Brooke was born in Rugby and attended Rugby school, where his father was a housemaster.
He later attended Kings College, Cambridge, where he studied Classics and English; and
adopted socialist sympathies that he developed in the Fabian Society, of the university
branch of which he became President, and, later, in campaigning for Poor Law revision.
His early poetry, developed whilst lodging in Grantchester near Cambridge, was published
from 1911 in the anthology, Georgian Poetry, and the quarterly, New Numbers. He moved
within the Bloomsbury Group finding friendship with many great writers of the time.
After educational visits to Germany and Italy, and attaining his fellowship of Kings
College in 1913, emotional turmoil led him to foreign travel in US, Canada and the
Pacific, returning only when lack of funds precluded further absence.
He sought a commission as RN Sub-Lieutenant in 1914 and participated in an early failure
of defence at Antwerp in October. In April 1915, en route to Gallipoli, he died from
sepsis that developed after a mosquito bite. He is buried at Skyros, Greece.
His collection, "1914 & Other Poems", was published posthumously shortly after his death
and achieved great acclaim aided by the sentiment of the time. His death occurred too
early to be infused by the later cynicism of the army poets so that his war poems
reflect the idealism of the early war period.