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Bernard was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of John and Emily Lewis. The family were living at 91 Rayleigh Road, Wolverhampton, in 1901, together with Bernard’s sisters, Etheldreda, Margaret Mary and Agnes Milly. By 1911, the family were living at 43 Owen Road, Wolverhampton, and Bernard had become a clerk.

On 11 December 1915, he enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 4877). His address by that date was given as 12 Compton Road, and his trade was clerk. He joined the Essex Regiment (number 42564), but received a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the left arm on 15 June 1918. He was tried by Field General Court-Martial, and sentenced to 21 days Field Punishment for “negligently wounding himself”. He was transferred to the 759th Area Employment Company of the Labour Corps (number 651421), but died of influenza in France on 1 March 1919. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.