Rupert Brooke played alongside Ronnie in the Rugby School 1st XV in 1905, when Ronnie was aged sixteen.
Of Ronnie the Headmaster said, “We have given of our best. If we were asked to describe what highest kind of manhood Rugby helps to make, I think we should have him in mind as we spoke of it.
God had endowed him with a rare combination of graces and given him an influence among men such as very few in one generation can possess. What had we not hoped would come of it!”
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Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘The Soldier,’ which was quoted in the Times Literary Supplement in March and also used in the Easter Day service at St Paul’s, is due to be published shortly by our own Frank Sidgwick, under the title of ‘1914 and Other Poems.’
In 1911 Brooke wrote to Frank, who had four years previously set up his company Sidgwick & Jackson, asking him to publish his first volume, ‘Poems of 1911’, which he duly did. The agreement was signed at Brooke’s home, The Old Vicarage at Granchester, witnessed by a guest, Virginia Stephen.
Frank’s good taste and judgement regarding authors are not to be doubted, given that he has also published ‘The Log of the Blue Dragon II in Orkney & Shetland’ (1909-1910) and more recently, ‘To Norway & The North Cape in Blue Dragon II’ for me.
I remember these cruises with great affection, and all the more so at present as many of my old boys now corresponding with me from the various fronts of the war, joined the ‘Blue Dragon‘ as crew on these great adventures.