Dennis was born in Stourport in 1896, the son of Thomas and Florence Crilley. In 1901, they were living in Hartlebury along with Dennis’s sister, Norah. The family had moved to 12 Fowler Street, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton, by 1911, and Dennis had gained three brothers – Hubert, Frank and Clarence. Dennis worked as a mechanic for a motoring manufacturer.
Dennis enlisted as a Private in the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 9983). He first served in the Balkans from 21 July 1915. On 15 September 1916, his name was listed in the Express & Star as having been wounded, but he recovered. In the course of the War, he rose to become a Corporal and later Second Lieutenant with the 12th Sherwood Forresters and with the 22nd Manchester Regiment. His address on his medal card was given as 31 Brevitt Road, Blakenhall, Wolverhampton.
Dennis survived the war, and married Agnes Parton in Wolverhampton in 1920. On 25 April 1924, his name appeared on a list of British passengers on the Montcalm ship, bound for Quebec, Canada, from Liverpool. His trade was given as “Fitter”. His reason for going to Canada was “to make my home”, but he was not accompanied by his wife. He was due to stay with his brother, Hubert, who was already living in Ontario. I have not been able to trace further details of Dennis’s life.