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Founder Of Denis Rawlins Limited Dies Aged 96


2014 ended with some very sad news for Denis Rawlins Limited as they learned of the death of their founder, Major Denis B Rawlins, who passed away in his sleep on Christmas Day. Denis lived to the ripe old age of 96, and he lived an extremely eventful life, far beyond the world of vacuum cleaners.


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Born in Simla, British India on 9th April 1918, Denis lived in Jodhpur for the early years of his life, before the family returned to England in 1924. He was educated in both Ireland and England, before embarking on a life in the army when he joined Sandhurst in 1936, aged 18.


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Through the army, Denis returned to India in 1938, where he joined the 2nd 10th Gurkha Rifl es in Quetta (now Pakistan) on the border with Afghanistan. He was well travelled throughout his time with the army and notable postings include Bombay (Mumbai), Basra, Baghdad, Saigon and Burma. He changed regiments to the Royal Gurkha Rifl es in Italy in late 1944.


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In 1948 Denis decided to retire from the army and came back to the UK briefl y before travelling to South Africa, where his parents now lived, and Rhodesia, where he met his wife, Lucy, who survives him today. They had their fi rst three children, Michael, David and Susan, whilst they lived in Rhodesia.


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Denis and Lucy moved back to the UK in 1954 and Denis worked for many years in the wine trade. They had two children, Annette in 1954 and Stephen in 1957, living in Cheltenham until 1963. It was in 1969 that Denis joined the cleaning industry, when he joined Vanguard Floor Maintenance (now Premiere Products) in Cheltenham, and soon after he started his own company selling cleaning equipment as D B W & L E Rawlins, far removed from wine, but providing the wherewithal to indulge. The company became a Limited company in 1981, to become Denis Rawlins Limited as we know it today.


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Denis retired in 1987 and passed the company over to his son, Stephen, who remained at the helm of the company up until 2013.


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