John and Herbert Dennis (1871 & 78-1939)

The brothers were born at Haddacott Farm, Huntshaw, North Devon, John in 1871 and with Raymond (Herbert) following in 1878. Originally, the family went by the mediaeval Anglo-Norman surname of Le Denys, which became anglicised as Denys and then later as Dennis. John became an apprentice ironmonger in Bideford before eventually moving to Guildford, Surrey where he began to manufacture bicycles in his spare time. His enterprise proved profitable and so he opened the Universal Athletic Stores in the High Street, Guildford, selling bicycles and other sporting goods. It was here that his brother Raymond joined him. The brothers business expanded and they progressed to manufacture their first motorised vehicle in 1898, a tricycle fitted with a single cylinder De Dion engine.
 
Dennis Brothers Limited, a private company, was formed in July 1901 with four directors, seven subscribers, and a sizeable capital of £7500, increased to £100,000 (approximately £11,000,000 today) in 1906. Dennis Brothers (1913) Ltd was floated as a public company with £300,000 of share capital in March 1913. 1918 saw the company return to its original name of Dennis Brothers Ltd with John and Raymond as joint managing directors. John involved himself in the day-to-day running of the business whilst Sir Raymond, knighted in 1920, became the inspired sales director.

John and Herbert Dennis (1871 & 78-1939)

The brothers were born at Haddacott Farm, Huntshaw, North Devon, John in 1871 and with Raymond (Herbert) following in 1878. Originally, the family went by the mediaeval Anglo-Norman surname of Le Denys, which became anglicised as Denys and then later as Dennis. John became an apprentice ironmonger in Bideford before eventually moving to Guildford, Surrey where he began to manufacture bicycles in his spare time. His enterprise proved profitable and so he opened the Universal Athletic Stores in the High Street, Guildford, selling bicycles and other sporting goods. It was here that his brother Raymond joined him. The brothers business expanded and they progressed to manufacture their first motorised vehicle in 1898, a tricycle fitted with a single cylinder De Dion engine.
 
Dennis Brothers Limited, a private company, was formed in July 1901 with four directors, seven subscribers, and a sizeable capital of £7500, increased to £100,000 (approximately £11,000,000 today) in 1906. Dennis Brothers (1913) Ltd was floated as a public company with £300,000 of share capital in March 1913. 1918 saw the company return to its original name of Dennis Brothers Ltd with John and Raymond as joint managing directors. John involved himself in the day-to-day running of the business whilst Sir Raymond, knighted in 1920, became the inspired sales director.

John and Herbert Dennis (1871 & 78-1939)

The brothers were born at Haddacott Farm, Huntshaw, North Devon, John in 1871 and with Raymond (Herbert) following in 1878. Originally, the family went by the mediaeval Anglo-Norman surname of Le Denys, which became anglicised as Denys and then later as Dennis. John became an apprentice ironmonger in Bideford before eventually moving to Guildford, Surrey where he began to manufacture bicycles in his spare time. His enterprise proved profitable and so he opened the Universal Athletic Stores in the High Street, Guildford, selling bicycles and other sporting goods. It was here that his brother Raymond joined him. The brothers business expanded and they progressed to manufacture their first motorised vehicle in 1898, a tricycle fitted with a single cylinder De Dion engine.
 
Dennis Brothers Limited, a private company, was formed in July 1901 with four directors, seven subscribers, and a sizeable capital of £7500, increased to £100,000 (approximately £11,000,000 today) in 1906. Dennis Brothers (1913) Ltd was floated as a public company with £300,000 of share capital in March 1913. 1918 saw the company return to its original name of Dennis Brothers Ltd with John and Raymond as joint managing directors. John involved himself in the day-to-day running of the business whilst Sir Raymond, knighted in 1920, became the inspired sales director.

Sir Raymond Dennis, K.B.E. died in his 61st year on May 20th, 1939, with the death of John coincidentally following shortly afterwards, again in 1939. Together they had made the name of Dennis internationally synonymous with heavy vehicles and in particular the ubiquitous red fire engine.
 
Today Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) is the UK’s leading bus and coach manufacturer, employing around 2,000 people at facilities in the UK, continental Asia and North America.

Sir Raymond Dennis, K.B.E. died in his 61st year on May 20th, 1939, with the death of John coincidentally following shortly afterwards, again in 1939. Together they had made the name of Dennis internationally synonymous with heavy vehicles and in particular the ubiquitous red fire engine.
 
Today Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) is the UK’s leading bus and coach manufacturer, employing around 2,000 people at facilities in the UK, continental Asia and North America.

Sir Raymond Dennis, K.B.E. died in his 61st year on May 20th, 1939, with the death of John coincidentally following shortly afterwards, again in 1939. Together they had made the name of Dennis internationally synonymous with heavy vehicles and in particular the ubiquitous red fire engine.
 
Today Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) is the UK’s leading bus and coach manufacturer, employing around 2,000 people at facilities in the UK, continental Asia and North America.

Support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House-Great Torrington-Devon-EX388AF
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum
Please support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8AF.
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum
Please support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8AF.
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum