Bertie James Rand was born in London in 1891. In 1909 he joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment as a Private, and in 1914 was posted to East Africa. He saw action at the Battle of Tanga and in various other locations in East Africa, often fighting alongside members of the King's African Rifles. He spent part of 1917 on convalescent leave in Durban, and when the war ended he stayed in Kenya as an officer in the East Africa Police. He stayed in the E.A. Police for around 13 years before retiring to the UK in 1932. He had married Janet Pearson in Kenya in 1921 and their two sons Albert and Ian were born in 1923 and 1931. Janet had been a nurse during the war.
After a period running a grocer's shop, "Kenya Stores," in North West London, the Rands returned to Kenya at the end of WW2, leaving their younger son Ian in Devon with their friends and his godparents Charles and May Bungey until he finished his school certificate. Bertie died in Nairobi in 1950.