Sole Road at Ngaere is another of the roads in the area named after local surveyors.
Thomas Gore Sole (1858 – 1936) was born in New Plymouth. His parents were Plymouth Company passengers, Thomas Sole (Oriental) and Sarah, née Devenish (Timandra). Thomas Jnr was educated in New Plymouth then he joined the Taranaki Provincial Council’s survey department as a cadet in 1874.
After qualifying much of his survey work for both the Provincial Council and later the Government survey department was in the Stratford area.
In 1881 he and Thomas K Skinner became partners in a firm which carried out a number of major surveys around Taranaki. In 1890 he established his own business as well as buying a dairy farm, proprietary butter factory and Jersey stud on Tarahua Road, New Plymouth. Ill-health forced him to give up farming but he re-joined the Department of Lands & Survey until his retirement in 1925.
Sole was deeply involved in the Methodist church and associated temperance matters, the Fitzroy Bowling Club and the development of East End Reserve.
Thomas and his wife, Alice had six surviving children – four boys and two girls.
Two of the sons died in World War One – Reginald, a carpenter for Boon Brothers, was killed in action at Chunuk Bair on 8 August 1915. Their second son, Leslie, a journalist at the Taranaki Herald, died of wounds received at the Daisy Patch, Cape Helles on 8 May 1915 and was buried at sea.
Note: Sole Avenue, Bell Block is probably named for Thomas Sole Senior.
This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.
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