1964 - Dennis H L Johnson

Dennis H L Johnson - Master 1964 was born on 20th June 1924.  He joined his brother, Murray, at Highgate School.  On leaving school he went, as an apprentice, into the family firm of Benton & Johnson, who produced gold and silver wire for military uniforms and badges.  

War interrupted Dennis's training.  He went into the army joining the Royal Artillery and was sent out to India.  This was then followed by Palestine where members of the army were sent to assist the police who were hard up for staff.  After the war he returned to the family firm.

Joseph Johnson (Master 1821) started the firm in 1809 and in 1929 traded wires with Stephen Simpson.  The two of them got on so well that they decided to go into a partnership producing laces and embroidery.  This lasted approximately 40 years, splitting in 1890.  The firm was based in the West End of London.   The Johnson firm then joined up with Benton to become Benton & Johnson.  Leslie W Johnson's (Master 1949) father's mother and Roland Benton's (Master 1942)mother were sisters.  Benton & Benton were much smaller and when Roland's father died his mother asked her nephew (Johnson) to run their business.  Mrs Benton said she would only sell the business to them if it was called Benton & Johnson and not the other way round, although Johnsons owed 7/8th and the Bentons 1/8th.

Probably more important than any other post war development within the Company had been the Court's increased interest in the trade, particularly in trade exhibitions.  In 1961 Dennis organised a trade exhibit for the Commonwealth Training Week Exhibition, which was very well received.

Dennis married his wife Iona in 1951 and they had one daughter Susan.  In 2009 Iona died after a long illness.