Gerald James Lester was born 27 March 1885 in Bishop's Nymphton, Devon, son of the Rev. Edward Augustus and Mrs Mary Frideswide Lester. He studied at Durham University (1908-1910), Hatfield Hall, from which he graduated with a B.A. Degree, including subjects such as Hebrew, Arithmetic, and English History, on 13 December 1910. During his time at Durham University, he was member of Hatfield Hall Boat Club, of which he was also the Secretary in 1909.
Lester was made deacon in 1911 and ordained priest by the Bishop of Durham in 1912. He served his Title as Curate of St Thomas, Bishop Wearmouth, Sunderland until 1914, and at Cambois, Northumberland, until 1916/1917, when he was appointed Rector of Rackenford, Devon, until 1918. He married Eleanor Lester from Bath, in 1914, and they lived at 13 Rivers Street in Bath.
On 4 October 1918 Lester enlisted into the Army Chaplains' Department attd CME (Chief Mechanical Engineer) Loco Works and was appointed temporary Chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class. His assessor, Bishop Taylor Smith, at the Army Chaplains’ Department described him as “mod, very modest, good, may prove A.I. [?]”. Lester died on 16 December 1918, at the age of 33, from pneumonia, following influenza at No. 8 General Hospital, Rouen, France. He is buried in St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, and his name is recorded on the war memorial at his school, St John’s Leatherhead School, which he attended from 1895 to 1901. A short obituary was published in the Durham University Journal (vol. XXII, no. 2, p.74).