Herbert, known as 'Bertie', was born in East Rudham, Norfolk on 30th July 1897. He was the 3rd youngest son of Samuel William Waters Green, a draper born born 8 July 1860 in Ludham Norfolk, and Esther Jackson born 18 January 1860 in West Rudham, Norfolk. Herbert had 4 brothers and 5 sisters.
When he was nine, his family moved to Newcastle upon Tyne. Herbert won a scholarship to St. Cuthbert's Grammar School where he excelled in the sciences. He continued his education at Armstrong College and intended on taking a degree in science.
He volunteered as soon as he was old enough for active service and, after training with the Officer Cadet Corps Battalion at Oxford, he was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps, 43rd Squadron, on 6th July 1916. He graduated from the Central Flying School, Upavon, on 15th November 1916 and spent his last Christmas at home before crossing to France on 17th January 1917.
Herbert was killed in action at 16:20 on 4th March 1917 aged 19 at Bois-Bernard, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. He was shot down by German pilot Manfred von Richthofen, "The Red Baron". He was piloting a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter along with Second Lieutenant Alexander Reid near Acheville in Northern France.