Before he enlisted in 1914, Herbert Gardner Travers worked for Joseph Travers and Sons Limited, trading merchants in London. He was posted to France with the Machine Gun Section, 1st Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company in 1914. In 1915 he transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2556 on 23 January 1916. Later that year he flew reconnaisance missions and then North Sea anti-submarine patrols in 1917, claiming 5 victories with a Sopwith Pup. He served with 211 Squadron in France in 1918. He was transferred to the unemployed list on 24 August 1919. After the war, Travers was a test pilot and flew seaplanes for Blackburn Aeroplane & Manufacturing Company, at Athens, Greece, from 1926 to 1928. He then became a pilot instructor for several British flying clubs until 1933. In 1934 he was a pilot for the National Air Display and an airline pilot with Spartan Airlines, Imperial Airways, and British Airways from 1935 to 1938. During World War II, Travers returned to service with the Royal Air Force as a Flight Lieutenant, Administration and Special Duties.
Herbert Travers' two brothers, James Lindsay Travers (1883-1924) and Charles Tindal Travers (1898-1969), were also pilots. An engineer, James Travers graduated in 1906 and worked in the nascent British aviation industry designing, building, and test flying aeroplanes until he was killed in a crash in 1924.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Flt. Cdr. Philip Leslie Holmes, R.N.A.S.
Flt. Sub-Lieut. (now act. Flt. Cdr.) Herbert Gardner Travers, R.N.A.S.
In recognition of his services with the Army in France. This Officer has himself brought down three hostile aeroplanes completely out of control, and has taken part in two other combats in which enemy machines were forced to land in our lines. He has always shown the greatest determination in leading his flight on offensive patrols, and has on many occasions driven down superior numbers of hostile machines.