Leonard Berney, born in London in 1920, attended St Paul's School which was then in Hammersmith, London. With WWII looming, in 1938, he joined the Territorial Army as Second Lieutenant. At the beginning of 1939, he and his Anti-Aircraft Regiment were mobilized for full-time military service in the defence of London, countering The Blitz and V1 flying bomb attacks. In August 1944 he found himself in Normandy as Staff Officer, Anti-Aircraft Defence, of XIII Corps of the British 21st Army. On 15th April 1945, he was one of the first through the gates of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, where he was appointed Commander of the Belsen Displaced Persons camp, as it became known. Following his time at Belsen, he was appointed Military Governor of Schleswig-Holstein and was released from the army at the end of 1946, rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He pursued a business career until he retired. In the last few years of his life, Leonard regularly delivered lectures on the Liberation of Belsen and appeared in two documentaries on the subject (No Asylum and Night Will Fall), having played such a key role in the liberation of Belsen. He also authored a book about his experience at Belsen entitled, "Liberating Belsen Concentration Camp - A Personal Account".