Frederick Slade Drake-Brockman

Frederick Slade Drake-Brockman, also known as Frederick Slade Brockman, (9 July 1857 – 11 September 1917) was a Surveyor General and explorer of Western Australia.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Born at Seabrook near Northam in Western Australia, he was the son of Edmund Ralph Brockman, gentleman-farmer, and Elizabeth Deborah née Slade.

He was educated at Bishop Mathew Hale's[2] school and articled in 1878 to surveyor J. S. Brooking.


In 1886, Drake-Brockman joined the Department of Public Works and Railways, and worked as surveyor-in-charge of road and telegraph routes, before transferring to Lands and Surveys in 1891. He became chief inspecting surveyor in 1894, in which role he oversaw estate drainage and installation of rabbit-proof fencing. In 1901, Drake-Brockman and eleven companions explored previously uncharted areas in the Kimberley region. On the decentralisation of the department in 1910, Drake-Brockman was district surveyor for Nelson, before being appointed Surveyor-General in June 1915.[1][3]

Personal lifeEdit

On 20 February 1882 he married Grace Bussell, the heroine of the Georgette disaster of 1876. They had three daughters and four sons, including:

  • Geoffrey (1885–1977), a civil engineer, public works official and brigadier who served in both World Wars,[4]
  • Karl (1891-1969), a Rhodes Scholar, Captain in the 5th Royal Fusiliers, and judge[5]
  • Edmund (1884-1949), soldier, politician and judge[6]
  • Deborah (1887–1965), a mining company director and welfare worker, subsequently Lady Hackett and later Lady Moulden.[7]


  1. ^ a b Birman, Wendy (1981). "Drake-Brockman, Frederick Slade (1857–1917)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 27 June 2012 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ A. de Q. Robin, 'Hale, Mathew Blagden (1811 - 1895)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 317-319.
  3. ^ Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 'Brockman, Frederick Slade (1857 - 1917)' Australian National Herbarium
  4. ^ Peter Cowan, 'Drake-Brockman, Geoffrey (1885 - 1977)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14, Melbourne University Press, 1996, pp 34-35.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Ian G. Sharp, 'Drake-Brockman, Edmund Alfred (1884 - 1949)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, Melbourne University Press, 1981, pp 339-340.
  7. ^ Alexandra Hasluck, 'Hackett, Deborah Vernon (1887 - 1965)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, Melbourne University Press, 1983, pp 149-150.

Further readingEdit

  • Birman, Wendy (1981) 'Drake-Brockman, Frederick Slade (1857 - 1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, Melbourne University Press, 1981, pp 340–341.
  • D. H. Drake-Brockman,(1936) Record of the Brockman and Drake-Brockman Family (priv print, Sussex, 1936)
  • G. Drake-Brockman,(1960) The Turning Wheel Perth