Dennis died on 28 January 2008, aged almost 86 years.

Sgt D Oakes
Sgt D Oakes

He was born on 25 February 1922 at South Stoneham, Southampton, where he later attended local schools. His parents later moved to Poole, where he resided for his early years.

At the outbreak of war, Dennis was too young, but as soon as he was of age he went to Dorchester where he enlisted on 28 November 1942 into the Territorial Army with the Royal Armoured Corps. He remained in the TA until 29 January 1942, when he was posted to the 54th Training Regiment.

He then spent 6 months with the 11th Hussars. He was later posted to The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars on 18 February 1944 at West Tofts, just in time for a visit by His Majesty King George VI. Thee followed various courses during which he became a qualified vehicle mechanic.

Dennis was due to take a tank on a Tank Landing Craft to Normandy on 6 June – ’D’ Day – but the craft was delayed and he eventually landed on D + 2.

He saw action with his Regiment from Normandy to the Baltic, during which he was to be informed of the death of his brother Gordon, aged 20 years, serving with a Highland Regiment. Gordon was serving only a matter of some 20 miles from where Dennis was then based.

On his demob on 1 February 1947, Dennis took up employment as a signals engineer with the ten British Railways. Later, with his knowledge of tanks, he changed his employment and returned to work at 18 Command Workshops, Bovington Camp, where he remained for 34 years.

As well as having received the 1939/45 Star, France and Germany Star, and the War Medal, Dennis also received the Imperial Service Medal.

Dennis married Daisy Matthews on 15 September 1951, and they have two daughters, Sonia and Wendy, who provided them with grandsons and a daughter.

He was proud of his service with The 8th Hussars.

He attended Reunion Dinners in London and joined the Regimental Association in April 1989.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. North-West Europe 1944-45 timeline