Rupert Brooke, described as ‘the handsomest young man in England’ by W. B. Yeats, “sailed with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 28 February 1915 but developed a severe gastroenteritis whilst stationed in Egypt followed by streptococcal sepsis from an infected mosquito bite.
“French surgeons carried out two operations to drain the abscess, but he died of septicemia at 4:46 pm on 23 April 1915, on the French hospital ship Duguay-Trouin, moored in a bay off the Greek island of Skyros in the Aegean Sea, while on his way to the landings at Gallipoli.
“As the expeditionary force had orders to depart immediately, Brooke was buried at 11 pm in an olive grove on Skyros. The site was chosen by his close friend, William Denis Browne, who wrote of Brooke’s death:
“‘I sat with Rupert. At 4 o’clock he became weaker, and at 4:46 he died, with the sun shining all round his cabin, and the cool sea breeze blowing through the door and the shaded windows. No one could have wished for a quieter or a calmer end than in that lovely bay, shielded by the mountains and fragrant with sage and thyme.’”
Education: Rugby School and King’s College, Cambridge (fellow)
Death: age 27
If you stop to find out what your wages will be
And how they will clothe and feed you,
Willie, my son, don't you go on the Sea,
For the Sea will never need you.
If you ask for the reason of every command,
And argue with people about you,
Willie, my son, don't you go on the Land,
For the Land will do better without you.
If you stop to consider the work you have done
And to boast what your labour is worth,
Angels may come for you, Willie, my son,
But you’ll never be wanted on Earth!