Rupert Brooke

1887-1915

'Here lies the servant of God, sub-lieutenant in the English Navy,
who died for the deliverance of Constantinople from the Turks'

 

Rupert Brooke is buried in an olive grove on the Greek Island of Skyros, near Tris Boukes Bay. The grave lies in a remote location, about 50 yards to the left of the road which descends down to the bay. (See map...ref no. 15)
 

Tomb of Rupert Brooke
Photograph by Neil Maybin

While at Cambridge University Brooke moved out of the city and lived at The Old Vicarage in Grantchester. Later, when homesick in Berlin, Brooke recalled his time there and wrote shis acclaimed poem: The Old Vicarage, Grantchester which ends with the famous couplet:

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

In 1913 Brooke suffered a nervous breakdown and in order to convalesce he travelled to America, Canada and the Pacific islands. While in Tahiti he wrote Tiara Tahiti and other poems which are now regarded as some of his finest work.

Rupert Brooke

In 1914 Brooke joined the Royal Navy and took part in the Antwerp expedition.

Brooke died of blood-poisoning on board a hospital ship heading for the Dardanelles and was originally buried by his fellow officers. His body was carried to the olive grove during the night and a simple stone cairn was constructed. A wooden cross bearing the above inscription was erected.

At the end of the First World War, at the instigation of his mother, this grave was replaced by the current tomb. It bears the inscription of his famous war sonnet The Soldier.

Brooke, often regarded as the 'golden boy' of English poetry, was also a leading member of the Georgian poets.

If I should die, think only this of me:
  That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
  In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
  Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
  Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
  A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
  Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
  In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Read more of Brooke's poetry

Rupert Brooke on Skyros

Rupert Brooke Society

Click here to buy poetry by Rupert Brooke

 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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