Bernard Peyton Chamberlain was born on November 21, 1986 in Albemarle County, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1919 and in 1922 received his Bacehlor of Laws. During World War I he served in the army attached to Base Hospital No. 41 and was in France for nearly a year. In 1924 he was commissioned as lieutenant in the Maryland National Guard.