Bernard de Tramelay was born at Tramelay Castle, towards the latter years of the 11th century near Saint-Claude, some 50km north-west of Geneva in Switzerland, in the Jura, an administrative region of France.
In the June of 1151, Bernard de Tramelay was elected as the 4th Grand Master of the Templar Order, after the abdication of Everard des Barres who retired to Clairvaux Abbey.
King Baldwin III gave Tramelay the fortified city of Gaza, which was located at the Gateway into Egypt. Standing between the Muslim controlled city of Ascalon and Egypt. The new Grand Master of the Templar Order, rebuilt walls and towers, in an effort to make it near impregnable by land or sea.
King Baldwin III, with several recent military victories to his name, gathered his forces and headed to the city of Ascalon, intent on capturing it. Templars led by the Grand Master; Bernard de Tramelay participated in the “Battle of Ascalon.” Templars built a siege tower, which was set alight by Egyptian soldiers within Ascalons walls. Wind caught hold of the flames, the tower and parts of the wall were consumed by fire.
Knights of the Templar Order, saw their chance, and breached the walls. Bernard de Tramelay led a force of forty Templar warriors through the opening and into the city.
Turkish warriors killed or captured many of these Templar knights, including their Grand Master; Bernard de Tramelay. These Templar knights along with their leader were decapitated, and their corpses hung by their feet, over the top of the city wall.
The sight of these decapitated bodies provoked anger, wanting revenge. The city fell within three days to King Baldwin III.