Bernard Owen Atkins was born in 1894 in Ealing, Middx, son of Owen and Mary Ann Elizabeth Atkins (nee Harwood) of Watford.
His parents married 1887 in the Wycombe, Bucks, district. Owen died 1947 in Watford aged 83, and was buried 20 January in Vicarage Road Cemetery, Watford; Mary died 1959 in St Alban’s, Herts, aged 90, and was buried 5 February, also in Vicarage Road Cemetery.
His father had moved from Croydon in Surrey, where he worked as a coachman and domestic servant to Harrow Weald and then to Oxhey, where he was employed as a domestic gardener. Bernard had an older sister, Daisy, and a younger brother, John.
On the 1901 Census, aged 6 he lived in Highcroft Cottages, Harrow Weald, Middx, with his parents and one sibling.
He attended Callowland Board School, Watford, from 16 April 1902 to 7 July 1904, leaving then because of moving to Pinner, Middx.
1911 Census records Bernard 16 and John 15, they were both working as errand boys and living with their parents at 78 Pinner Road, Oxhey, Herts.