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News > Community > Sheila Hoole, Wife of Former Park House Housemaster Gilbert Hoole, Turned 108 This Month

Sheila Hoole, Wife of Former Park House Housemaster Gilbert Hoole, Turned 108 This Month

Mrs Hoole, is almost certainly the last surviving widow of anyone who served in the First World War and is 62nd (known) oldest living person in the UK:
20 Dec 2021

Both Sheila's sons from her marriage to Gilbert were also at Tonbridge, Peter (WH 58 – 63) and Richard Hoole (WH 65 – 70).  They have kindly sent in a recent photo of Sheila on her amazing birthday holding a card from HM The Queen:

Richard Hoole informs us how HM The Queen contacts you on your centenary: "On one’s 100th Birthday the Palace send a card. On one’s 105th Birthday the Palace again sends a card and thereafter every year.

Each card comes in a special envelope with precise instructions to deliver the card on the exact birthday. These instructions are directed to the local Post Office, who are required to report back to the Palace by 0930 hrs on the specified day that the delivery has been made.

Each year the Queen’s picture on the outside of the card is different. A few weeks before the birthday an official from the Department for Works and Pensions visits to ascertain that the recipient is alive and where they are living".

During her time at Tonbridge, Sheila made an impact on the lives of hundreds of boys through her role in the House.

Peter and Richard, shared how Sheila is faring, “she has only been in a care home (in Etchingham) for the last two years, she finds it very comfortable. Considering her age her mind is pretty good and she can still walk. Astonishing really!” 

Ref: Oldest People in Britain (

If you would like to share your memories of Mrs Hoole or pass on your birthday wishes, please email your contributions to

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