Yamaha Motorcycle

TOM TOBROOK was born in Aldershot, England in October 1959 into a second-generation Army family. Both his father and grandfather were Army Officers who had come from humble but dignified origins. They both progressed through the ranks to the Officer cadre through force of personality and genuine talent - in an era when such advancement was a rarity. Both were men of extreme kindness and generosity.Tobrook’s father was brought up at a religious school and had the patience of Job but he was a formidable boxer and Army 8 shot. Tobrook’s grandfather, also a PTI and boxing instructor, was a man of enormous charisma and a love of life. A true Sussex man, he was evacuated from the beach at Dunkirk with General Bolo Whistler and was later Adjutant and close friend to the Duke of Norfolk based at Arundel castle.

Boxing Gloves Arundel Castle SMG

Seemingly every Aunt and Uncle in Tom Tobrook’s family saw active service. Even his Grandmother, who came from an established merchant family in Bath, was an Anti Aircraft Battery Commander during the blitz, mentioned in dispatches by the King and flew behind enemy lines in a Lysander. Two of Tom Tobrook’s Great Uncles died in Bomber Command. Tobrook’s Godfather too, who also lived in their home, had been a legendary figure in the Parachute Regiment and, uniquely in the annals of military history , served for several years in the Royal Marines as well . He was on the Bruneval raid, on the ‘bridge’ with Brigadier Johnny Frost at Arnhem and won a DCM in Korea. He saw further action in Malaya, Aden, Palestine and Cyprus. Akin to a second father, Reg Orton, spent a lifetime serving in the Special Services both in and even out of uniform going on to work as a cartographer and oil explorer for an American oil company.

Hercules Raffles Hotel Noodles

Tobrook's formative childhood years were spent in Singapore while his father saw action in the Borneo crisis, before Tom was sent off to boarding school. The happy little prep school, Tavistock Hall, in East Sussex, had a mix of boys of different ethnicities from all over the British Commonwealth. Like those simpler times, the school no longer exists but it was there that Tom Tobrook developed his natural instinct for cross-cultural relationships. Finishing his education as a boarder at Monmouth school while his parents lived in Saudi Arabia gave Tom Tobrook a strong sense of self reliance and independence.

Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange

Despite these early experiences and being brought up in a family home dominated by such male role models, the loving but more sensible aspirations of his energetic mother, assisted by her kindly and characterful Victorian aunts, prevailed in dictating Tom's early direction in life. It was always with reluctant obedience and a repressed spirit that he dutifully tried to fulfil the middle class aspirations of his parents through university at Lille in France, Buckingham in the UK and eventually to the City.

Hong Kong Police Riot

Confronted by the prospect of well-paid but unadventurous boredom in Merchant Banking, he signed up for the Parachute Regiment but could not wait for a recruitment moratorium in the economically ravaged UK of the time and so joined the Royal Hong Kong Police instead.

Special Duties Unit Special Duties Unit

Halcyon days followed and he went on to volunteer for and be selected for the SAS/SBS trained Special Duties Unit (SDU), the anti terrorist unit, where he was the Officer of the underwater assault team. His suppressed inner instinct for adventure was forever set free.Sat in Rally Car

Leaving the Royal Hong Kong Police in order to seek new horizons, and challenge, he dropped back into what ostensibly seemed to be a conventional business life again. Fortunately, this proved not to be the case. An itinerant and equally adventurous life to that he had enjoyed in Hong Kong unfolded as he went on to have a long spell working for the International MarTravellingketing division of one of the UK’s most successful multinational companies and spent many years in far off lands being paid well and living well - in Dakar, Caracas, Kinshasa, Rio, Dubai, London, Monterey....

Travelling and living overseas were to become part of his own life pattern.

Burg Al ArabTom Tobrook has now visited over 95 countries and his assignments have taken him to spend more than 25 years living and working in many different parts of the world. 

He has developed a natural empathy for other cultures and enjoys history.

In erstwhile times, Tom Tobrook played rugby for 24 years and has made friendships through this game all over the world. SailingHe continues to work out in gyms as he has done for nearly 45 years but he now eschews any team or competitive sports preferring recreational sailing, motorcycling or skiing.


Triumph Alpine Ski

More recent times:

By his late 30’s, Tom Tobrook took a decision to leave corporate life and focus on a serious health challenge in which he has prevailed. Inevitably he found that the perilous corollary to enjoying an adventurous life and some considerable good fortune in one’s early years was a tendency to be rash with one’s talents and opportunities. Although he has had to pay an unduly high price for the duplicity and perfidious behaviour of various mountebanks, Tom Tobrook remains engaged in creative and entrepreneurial endeavours with an international reach.

Globo Bol

Tom Tobrook is above all an advocate of taking personal responsibility. He has a belief that integrity, courage and resilience will triumph. In all aspects of life, he believes in self-help but supports compassionate attitudes and charity to the less blessed and less fortunate.

Tom Tobrook now lives in the USA with his family.

Tom Tobrook is a writing name.