Henry Robertson Bowers, known as Birdie, was born in 1883 in Scotland. His father was a master mariner and, at age 16, Henry became a midshipman for the merchant navy. In 1905 he joined the Royal Indian Marine, where in 1909 he made the rank of sub-lieutenant. He was a part of Scott's British Antarctic Expedition in 1910. A last-minute addition to the South Pole party, he perished alongside other members of the party on 29 March 1912.