On April 13, the Government of Canada announced that an Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) will be named after Margaret Martha Brooke, a Royal Canadian Navy Nursing Sister decorated for gallantry in combat during the Second World War.
Brooke (BHSc’35, BA’65, PhD’71), who recently turned 100 years old, earned her PhD in geological sciences and is the author of several papers in the field of paleontology.
On October 14, 1942, during a crossing of the Cabot Strait off the coast of Newfoundland, the ferry SS Caribou was torpedoed by the German submarine U-69. The ferry sank in five minutes. Fighting for her own survival, Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Brooke did everything humanly possible to save the life of her colleague and friend, Nursing Sister Sub-Lieutenant Agnes Wilkie, while both women clung to ropes on a capsized lifeboat. In spite of Brooke’s heroic efforts to hang on to her with one arm, her friend succumbed to the frigid water.
For this selfless act, Brooke was named a member of the Order of the British Empire.
HMCS Margaret Brooke will be the second of six Harry DeWolf-class AOPS constructed as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Construction is set to begin in the fall of 2015.
Read more on the Royal Canadian Navy’s website