Bertie Ford was born in June 1895 in Church Knowle near Corfe Castle and baptised at Almer near Sturminster Marshall.
Bertie’s family were tenant dairy farmers and Bertie attended Blandford Secondary School as his family had moved to Manor Farm in Tarrant Monckton. It is very likely that Bertie was one of the groups of cyclists who came into Blandford daily from the outlying farms and villages not served by the railway. His 8 mile round trip would have no doubt taken him through what is now Blandford Camp.
In 1911, Bertie is registered on the census as a Carpenter. He married Mabel Coward in 1916 and they had a single son.
His military records are lost other than those relating to his death. He served in the Somerset Light Infantry, probably one of the Territorial Battalions. Having been severely wounded in the Middle East he was sent to convalesce in Belfast as part of the training 3rd Battalion. His family tried unsuccessfully to arrange for him to be released to be nursed closer to home and on a second visit to Belfast to lobby for this they were told that he had already died and been buried. His death certificate notes that the cause was a spinal infection. He was 23.