Former Royal Artillery officer and active Rotarian, Kenneth Edward Thomas, has died at the age of 92.

Kenneth, affectionately known as Ken, was born at Asylum Road, Peckham, on November 7, 1927.

During the war, aged 15, he followed in his father's footsteps to join the Royal Artillery as a boy soldier.

On turning 18, he was selected for officer training, and won his commission in 1946, becoming a full lieutenant while a part of occupying forces stationed in Dortmund.

Post war, Mr Thomas had an active roll in the Territorial Army, and worked as an area manager for Schweppes.

With his wife, Joan, and their young family, they moved to the Island in 1969 to live in and run the Woodlynch Hotel in Bonchurch.

Mr Thomas enjoyed involvement in local life, joining the Auxiliary Coastguard, singing in the choir at Bonchurch, joining Ventnor Rotary Club and becoming chairman of the local hoteliers' association.

On selling the hotel, Mr Thomas joined the Isle of Wight Tourist Board as its membership officer, where he more than quadrupled membership numbers.

He went on to chair the tourist board in 1982, and also sat on the Southern Tourist Board, where he was made deputy chairman.

In the late 1970s, Ken ­— with his second wife, Anne ­— founded Isle of Wight Holidays Ltd, and were instrumental in creating some of the first packaged holiday tours to the Isle of Wight.

The partnership went on to run holiday parks in Seaview and Gurnard.

Ken spent 30 enjoyable years in the Rotary, for different clubs, making long lasting friendships.

Ken died on November 23, with his wife Anne by his side at their Shanklin home.

He leaves his wife, children Lynn, Ian, Sarah and Stewart, step-daughters Jane and Louise, 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.