Denis Bernard (British Army officer)

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Sir Denis Bernard
Born22 October 1882[1][2]
St George Hanover Square, London
DiedAugust 25, 1956(1956-08-25) (aged 73)
Galway, Ireland
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1902–1941
RankLieutenant General
Commands held3rd Division
1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order

Lieutenant General Sir Denis John Charles Kirwan Bernard, KCB, CMG, DSO (22 October 1882 – 25 August 1956) was a British Army officer who commanded 3rd Infantry Division. He was also Governor of Bermuda.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bernard was born in London, the son of Percy Bernard MP. He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and commissioned into the British Army as a second lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade on 22 October 1902.[3][4]


He fought in World War I as a River Transport Officer with the British Expeditionary Force and then served in France, Gallipoli, Salonika and Egypt.[4] He was appointed Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles in 1927, Brigadier-General of the General Staff at Northern Command in India in 1930 and Director of Recruiting and Organisation at the War Office in 1934.[4] His last appointment was as General Officer Commanding 3rd Division in 1936 before he retired in 1939.[1][4]

In retirement he became Governor and Commander-in-Chief Bermuda.[4] While serving as Governor he had to consider proposals for American military bases there: these proposals were bitterly opposed by the local people at the time despite the war-time needs of the American military[5] and he resigned at the request of the British Government in 1941 "to make way for a civilian".[6] Bernard Park in Hamilton, Bermuda is named after him.[7] His family home was Castle Hacket House in Galway,[8] where he died in 1956, aged 73.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Lt.-Gen. Sir Denis Bernard – Former Governor of Bermuda". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 27 August 1956. p. 12.
  2. ^ UK, British Army Lists, 1882–1962
  3. ^ "No. 27486". The London Gazette. 21 October 1902. p. 6654.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sir Denis John Charles Kirwan Bernard Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  5. ^ American Military Bases in Bermuda from 1941 to 1995 Welcome to Bermuda
  6. ^ The New International Year Book 1941
  7. ^ Bermuda's Pembroke Parish Welcome to Bermuda
  8. ^ Percy John Paley of Castle Hacket in Galway
Military offices
Preceded by
Cecil Heywood
General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division
Succeeded by
Bernard Montgomery
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Reginald Hildyard
Governor of Bermuda
Succeeded by
Viscount Knollys