Bernard was born in Kegworth, Leicestershire, in 1885, the son of John T. and Mary D. Saunders. In 1907, he married Elizabeth Hipkins in Wolverhampton. By 1911, they were living at 1 Vale Place, Wolverhampton. Bernard was a shop assistant in the furnishing trade.
Bernard enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment (service number 33953), but was killed in action on 20 November 1917 in France. He is commemorated at the Cambrai Memorial in Louverval.