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DENNIS, Cyril James (1888-1955)

DENNIS, Cyril James (1888-1955)

Cyril James Dennis was born at Tarndwarncoort, Colac, on 15 August 1888, the son of John Dennis and Matilda nee Dennis.

Cyril James Dennis (Rowing 1906).

Cyril James Dennis (Rowing 1906).

He was educated at Geelong College, where he entered as a boarder in 1903. He was a member of the 1st Football Team of 1906, and rowed No 2 in the College 1st VIII of 1906. He gained several prizes during his studies at Geelong College as follows:
1903, 1st, History, Middle 4th Class
1904, 1st, French, Middle 4th Form
1904, 1st, Dancing,
1905, 2nd, History, University Form B
1905, 2nd, Geography, University Form B
1905, 1st, Boarders Scripture, Senior Division
1906, 1st, Boarders Scripture, Senior Division

After leaving College, he enrolled at Dookie Agricultural College, gaining a Diploma of Agricultural Education, and becoming Dux of the College at the 1909 January Examinations.

He joined the Field Branch of the Victorian Department of Agriculture as Field Officer in 1909. He engaged in experimental work principally in the area of wheat growing, until April 1911, when he transferred to the Maffra district to assist in the establishment and development of the sugar beet industry. He resigned from the Department in March 1913, and went into partnership with John Vernon Dennis, engaged in mixed farming, mostly sheep and cereal growing.

He enlisted (No 6986) in the AIF on 5 September 1916, embarking on HMAT A20 Hororata on 23 November 1916, and served with the 5 Battalion in France as a Private. He was wounded at Menin Road, on 20 September 1917, and subsequently invalided to England. He was repatriated to Australia on 10 January 1918.

A brief obituary appeared in Pegasus: 'Cyril James Dennis died on August 17 (1955) at the age of 67 years. He was at the College from 1903 to 1906, when he played in the XVIII. After attending the Dookie Agricultural College he took up a property at Nambrok, Gippsland. He served with the AIF in the First World War. His sons, John and Michael, Collegians of recent years, are carrying on the property at Nambrok.'

Sources: Pegasus December 1955 p62; Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p169 (citing Alexander Henderson, Early Pioneer Families of Victoria and Riverina.(1936); Pegasus; National Archives).
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