Born into a prominent nationalist family from Castlelyons, Co Cork in 1865, Kent stayed at home after the countermand instead of rising. After the insurrection went ahead, the Kent home was raided by British Crown forces on 22 April 1916, who were were met with resistance from Thomas and his brothers Richard, David and William. Mrs Kent, aged 84 at the time, reportedly called out: “We are soldiers of the Irish Republic and there is no surrender.”
In the gunfight, an RIC officer was killed. David Kent was seriously wounded, Richard was shot while fleeing and died of his wounds, while Thomas and William were later tried for murder of the officer. William was acquitted, but Thomas was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad in Cork on 9 May 1916. David Kent got five years penal servitude. Apart from Roger Casement, Thomas Kent is the only person outside of Dublin to be executed for his role in the events of Easter Week. He is buried at Collins Barracks, Cork. In 1966 the railway station in Cork was renamed Kent Station in his honour.