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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

The Soldier
Rupert Brooke 1914

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.

On the outbreak of the First World War Brooke joined the Royal Naval Division and in October 1914 took part in the Antwerp expedition. After this experience he wrote several poems including, Peace, Safety and The Soldier. 

In February 1915 Brooke sailed on the Grantully Castle for the Dardanelles. While on board he developed acute blood poisoning and, although transferred to a hospital ship, died on 23rd April 1915. Rupert Brooke age 27, was buried on the Greek island of Skyros.

Son of the late William Parker Brooke and of Mary Rutte Brooke, of 78 Dunchurch Rd, Rugby. Rupert Brooke was a published poet as early as 1911. Suffused with patriotism, he was happy to die for his country in battle. Brooke left his royalties to his friends, namely Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfrid Gibson and Walter de la Mare, providing them with literary independence for the rest of their lives.



the soldier

rupert brooke grave

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 • Last Modified: 26 May 2014, 08:04