Former Eastbourne police inspector passes away

Peter Dennis SUS-161114-134329001
Peter Dennis SUS-161114-134329001

Warm tributes have been paid to a former Eastbourne Police inspector.

Peter Dennis, known as Check Dennis, passed away at the age of 92 on October 25.

Mr Dennis served 30 years in the job after joining Eastbourne Borough Police in 1948.

His son Steve Dennis, a former Chief Inspector, paid tribute to his father this week and said he was an “old school police officer who was a real character”.

Born in London, Mr Dennis moved to Eastbourne in 1948 with his wife Marjorie, known as Pat, after leaving the RAF where he had served as a bomb aimer in Lancaster aircraft in the Second World War.

The couple had three children and the family lived initially in a police house in The Crescent, which had the only female police cell in the town – there were only cells for males at the police station in Grove Road.

Mr Dennis rose through the ranks of the force and became an inspector.

He looked after notorious Dr Bodkin Adams while the fraudster was on trial for murder and frequently volunteered to be hoisted down Beachy Head on a stretcher to pick up bodies and injured people.

He also looked after new recruits who joined the force.

Mr Dennis retired in 1978 and became a clerk to detective constables in Eastbourne CID for a number of years.

In his retirement, as well as caring for his wife, he enjoyed painting water colours and exhibited his paintings at Jevington Village Hall.

Mr Dennis said his father was a popular officer who spent all of his 30 year police career at Eastbourne.

“My father was a very kind man and had a great career at Eastbourne,” said Mr Dennis.

“He was known as Check because of his time in the RAF. When he was given instructions during operations he used to respond by saying ‘check’ as a term of understanding and this carried on into his police career and he was known as Inspector Check Dennis.

“He also loved opera and could often be heard singing arias outside the superintendent’s office on the first floor of the police station in the middle of the night. When he was asked why, he said it because the acoustics were fantastic.”

Mr Dennis’ funeral will be at Eastbourne Crematorium on Friday November 25 at 11.30am and at the Saffrons from 1pm.