Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke (1887 – 1915) was already a famous writer when he enlisted within weeks of the outbreak of the First World War. Serving with the Royal Naval Division, he died of blood poisoning from an infected mosquito bite while travelling to Gallipoli in April 1915. Once described as “the handsomest young man in England”, after his death Brooke became a national symbol of the tragic wartime loss of a promising generation. Brooke’s most famous collection of poetry, 1914 & Other Poems, contained all five of his war sonnets, including ‘The Soldier’, and was first published in May 1915. Winston Churchill wrote Brooke’s obituary in The Times.