Herbert was the second son of Robert and Alice Thompson of ‘Kia Ora’ Ashford. At the age of eighteen he enlisted at Inverell in October 1915 and that month was one of ten men farewelled at the Railway Station.
He joined the 18th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement, and sailed from Australia on HMAT A15 Star of England in March 1916. After a few months in England he was sent to France in September. Herbert was wounded in action on three occasions. The first was in February 1917, the second in November when he received a severe gunshot wound to his foot resulting in his evacuation to England for treatment in hospital at Birmingham. He returned to France and his unit about six weeks later. In August 1918, he was shot in the neck and subsequently died of the wound. Herbert was buried at Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France. His few personal effects, including a German pipe, safety razor, shaving brush, silver locket and photos were returned to his father.