Henry Mawbey was born in 1826 in Alverstoke, Hampshire to John and Mary Mawbey. For the 1841 census the family were recorded as living at Gambier Place, Alverstoke. At the age of 19 he joined the army and within two years was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and rose steadily through the ranks until he retired in 1883 with the rank of Hon. Major-General of the Royal Marine Artillery.
Mawbey established a reputation during the Crimean War when he took part in the attack and capture of the Bomarsund Fort in the Baltic. The fortress of Bomarsund, in the Åland Islands off the south-west coast of Finland, was a key outpost for the Russian forces during the War. The fort was first attacked from the sea in July 1854 but this was largely ineffectual. In early August the Artillery Company of the Marine Battalion were instructed to take guns to a position on the island. Three guns were landed under the command of Captain Ramsay with Lieutenants Mawbey, Poore and Hewett directing the gunfire. Such was the intensity and accuracy of fire that they succeeded in breaching the walls of the fort. The Russian Commandant later refused to believe that only three guns could have unleashed such destructive power.
For his part in the capture, Mawbey was mentioned in despatches.
Mawbey married Katherine Townshend in 1867 and had at least two children before the death of the infant Katherine (mentioned on the inscription). In the 1891 Census Henry Mawbey was listed as Widower, living at 11 Portland Terrace, Southsea with his daughter Laura, aged 19, and two servants. He died at Lavant, near Chichester, on 30th April 1909 and was buried the following Monday. The coffin was carried by 6 sergeants from the corps and amongst the many mourners was a representative of the Prince of Wales.