Preston Dennis was born on 19 October 1895, one of the nine children of John Thomas Fezzy Dennis and Elizabeth Jane née Broad. His childhood home was Broadley farm, Tamerton Foliot, near Plymouth, which his parents and maternal grandparents farmed. In 1909 the Dennis family became the tenants at Manor farm, Frampton, while the Broads took on Advowsons farm. On 30 March 1910 John Dennis withdrew his children from the village school and sent them to the National School in Saul because his 11-year-old son, Holland, was not being allowed to arrive at 10am every day after completing a milk round! At this time Preston and his three older brothers were helping on the farm.
Preston enlisted into the ‘New Army’ (under the recruitment scheme initiated by Lord Kitchener) on 16 November 1914, together with Frederick Alexander Franklin. He was later recorded as a second lieutenant in the Army Service Corps. On 4 April 1918 he arrived in Salonika as part of Allied operations in support of Serbia, Romania and Greece, which led to his being awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. His service is commemorated on the plaque in the village hall.
The marriage of Preston Dennis to Doris May Willcock was registered in the St Germans district of Cornwall during the spring of 1921, and in late 1924 the couple had a daughter, Rosamund, whose birth was also registered in St Germans. It is clear that Preston became a Regular officer of the British Indian Army, for in September 1931 he arrived in England on the SS Mooltan from Bombay, and returned to Bombay in July 1932 on SS Narkunda, in both cases giving his address as Pillmere, Saltash, and his occupation as ‘Captain’ or ‘Army Officer’. Doris and Rosamund are also recorded sailing between England and India; in 1928 (to and from Karachi) and 1935 (Bombay). Doris travelled alone from Bombay to Southampton in August 1946, just one year before the independence of India and the end of the British Indian Army. The address she gave was in Cheltenham which may have been where the couple settled as the deaths of Preston Dennis and his wife occurred in that district in 1972 and 1975 respectively.