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Bertram was born in Wolverhampton on 2 March 1885, the son of William John and Mary Darby. He was baptised at St Mark’s Church, Wolverhampton 0n 19 April 1885, when his address was given as 7 Yew Street. On 16 June 1899, Bertram started work as an apprentice for the London and North Western Railway, in the Commercial Handling Department. On 1 May 1901, he transferred to being an Extra Clerk to the Wolverhampton Manager, becoming a “Regular” on 1 December 1904. By 1911, he was living with his parents at 37 Humber Street, Wolverhampton, together with his brothers Cecil William and Leonard Henry. Bertram was still a clerk working for the railway.

Bertram’s name was printed in the Express & Star on 30 October 1914 as one of the men willing to enlist with the local companies. In his case, he enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 2959). His first medal rolls index card has the incorrect middle initial of “C”, but a note that says “Correct initial B. O. See # @ 18A”, and a second medal rolls index card with the correct initial. He first served in France from 3 March 1915.

He survived the war, and in 1918, he married Blanche Alford Andrews in Reading. Bertram died in Wolverhampton on 21 February 1961, when his address was given as 30 Dunkley Street, Wolverhampton. The value of his effects was £1741 19s. 5d.