeky grin and a joy for life are the lasting memories for the family of Tom Brenchley – the 16-year-old who died last Wednesday following a crash on the Thanet Way.

His devastated parents, Dave and Jackie and 18-year-old brother Chris, this week paid tribute to the teenager who was an accomplished sportsman and about to start a carpentry apprenticeship.

Dave said: “Everyone who knew Tom will remember him as a generous, kind and loving boy who was truly loyal to his friends. He had an infectious smile that lightened every room he entered. We feel so privileged to have known such a wonderful person and the world is a poorer place without him”

Tom was just five weeks old when the family moved to Hernhill near Faversham and he has been part of village life ever since. He attended the local playgroup and went to the village primary school and several of his many friends are from those early days.

At the age of just four he joined the local football team – the Hernhill Herons - and the family are proud of the room full of soccer trophies that he won whilst he played for the team and latterly for Whitstable Colts. He still enjoyed a game of football with friends and often challenged his dad to a kick about in the garden.

Tom also enjoyed other sports and had been introduced to golf, played a season of cricket for Whitstable Town and was becoming a proficient skier.

When he was 11 he went to the Archbishop’s School in Canterbury and earlier this summer sat his GCSEs. He left school following exams and while he was helping neighbours to lay a patio he decided he would like to pursue a career in the construction industry. To the delight of his proud parents he secured a carpentry apprenticeship which he would have started next week.

Jackie said: “Tom was born in a rush – just seven minutes after we got to hospital and he seems to have been on the go ever since.  He lived life to the full and had the wonderful gift of being able to make other people smile.”

Tom’s sense of humour endeared him to many – both those of his age and older and the cards and messages of sympathy that the family have received have been a huge comfort to Dave, a sergeant with Kent Police in Canterbury,  and Jackie, a Kent Police assistant business manager based in Canterbury.

Dave added: “We would like to thank all of those who have contacted us and sent cards – their thoughts mean so much to us and it has helped to know how popular Tom was and that he was loved by so many people.”

Tom died at Kings College Hospital in London where he had been taken after receiving serious head injuries in last week’s crash. His parents decided to allow their son’s organs to be used for transplant – a decision which they know he would have fully supported.

The funeral service and burial will be at St Michael’s Church in Hernhill where Tom was both christened and confirmed. The service is on Monday 9 August at 1pm and all friends of Tom and the family are welcome to attend. Family flowers only have been requested but donations will be taken in Tom’s memory to be used to help young people who have suffered head injuries.