13 September, 1887 - March 1972
33 Slaithwaithe Road, Lewisham
Bernard was born in Exmouth Devon and his mother Eliza Anne and father Edwin John lived in Eversley Exeter; he had one sister Barbara. He had been a Congregationalists, but became an attender at the Westminster Prayer Meeting and was a member of the Society of Friends when he joined the Friends Ambulance Unit in January 1916. Until then he had worked as a solicitor.
Conscientious Objection during the First World War
His case was heard before the Lewisham Military Service Tribunal in March, 1916. By then he was in France with the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), and the tribunal granted him exemption as long as he remained with the unit. There is a note on his FAU personnel card that he was later granted absolute exemption by the war office (14.3.1917 Cert no.296).
Alternative Service during the War
His contract with the FAU dates from 7 January, 1916. On joining his qualifications are shown as having driven a motor cycle for six years, and that he spoke a little French. He arrived in France on 3 March, 1916 and worked as a driver until 25 May, 1918 when he commenced work as an orderly, work he did from then until he left France on 19 January, 1919. He was also a member of the British Red Cross and Order of St John of Jerusalem.
After the First World War
He died in central Devon in March 1972
Cyril Pearce, University of Leeds, Pearce Register of British Conscientious Objectors.
Copy of his FAU Service Card this is the copyright of the Library of the Religious Society of Friends as is the photograph above.
Ann O'Brien, Volunteer at Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre April 2015.
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