Captain Bertrand Cecil Pattinson


Bertrand was a Freemason, member of Lodge Temperance 2557 and one of our forgotten war heroes. He is not listed in the Lodge Temperance WW1 Roll of Honour although the Lodge registers clearly show he was on war service.

At the Lodge Temperance 2557 meeting held at the Assembly Rooms on the 18th March 1912, Bertrand was initiated into the mysteries and privileges of Ancient Freemasonry. He was passed to the second or Fellowcraft degree on the 15th April and raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on the 17th June 1912. He was proposed by Bro. J. A. Pattinson and seconded by Bro. F. W. Simmons and was a 25 year old skilled GPO worker living at 27, Doper Street, Barnsley. It’s interesting to note that his proposer J. A. Pattinson was in fact his older brother Joseph Arthur Pattinson who was initiated into Lodge Temperance in 1909. Joseph Arthur also proposed has brother Reginald Percival Pattinson and his cousin George Hilton Beaty who were both initiated in 1912.

Bertrand had gained an honours grade City & Guilds qualification in telephony and by the time he joined Lodge Temperance was already a skilled telecommunications engineer working for the Post Office. It’s no surprise he was assigned to the Corps of Royal Engineers, Signals when he enlisted during World War 1. His military records are available for a fee from the National Archives, but we’ve found his Medal Roll Index card online which shows he was an acting Captain with the Corp of Royal Engineers (Signals). He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal having entered the Western Front on 27th July 1918. He also served in 1920 with the British military mission to South Russia. The British military involvement was due to concerns over the outcome of the Russian Revolution of Nov 1917 and was heavily committed to supporting the White Volunteer Army under General Denikin.

Bertrand was born on the 22nd March 1886 in Hetton Le Hole, Durham the son of Joseph and Annie Pattinson. Joseph from Leadgate, Durham was variously a coal miner, general dealer and certificated national school teacher. He married Annie Beaty in 1880 in Houghton Le Spring and they had seven children:

Joseph Arthur (b 1881)
George Hilton James (b 1883)
Reginald Percival (b 1885)
Bertrand Cecil (b 1886)
William Lancelot (b 1888)
Thomas Wilfrid (b 1890)
Septimus (b 1891 – d 1891)

Bertrand continued his career with the GPO after the war and by 1923 had moved to live and work in Birmingham where he met and married Beatrice Edith Horgan in 1928. Beatrice was born in 1905 in Middlesex and by 1921 was a typist employed by the Post Office in Birmingham where it’s likely they met. He first lived in Edgbaston but after his marriage moved to Moseley, south Birmingham where they remained. They had two children: Bernard C. (b 1930) who went to work in the post office in Coventry as a skilled worker like his father, and Brenda A. (b 1932)

By 1939 Bertrand was the Chief Inspector of telecommunications for the Post Office engineering department in Birmingham. He died on 18th June 1949 at 20 Hazlehurst Road, Moseley and in his will left Beatrice £4263.