Dennis and his family originated from Bugsworth (or as it’s now more politely known – Buxworth) where his father, Matthew was landlord of a public house on Navigation Lane (almost certainly the Navigation Inn which is still there). Matthew was married to Martha and they had at least two other children – Sidney and Maurice.
By the time of the Great War, the family had moved to Cross Lane, Marple and Dennis was working at nearby Goyt Mill. He is understood to have enlisted, at Stockport, into the army in November 1915 and was assigned to the Royal Garrison Artillery. For training purposes, he joined 143rd Heavy Battery which had been raised at Ashton under Lyne. This was later redesignated as the 43rd Battery and he went on active service, in October 1916, with it to the Salonika theatre of war in northern Greece, where British troops faced the Bulgarian Army.
The Garrison Artillery fired the heaviest guns in the British Army, used to batter enemy defences and, also, to target the enemy’s own artillery. However, there was hardly any action when the troops arrived and Dennis may never have seen his guns fire “in anger”. The Salonika campaign was characterised by high levels of illness and disease and, for every man who was killed in action, three died of natural causes. Denis was no exception and, within weeks of arriving, had died from the effects of malaria.
When the news of Dennis’ death was reported in the local newspapers, the article indicated that Matthew Hall had also died by then. The family website, CheshireBMD records that the death of a man of the right age (57) was registered in Macclesfield in 1917.
Further information about Dennis,,including a photograph, can be found in the book “Remembered” by P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff.