Arthur Brennan

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Arthur Brennan
Arthurbrennan.png
Personal information
Full name Arthur Brennan
Date of birth (1881-03-02)2 March 1881
Place of birth Abbotsford, Victoria
Date of death 12 September 1931(1931-09-12) (aged 50)
Place of death North Fitzroy, Victoria
Height 179 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1901 St Kilda 1 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1901.
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Arthur Brennan (2 March 1881 – 12 September 1931) was an Australian rules footballer who played with St Kilda in the Victorian Football League (VFL).[1] He also played for Richmond, Port Melbourne and Footscray in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).[2]

Personal life[edit]

Brennan was born on 2 March 1881 in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford, to William and Mary Brennan.[3]

He came from a large family, William and Mary had eight daughters and three sons.[4] Both of his brothers played football, most notably Owen Brennan, who was the first member of the family to play in the VFL, with 11 appearances for Collingwood in 1900.[2] His other brother, William Jr, played in the VFA for Northcote and Port Melbourne.[2]

Football career[edit]

Brennan played his only senior game for St Kilda during the 1901 VFL season, as a 20-year-old.[5] In round 15, Brennan was a member of the St Kilda team which lost to Fitzroy at Junction Oval by 72 points.[6]

Although his VFL career was brief, Brennan played for a number of years in the VFA.[2] He was regarded as being one of Richmond's finest players in their pre-VFL era, a club he played for from 1903 to 1905.[2][7][8] In 1906 and 1907, Brennan played with his brother William at Port Melbourne, then midway through the 1908 VFA season crossed to Footscray.[2][9]

Bigamy trial[edit]

In October 1914, Brennan was committed for trial in a Fitzroy court on a charge of having committed bigamy.[10] He had married his first wife, Catherine Prout, on 7 May 1902, but left her after two years. On 23 January 1910, while still married to Catherine, Brennan wed Alice May Patton, with whom he had a child which died.[11] He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.[12][13]

Military service[edit]

Brennan enlisted to serve in the Australian Imperial Force on 3 September 1915.[14]

On his attestation paper he answered "no" to the question "Are you married?", which at some point was crossed out and replaced with "yes". Catherine was given as his next of kin, but resided at a different address.[15]

He was sent to the battlegrounds of Europe with the 2nd General (Victorian) Reinforcements on 1 May 1918, aboard the HMAT Euripides A14, which embarked from Sydney.[16]

Court-martial[edit]

While in France, Brennan and a fellow soldier were arrested and put on trial after they forcibly entered an estaminet in Saint-Vaast, on the night of 29 October 1918.[17] He was found guilty of "committing an offence against the property of an inhabitant of the country in which he was serving".[18]

He received a two-year sentence, which he served until it was suspended in June 1919 and he was returned to Australia.[19]

Murdered[edit]

On 12 September 1931, Brennan was shot dead outside his home in North Fitzroy by a burglar, who was trying to get into the residence of a neighbour, Norah Power.[20]

The Brennan household, which consisted of Arthur and five of his sisters, had an arrangement with Power in that she would knock on the wall which divided their homes, if she was alone and in need of assistance.[20][21] That night, Power had been alarmed by the sound of someone trying to get through her window.[22] Brennan was in his kitchen and once he heard the signal walked across his garden to her home.[23] He confronted a man he saw standing on Power's verandah who attempted unsuccessfully to defuse the situation by claiming he was at the home to visit a friend.[24] When he tried to make his escape, Brennan blocked his path at the garden gate and the pair then grappled.[20] During the struggle, Brennan was shot in the chest by a small automatic pistol that the intruder had managed to draw from his overcoat with a free arm.[20] Brennan died there on the footpath within minutes.[25] The gunman was chased by two other bystanders but was able to get away.[26]

Search for suspect[edit]

An investigation revealed that the gunman, likely aged 25 to 30, had earlier been seen scoping the area and were therefor able to get a good description of his appearance.[20][27] However police were unable to locate the suspect and after three months had to declare this to the City Coroner, who gave a finding that Brennan had been murdered by a "person unknown".[28][29] The case remained unsolved.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia Of AFL Footballers. BAS Publishing. ISBN 9781920910785.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Player of Note". The Sporting Globe. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 26 September 1931. p. 4 Edition: Edition1. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Family Notices". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 14 September 1931. p. 1. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Family Notices". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 19 March 1925. p. 1. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  5. ^ "AFL Tables – St Kilda v Fitzroy – Sat, 10-Aug-1901 2:30 PM – Match Stats". AFL Tables. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  6. ^ "AFL Tables – Arthur Brennan – Games Played". AFL Tables. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Richmond's star players". Australian Football. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Richmond—Tigers By Name and Nature". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 6 August 1949. p. 2 Supplement: The Argus Week-End Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Football". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 18 June 1908. p. 9. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Bigamy Alleged". Weekly Times. Vic.: National Library of Australia. 10 October 1914. p. 34. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Bigamous Brennan". The Truth (Melbourne ed.). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 10 October 1914. p. 3 Edition: Sports Edition. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Bigamy Admitted". The Ballarat Courier. Vic.: National Library of Australia. 16 October 1914. p. 7 Edition: Daily. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Sentences". The Ballarat Star. Vic.: National Library of Australia. 23 October 1914. p. 1. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Details – Arthur Brennan". The AIF Project (ADFA). Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad (Brennan Arthur : SERN 51513)". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  16. ^ "First World War Embarkation Rolls: Arthur Brennan". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Trial of No. 51513 Pte. A. Brennan". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Schedule (Brennan Arthur : SERN 51513)". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Transferred to Australian Imperial Force (Brennan Arthur : SERN 51513)". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d e "A Desperate Burglar Fired to Kill". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 19 August 1950. p. 26 Supplement: The Argus Week-End Magazine. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Callous Crime". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 14 September 1931. p. 13. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Brutal Murder". The Mercury. Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 14 September 1931. p. 7. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Shot Dead". The National Advocate. Bathurst, NSW: National Library of Australia. 14 September 1931. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  24. ^ "Householder Shot Dead". The Advocate. Burnie, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 14 September 1931. p. 5. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  25. ^ "Shot By Burglar". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. 14 September 1931. p. 1. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Man Shot Dead at his Front Gate". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 12 September 1931. p. 1. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  27. ^ "State-Wide Search". The Northern Miner. Charters Towers, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 16 September 1931. p. 4. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  28. ^ "Murder of Arthur Brennan". Kalgoorlie Miner. WA: National Library of Australia. 9 December 1931. p. 4. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Shooting Mystery". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 9 December 1931. p. 14. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  30. ^ "Unsolved! Some Memorable Murders". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 27 November 1935. p. 7. Retrieved 30 May 2015.

External links[edit]