Educated at Palmerston North Boys High. Followed his father (Colonel John Ingham Brooke OBE) into the military and went to the Royal Military College of Australia at Duntroon. Served in the Korean War and later during the Malayan Emergency. While in Korea, he suffered a serious injury when a grenade detonated near him. He was among the Army representatives who attended the Queen's Coronation in 1953 and later was an Aide-to-Camp to the Governor General. Commanding Officer of the Officer Cadet School in Waiouru. Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment based in Malaysia 1968–1969. Made several trips to Vietnam during this period, visiting New Zealand troops at Nui Dat.
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