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Henry 'Birdie' Bowers realised his life's ambition when he was selected for Captain Scott's Terra Nova expedition to the Antarctic, yet he also met his death on the return journey from the South Pole in 1912. Bowers was born in 1883 on the Firth of Clyde to an entrepreneurial sea-faring father and Gloucestershire-born missionary-teacher mother, His boyhood obsession with travel and adventure took him round the world several times, including to Australia, America, Africa, India, Burma and the Persian Gulf, and his life appears, with hindsight, to have been a ceaseless preparation for his ultimate, Antarctic challenge. A stocky 5 foot inches tall, he was a bundle of energy; knowledgeable, indefatigable and the ultimate team player. In Scott's words, he was 'a marvel'. This new biography, drawing on Bowers' correspondence and journals, previously unpublished material, sheds new light on Bowers and tells the full story of the hardy naval officer who could always lift his companions' spirits.