Bert enlisted at Inverell in September 1915. He was a twenty-three-year-old labourer, living at Freestone, Coolatai NSW, the property of his parents, James and Eliza. Before going into camp at Narrabri, Bert was one of thirteen volunteers farewelled by a large crowd at Inverell Railway Station in September 1915.

He became a member of the 1st Light Horse Regiment, 15th Reinforcement and sailed from Australia for Egypt on HMAT A26 Armadale in March 1916. Six months later he was transferred to the 18th Battalion and sent to France. After being wounded in action in February 1917 he was invalided to England and admitted to Royal Victoria Hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his back and foot. Bert returned to Australia and medically discharged in April 1918. He was granted a pension of one pound ten shillings.

Bert married in 1920 and lived in the Coolatai district where is his name is recorded on the Coolatai Memorial Monument. His name is also inscribed on the Ashford and Inverell Honor Rolls.