About Herbert C. Brokenshire

About the author: Herbert Cecil Brokenshire, M.D. (July 15, 1896 — October 24, 1944). Cornell graduate; surgeon at the Methodist Episcopal Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Administrator of the Davao Mission Hospital of the Congregational Churches of America for 15 years, from 1926 to 1941. In the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, Reserve, World War I and with rank of Lt. Commander, World War II; activated, August 1941; held as P.O.W. in Bilibid Prison. Recorded as having perished on the Arisan Maru on October 24, 1944.

Brokenshire College is named in his honor.

About the diary: Cited in 1st. Lt. James Milton Robb’s manuscript, “Carry On,” on P.O.W. life in Bilibid Prison (digital copy accessible in the Stanford Digital Repository). The extracts in Robb’s manuscript are from June 3 to 19, 1942, pages 46-47, preceded by this statement:

Dr. Brokenshire and his capable assistant, Dr. Bookman, were expected not only to maintain alive, but actually to cure their dysentery patients. It was impossible. The doctors simply had to sit by and watch their patients grow steadily weaker. It was hard. Dr. Brokenshire’s notes made at the time, reveal something of the anguish that a doctor feels when he finds himself completely helpless to aid the sick committed to his care: