James Horner was a respected local figure. His successful business as a timber merchant was run from premises at 56 Wellington Road South and he was also a Justice of the Peace. In the late autumn of 1899, he married Laura Hardstaff. She was 22, some 16 years younger than James. Bernard was their first child and would be their only son. They also had two daughters - Mary and Marjorie.
Bernard was educated at Stockport Grammar School and Rossall - a boarding school near Blackpool. He was a keen sportsman playing cricket and lacrosse for the Stockport Club (and is commemorated on the Memorial at the Club's ground in Cale Green). When War was declared In August 1914, he was quick to enlist and, as with many middle class young men, was quickly selected to become an officer. The Stockport Advertiser, in its edition of 23 October, reported that he had already been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
The 1/8th Battalion had been sent to Egypt in September 1914 and, in early May 1915, went into action at Gallipoli. It is not known if Bernard was with them at that time or if he joined later as a replacement for the casualties incurred in the early weeks. He was certainly with them by August and took part in the Battle of the Vineyard when the Battalion attacked Turkish positions, capturing them before being forced back under the weight of a Turkish counter-attack. Bernard was "Mentioned in Despatches" for his "gallant actions performed on 7 - 9th August".
During the late summer and autumn, Bernard received two temporary promotions. He became a Lieutenant and then, from 7 September, he was further promoted to Captain, taking command of one of the Battalion's four companies. He was reported to have been wounded on 13 October and, for a few days, he had to relinquish command and his temporary rank.
On 28 December, the Battalion was evacuated from Gallipoli . The campaign had been a failure. The Battalion returned to Egypt where it stayed for the next year before moving to France. On 27 February 1917, they landed at Marseilles. A week later, Bernard was dead.
The Battalion had moved north to the area of the Somme and he had been taken ill. Bernard was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station (field hospital) at Bray where he died of pneumonia.