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Bethune Town Cemetery, France Bethune Town Cemetery, France
First Name: George Robert Last Name: BERNARD
Date of Death: 08/04/1917 Lived/Born In: Dartmouth Park
Rank: Second Lieutenant Unit: Royal Engineers 254th Tunneling Company
Memorial Site: Board of Trade, Victoria Street

Current Information:


"Northover", Dartmouth Park Avenue


Bethune Town Cemetery, France


The Tunnelling Companies of the Royal Engineers were formed in early 1915 and used in two main ways. The first was in the construction of deep dugouts to provide shelter and the digging of shallow tunnels or saps which could be used to get close to the enemy line, undetected, during an attack. However their main purpose was to dig mines deep beneath the enemy positions that could then be filled with explosives and used to destroy these positions from below. It was dangerous and claustrophobic work requiring specialised skills and not surprisingly, many miners as well as men who had worked on tunnelling projects such as the London underground, were recruited into the ranks of the Tunnelling Companies.

George Bernard was killed on 8th April, 1917 while serving with the 254th Tunneling Company near Bethune in France..

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