Denys was the son of Harold Crossley Salt and his wife Grace and therefore Great grandson of Sir Titus Salt.
He remembered his grandmother, Catherine (nee Crossley) who was the wife of Titus Junior and spoke fondly of her, recalling how she had been greatly involved in the church activities here and returned for special; events when she moved out of Milner Field.
Denys was educated at Marlborough school before going up to St. Edmund Hall College, Oxford where he graduated with an Oxford MA
After the Second World War Denys served in the British Military Government of occupied Austria in the Province of Styria and was decorated by the Austrian Government for his contribution to the reconstruction of the country.
He then went to work for the BBC where he remained for 28 years during which time he regularly visited Austria forming firm ties with the country and the people. In 1989 he married Eva Kiesling of Graz and it was there that he and Eva lived latterly, although sadly, Eva died in May 2010.
Denys first visited Saltaire in 1953 for the centenary celebrations of the village. He arrived not knowing what to expect and was overwhelmed with the scale of his ancestor’s estate. Since then Denys has visited regularly until the last two years when his health has not been strong enough for the journey. In 1955 along with representatives of 3 generations of the Salt family he was present at the opening of the Saltaire Study Centre at Shipley College. In September 2003 four generations of the family were reunited for the Saltaire Festival which commemorated the bi-centenary of the birth of Titus Salt and attended the church to rededicate the bells. Indeed each time Denys visited he came to the church for Sunday morning worship.
He visited again in 2006 for the 150th anniversary of the presentation of the marble bust to Sir Titus salt which now sits in the church porch. He came again in 2007 and 2008 for the Festival and on the second occasion he visited the new Titus Salt school. In 2009 he joined us in April for the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the church and marched up Victoria Road with us to our celebratory lunch in Victoria Hall. In September of the same year Maggie silver hosted a lunch in his honour at the Mill. ]
His last visit was in September 2012 when at the Festival he was present for the Salt Symposium , an event organised as part of the Festival.
Titus Salt was not his only famous ancestor as well as his connections with the Crossley family whose carpet business was a long established employer in Yorkshire, he was the great, great, great nephew of the poet William Cowper whose hymn “God moves in a mysterious in a mysterious way” is to be suing at his funeral service in February. His father was also a close friend of Sir John Steiner who set the tune “Cross of Jesus” to the words by John Henry Newman “Firmly I believe and truly” – a splendid hymn of certainty which Denys has also chosen to be sung on the same occasion.
All who met Denys can testify to his kindliness and vibrant interest in all whom he met. Truly a wonderful gentle, gentleman.
Valerie Jenkins with information provided by Pauline Sleight.