'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.
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 his acclaimed poem:
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.
In 1914 Brooke joined the Royal Navy and took part in the Antwerp
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
Brooke, often regarded as the 'golden boy' of English poetry, was
also a leading member of the
|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 Society