Bernard Oliver Cattermole


About Bernard Oliver

  • Name
    Bernard Oliver
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Smethwick Staffordshire
  • Date of death
    6 June 1958
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Commercial Traveller

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Army Service Corps


Private B Cattermole passed through Peterborough East Station and signed the visitors’ book on 6 August 1916.  Unfortunately, he did not disclose his regiment or service number and identification has been difficult.  However, with the assistance and grateful thanks to his grandson John Cattermole, we have traced his story.

Bernard Oliver Cattermole was the youngest child of Alfred and Caroline Cattermole of Ipswich.  His father was an ironmonger as well as a warehouseman and in 1901 records himself as a political agent.  Bernard attended Ipswich Municipal Secondary School. School certificates in the possession of his grandson state he never had a day off school for any reason between April 1885 and Dec 1893!  He was working as an insurance agent in 1901 whilst still living at home in Warwick Road.

In September 1905, he married Marion Bellingham in Birmingham  and they settled in Ilford where the couple had 3 children, Marie, Alfred and Maurice all born prior to the war.  Bernard was employed as a commercial traveller selling office supplies.

The family moved to Birmingham before 1915, with a suggestion that he was working for chocolate manufacturer Nestle at the time.  He attested in December 1915, and was posted to the Army Reserve until he was mobilized in February 1917 and posted to Grove Park MT Training Depot in London.  His service record includes a letter he wrote to the authorities on the day he passed his ‘Learners’ test in July 1917, highlighting that he had been medically passed only for ‘sedentary duties’.  Nonetheless, he was posted to an MT role in Avonmouth as a caterpillar driver a couple of weeks later.  On 06 September 1917, he sailed from Portsmouth to Boulogne and served with several Army Service Corps MT Companies until the end of the war.  He returned to the UK in March 1919 and was demobilized on 03 April 1919.  His discharge certificate describes him as a ‘fair mechanic, a willing capable man, sober, reliable, intelligent’.

The family lived at 40 Constance Road, Edgbaston from 1915 until after 1939.  In the 1939 Register, Bernard is recorded as a civil servant, whilst sons Alfred and Maurice are a warehouseman and a cabinet maker.

Bernard died on 06 January 1958, whilst living at 173 Barclay Road, Bearwood, Smethwick.



  • My grandfather lived I believe in Chadwell Heath in Essex where my father Maurice Arnold was born in 1913. Whilst i have no information relating to my grandfathers military career albeit brief, I do have school certificates for him giving testimony to the fact he never had a day off school for any reason between April 1885 and Dec 1893! I also have certificates showing his achievements at elementary level in inorganic chemistry (practical) and first class in the first stage of Mathematics, stages 1,2, and 3. These were gained in May 1893 and May 1892 respectively.
    He worked as a travelling salesman for confectioners Nestle and moved i think with his work to Birmingham , where he lived in Bearwood a suburb.
    He died when i was appproaching 7 years of age but i remember him and his pipe vividly.

Campaign Medals

2 Responses

  1. This is my grandfather the 3 children mentioned were Maurice Arnold Cattermole ,Alfred Bernard Cattermole and Marie Cattermole . My grandfather was a commercial traveller for Nestles

    • Beverley Jones says:

      Hello John
      Thank you for getting in touch. It’s always nice to hear from a relative. Your grandfather certainly seemed to be an excellent scholar! Do you have any documentations that matches his signature in the book to enable us to be sure that we have the right man. There is very little military information in his entry so we cannot be 100% sure that he is our man. Any further information that you can provide would be very helpful. Thank you for sending the photograph.

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