Jocelyn Brooke was born in 1908 in Folkestone. He ran away from school before going to Bedales and then to Worcester College, Oxford, where he published his first book, Six Poems, at his own expense. He was sent down from Oxford after a year. He tried out various jobs, including working in a bookshop and working for the family wine-merchants in Folkestone. In 1949 he enlisted in the Royal army Medical Corps and re-enlisted as a regular after the war. He used the proceeds from the sale of The Military Orchid to buy himself out. This novel and the other two in the trilogy were semi-autobiographical about his school and army days. As well as novels, he has written poetry and books on botany and literature. He died in 1966.