The Brooke would not exist today if it were not for the determination and passion of one woman: Dorothy Brooke.
Dorothy Gibson-Craig was born in Melrose, Scotland on 1 June, 1883, into a family that had been part of the Scottish aristocracy for centuries. Dorothy spent her childhood in a peaceful idyll in Scotland and latterly in Wiltshire and Hampshire.
'Dodo' Brooke, as she was known, had been actively interested in animal welfare all her life, especially where horses were involved.
From her childhood days she loved horses, and became an accomplished horsewoman in her own right. It was this devotion that was to grow over time, with her focus moving from the contented, well-fed animals she had grown up with in Scotland and England to the miserable horses she saw on the streets of Cairo in the 1930's.
The defining moment in Dorothy's life came when she arrived in Cairo, the newly married wife of British cavalry officer Brigadier Geoffrey Brooke, in October 1930.
It was from this moment that her life became dedicated to the welfare of Egypt's working horses and donkeys, and despite the many obstacles and objections she often encountered, her determination to make a difference ensured that the original ‘Old War Horse Memorial Hospital’ was founded in 1934. The Brooke still works at the same site today.
Read Dorothy's letter to the Morning Post.
Dorothy continued to work in the charity tirelessly until her death on 10 June 1955. She was buried in her adopted home of Cairo, but the strong family association that founded the Brooke still continues today. Family members are still involved with the charity, ensuring that the spirit of Dorothy Brooke lives on.
For Love of Horses
Dorothy Brooke wrote diaries throughout her time in Egypt. These diaries were edited by Glenda Spooner and released in 1960 as a book. The diaries chart Dorothy's dedication and determination to set up the hospital. Despite the many obstacles and objections she often encountered, her determination to make a difference ensured that the original ‘Old War Horse Memorial Hospital’ was founded in 1934 and still works at the same site today.
In 2014, to mark the Brooke's 80th Anniversary, we have re-printed For Love of Horses with newly remastered photos and added material about our work today.
To buy a paperback copy of the book for £5, email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available to buy on Kindle for £4.30, Click here to go to the Amazon Kindle bookstore