Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born 19 Aug. 1852 at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland, died on 24 Feb. 1910 at Wollomombi, NSW.
The second of three sons of John Casement and his wife Charlotte Newcomen. He was educated at the Royal School, Dungannon, and studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, where he also played rugby for the university. In 1880 he married Henrietta Burke, a 2nd cousin of his elder brother's wife. When she died a year later in childbed, he was so upset that he was unable to work and had to give up his job. A friend from university days suggested he visit him in Australia, which might take his mind off things. Brab worked his passage to Sydney as a ship's doctor, intending to return the same way a few months later.
While he was in New South Wales, he was persuaded to act as locum for another doctor who had not been able to take a vacation for three years. Brab was so taken by the countryside round Kempsey that he decided to stay. He took over a practice that involved covering vast areas on horseback. He was also the first MO to the Trial Bay prison and for many years surgeon to the Macleay district hospital, where there is a memorial to him. He married Islet Scott in 1885 and had several surviving children.
He was intending to retire at the age of 60, and was looking for some grazing land to buy. While returning from inspecting a property in 1910, the horses bolted possibly frightened by thunder and the coach threatened to go out of control on the downhill slope. Brab was sitting on top next to the coachman, as he liked to watch the scenery. He tried to jump onto the back of the nearest horse to bring it to a halt, but was no longer as agile as he had been; he slipped, and the wheel of the coach ran over him, breaking several ribs. He was taken to Wollomombi, where he died a few days later on 24 Feb. 1910 from his internal injuries. The funeral was attended by thousands from all walks of life: he was much loved, perhaps not least as a result of his very Irish habit of forgetting to submit a bill when he felt people could ill afford his fees.
Source: Pers. Comm. Hugh Casement, July 2002