Denys Crossley Salt – 1918-2014 – an Obituary

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.


Holocaust Memorial Day Tuesday 27th January

holocaust-memorial-daySaltaire United Reformed Church will be open from dawn till dusk for silent prayer and reading accounts of the Holocaust – stories of victims and survivors.
Tuesday 27 January 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. By the end of the Holocaust, six million Jewish men, women and children had perished in ghettos, mass-shootings, in concentration camps and extermination camps.
2015 is also the 20th anniversary of the genocide of 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Bosnia.
We will keep the memory alive by lighting 70 candles in the vestibule of the church before dawn, plus another 20 at midday. Anyone, of any faith or none, is welcome to join us during the day. 27 January 2015 is a day for everyone to remember the millions murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. We honour the survivors of these atrocities and learn the lessons of their experiences to challenge hatred and discrimination in the UK today.