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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Gilbert E. Brooke (1873-1936)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

  1. The Caicos Islands, West Indies

Notes on Life and Works

Gilbert E. Brooke was born March 28, 1873, at Hyères, France, and educated at Monkton Combe School near Bath (1884-88), Pensionnat Georgens, Ouchy, Switzerland (1889-90), Pembroke College, Cambridge (B.A. 1894; M.A., 1901), London Hospital (1894-96; L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S.), and Edinburgh (1897; D.P.H. 1902). After signing on as a ship's surgeon, Brooke became Government medical officer in the Turks and Caicos Islands in Sept. 1897. He and Alice Marie Swabey had married on Oct. 6, 1897, at Widcombe Old Church, Bath. His local responsibilities expanded there in 1899 to be J.P. for Turks Islands, District Commissioner, and Police Magistrate and Coroner, and in 1900 to be Receiver of Wreck, Caicos Islands, and Marriage Officer. He went on leave 1901-02 for further study at Edinburgh and afterwards emigrated to Singapore. He became Port Health Officer there in Jan. 1902 and set down roots. By 1905 he was a Lecturer in Hygiene, Singapore Medical School, and his career advanced as he became Deputy Coroner, Singapore (1906), and then J.P. for Singapore (1908). Brooke published two textbooks in tropical medicine this year and the next. These credentials helped him to rise to Acting Government Veterinary Surgeon (1911-12) and Chief Health Officer, Singapore (Jan. 1914). Brooke's broad interests extended to verse and local history. The prefatory note to Oddments, dated July 1922, explains that his poems has been printed before in the Royal Standard, Turks and Caicos Islands, W.I., the Singapore Free Press, the Sydney Daily Telegraph, the Bath and Wilts Chronicle, the Bath Chronicle, the Straits Times (of Singapore), the Malayan Review, and elsewhere. His service in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Singapore earned him a fellowship with the Royal Geographical Society. He and his wife Alice had five children.

Biographical information

Given name: Gilbert E.
Family name: Brooke
Birth date: 28 March 1873
Death date: 1936
Nationality: English
Family relations
          wife: Alice Marie Brooke
          Monkton Combe School, near Bath, England: 1884 to 1888
          Pensionnat Georgens, Ouchy, Switzerland: 1889 to 1890
          Pembroke College, Cambridge (B.A.) to 1894
          Pembroke College, Cambridge (M.A.) to 1901
          London Hospital (L.R.C.P.): 1894 to 1896
          London Hospital (L.R.C.S.): 1894 to 1896
          Edinburgh (D.P.H.) to 1902
Honour: Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
          Physician: 1897
          Ship's Surgeon: 1897 to 1897
          Justice of the Peace: 1899
          Lecturer: 1905
          Coroner: 1906
          Hyères, France: 1873
          Bath, England: 1884 to 1888
          Ouchy, Switzerland: 1889 to 1890
          Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England: 1894
          London, England: 1894 to 1896
          Edinburgh, Scotland: 1897
          Turks and Caicos Islands: 1897 to 1900
          Edinburgh, Scotland: 1901 to 1902
          Singapore: 1902
First RPO edition: 2001