Friday, 20 September 2019

Rupert Brooke -eng

Rupert Brooke (August 3, 1887 - April 23, 1915) was a British poet known for his romantic and patriotic poetry. His works include  "Lithuania", "1914", "Poetry", etc.

During World War I, the army company which Brooke belonged to was placed in the bay Three Boukes, in the southeastern coast of the island. Brook and the rest of the soldiers arrived in Skyros on April 17, 1915 and waited for their transfer to Limnos. In the following days they had exercises and preparations for the battle.

In the evening of Tuesday 20 April, Brooke got ill and showed swelling on the upper lip, caused by a mosquito bite infection.

On Thursday 22 April, Brooke was transferred to the French boat hospital. He was the only patient on the ship, as the ship was expecting wounded from Kallipoli.

On Friday 23 April, the patient - poet rose   fever and lost  consciousness. He died on the same day, late in the afternoon.

Later that evening, three officers staged a burial group and went to Skyros, more specifically to Three Boukes, in an olive grove that Brooke and some soldiers had visited a few days earlier. Brooke was buried before midnight.

The army company had to sail the next day early at 6 am, thus the ceremony was short and simple. A wooden cross was placed on the tomb, with an inscription in Greek on it: "Here lies a servant of God, lieutenant of the Royal Navy, who died for the liberation of Constantinople by the Turks."

Brooke’s grave attracts many visitors of the island. The tomb that exists today, is not the real one. It was erected by the poet`s mother after the 2nd World War. On the poet's grave his most famous poem, "The Soldier” which was written in the last months of 1914, is carved.

The access to Brook’s grave is relatively easy. The tomb is in the Three  Boukes or Tristomo, a bay on the southeastern coast of the island.

From Kalamitsa, heading to the south, through a relatively easy path towards the mountains, at some point the road climbs up, just past the mountains, but then it becomes downhill. Heading to Three Boukes, you will find the grave in a grove on your left side.

Rupert Brooke has been a unique personality for Skyros and inspired local people with patriotic ideals .Besides  the tomb on Three Boukes,  there is Brooke Square in Chora, near the church of the Holy Trinity, with a  statue dedicated to eternal poetry and to the poet's memory. The statue was created by M. Tompros and it is said that he had used the rising dancer Alexander Iola as a model

In the unveiling of the statue, on April 5, 1931, the prime minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos was present. From the square you have a panoramic view on the east coast of Skyros, including Magazia, Molos and Pouria.

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