Bill Dennis 1924 - 2000
All Saints Church, New Haw, Surrey was filled to capacity on the 17th July as the large congregation paid their last respects to our much respected member and Treasurer, Lieutenant Commander William Walter Dennis, MBE, RN.
Bill, as he was fondly known, had been a member of the FPHS for some 15 years and during his time as Treasurer did much to secure the financial stability of the Society for the long term, the first ever to take the future seriously into consideration. His collecting interests reflected the sailor and his knowledge of affairs nautical, the Austro - Hungarian Navy and steamship lines were a favourite subject alongside the Royal Navy with a special interest in Jutland.
Bill enlisted as an apprentice ERA (Engineer) for the four year course in 1940 and his first ship in 1944 was the cruiser HMS Royalty, in which he served in the Atlantic and northern waters, moving to the Mediterranean in support of the Allied landing in the south of France. With the end of hostilities in Europe he served in the Far East. He was commissioned Lieutenant 'E' in 1951 and served at sea in a variety of ships from aircraft carriers to frigates and took part in the Korean War. For two years he held a senior post as Engineer in Hong Kong where his family joined him, and his services were much in demand in other establishments in the UK on his return.
It was fitting that the mourners, which included the committee and members of the FPHS, awaited the arrival of the coffin to the strains of the organ playing favourite music which included the Blue Danube by Strauss. The coffin was draped with the White Ensign and bore a wreath, his sword and decorations, which gave a brave splash of colour from the sunlight which filled the church.
Our sympathy goes out to Bill's wife Christine and children John, Mandy and Gillian.