A half length painted portrait of a gentleman in black robes, with a moustache.
Oils, Paintings, Stored Collection

Portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel F.A. Brooks, M.D., M.R.C.S., M.R.C.P. (London)

Edward Caruana Dingli
Oil on Canvas
1926
LDOSJ2015.12

Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks qualified in medicine in 1888, having conducted his medical training at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. He first assisted St John Ambulance in 1891, delivering lectures in first aid for the St John Ambulance Association.  Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks went on to take on a number of positions in first the No.3 District and later the No.1 District, ultimately being appointed Commissioner of the No.1 Prince of Wales District in London.

First appointed as an Honorary Associate of the Order in 1901, Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks was raised to the grade of Knight of Grace in 1911, serving on the Brigade Staff Committee, the Association Committee and also Chapter General.

Brook’s obituary in the May 1935 edition of First Aid reads:
The ranks of the Brigade have lost a true and loyal friend. He was ever ready to assist at any function, at any time. Those whose privilege it was to meet him had a warm corner in their hearts for him; and the high esteem and regard all members of the Brigade had for him, not only of No. 1 District, but other Districts as well, was a perpetual tribute to his untiring energy in the cause of first aid.

This painting was completed in the same year as the Pilgrimage of 1926 was undertaken by the Grand Priory of England of the Order of St John.  Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks attended this pilgrimage as a Knight of Grace of the Order – he is wearing his insignia and mantle of the Order in this painting.

He is included in the painting, The Pilgrimage of 1926, by Dingli.  The painting is of the special Investiture that took place as part of this event.  A plaque on the painting identifies a number of the members of the Order in attendance, including Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks, who can be seen with his back to the viewer, to the right of the painting.

This painting was kindly donated to the Museum by the executors of the estate of Christine Anne Tindall, the granddaughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Augustus Brooks.  A number of archival records also form part of the donation, including books of newspaper cuttings about St John Ambulance and the Order, collected and collated by Lieutenant-Colonel Brooks.

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The Museum of the Order of St John would like to thank all those who have supported and continue to support its work. In particular, the Museum would like to thank the following for their generosity: