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'Gaffer' Dennis and his wife

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Wordsworth

Samuel and Mabel Dennis were together for over 60 years - Thornbury Museum

Samuel and Mabel Dennis were together for over 60 years – Thornbury Museum


Samuel Dennis
was a much loved and respected schoolmaster. From 1917, Samuel ran the National and Council schools for the duration of the war. Mabel, his wife, was also a teacher.

The school was very busy keeping up with government demands. The War Office wished school children to pick wild blackberries. They were used for making jam for the servicemen. In October 1917 over 41 cwt. was sent. The Ministry of Munitions also wanted horse chestnuts and the children collected 2 tons. Three sacks of waste paper were also sent to E A Chamberlain Ltd. Nailsworth, weighing 2 cwt.

Holidays were extended to reduce fuel bills. Children were allowed time off for milking or harvest. School was frequently closed due to illnesses. Refugee children from Belgium joined the school.

A pillar of the local community, after retirement, Samuel continued as school manager until his death in 1965 aged 91.

Samuel Dennis taught at the National School, now St Mary's Thornbury from 1905 until 1939 - Thornbury Museum

Samuel Dennis taught at the National School, now St Mary’s Thornbury from 1905 until 1939 – Thornbury Museum

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