Lauderdale House Zoom event marks anniversary of Rupert Brooke’s death

First World War poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) cira. 1902.

First World War poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) cira. 1902. - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

The Highgate arts centre hosts an evening of poetry music and words to mark the 105th anniversary of the First World War poet’s death en route to Gallipoli

File photo dated 01/11/1915 of a British soldier paying his respects at the grave of a colleague nea

File photo dated 01/11/1915 of a British soldier paying his respects at the grave of a colleague near Cape Helles, where the Gallipoli landings took place Picture PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Lauderdale House is hosting an evening of poetry, music and song via Zoom to mark the anniversary of Rupert Brooke’s death.

Celebrated historian Peter Hart, resident Lauderdale House pianist Stephen Hose, and opera singer Alison Guill will each contribute from their own homes to mark the First World War poet’s life and work.

He died on April 23, 1915 of sepsis from an infected mosquito bite on board a French hospital ship anchored off the Greek island of Skyros.

It was part of the fleet carrying the British invasion force to Gallipoli.

Katherine Ives director of the Highgate arts centre said: “This is our first online foray and, in the current spirit of ‘work it out at home’, it has been put together by the vice-chair of Lauderdale House Nick Peacey with help from the performers and a variety of volunteers offering technical advice.

“Lauderdale House has no in-house technical staff so it’s been all hands on deck and I even taught myself how to use a H4N recorder to come up with the best sound quality (luckily I live with the pianist).”

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Highgate resident Nick Peacey is Secretary of Gallipoli Music Memorial 2015 and a great nephew of composer William Denis Browne who was with Brooke when he died. The event will feature two songs written by Browne who died in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

The event will start with an introduction on the ex Highgate pupils who also perished in the Dardanelles, followed by poems and writings by Brook and his close friend Cathleen Nesbitt.

Hart, an authority on the Gallipoli campaign, will give a lecture on ‘Rupert Brooke and the glitterati’. The handsome poet enlisted in August 1914 at the outbreak of war and was becoming known for his War Sonnets, particularly the one that begins ‘If I should die, think only this of me’.

After his death, at the age of just 27, eulogies from Winston Churchill and others propelled him to posthumous fame, but how much do we know of the man, the friends who travelled with him to Gallipoli and the achievements of their short lives?

Log on from 7.30pm for the Zoom event for an 8.15pm start on April 23.

To join email and Nick Peacey will send a detailed programme and information on how to link.

While the event is free, with no income while the house is closed, directors would be delighted to recieve donations.