Originally from Oadby, Bertram’s father James, was an Innkeeper, he and his first wife Susannah were living at the New Inn in Broughton Astley with their three sons in 1871. Susannah died at the age of 45 in January 1877 and later that year James remarried. His second wife was Anne Almey who was 19 and from Broughton Astley. They married in St James the Greater in Derby.
James and Anne were running the Dog & Gun Inn at Kilby in 1881 according to the Census, they had two children from James’s first marriage, as well as their three children living with them. Bertram was born later in 1881 and four more children would follow.
The 1901 Census shows the family living at No. 1 Pope Street in Knighton, the children from James’s second marriage were still living at home with the exception of Bertram. At the age of 18 when working as a Shoe Hand he joined the Northamptonshire Regiment on 19/2/1900. Previously a Butcher, his older brother George from his father’s first marriage was already in the Royal Artillery. After joining up on 22/3/1892 and was serving in South Africa from 1897 until September 1902.
Bertram was also posted to South Africa on 17/10/1900, however after 303 days while in Pietersbourg on 16/8/1902 he deserted. He eventually surrendered to the Civil Police on 28/10/1909 and was ‘taken over by the Military Authorities’ on 30/10/1909. He was discharged on 15th November as “not claimed for service in his Majesty’s Army”.
He re-joined the army during the war. After being in the Royal Engineers he was transferred to the Labour Corps. On 24/4/1917 his paperwork shows that he was transferred from the sick convoy, he was discharged with a ‘new ailment’; he had Bronchitis.
On 19/10/1917 he was at No. 44 Casualty Clearing Station, a tented hospital behind the lines, he was admitted to hospital on 22/10/1917 with a ‘Slight Disordered Action of the Heart’, later he was transferred to No. 6 Convalescent Depot.
Bertram was Killed in Action on 30/5/1918 aged 36 and was buried at Camon Communal Cemetery on the Somme in France. The cemetery contains 18 Commonwealth Burials from the First Wold War and 6 from the Second. His inscription reads ‘The Souls of the Righteous Are in the Hand of God’.