|Full name||Bruce Moses Farquhar Sloss|
|Date of birth||21 January 1889|
|Place of birth||Malvern East, Victoria|
|Date of death||4 January 1917(aged 27)|
|Place of death||Armentières, France|
|Debut||4 May 1907, Essendon
vs. Melbourne, at Melbourne Cricket Ground
|Height / weight||180 cm / 76 kg|
|1910–1914||South Melbourne||81 (44)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1914.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Bruce Moses Farquhar Sloss (21 January 1889 – 4 January 1917) was an Australian rules footballer who played as a follower with Essendon and South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL), and with Brighton in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).
As he grew up, he was a keen footballer and cricketer, and he taught Bible classes at the Malvern Presbyterian Church — where his name appears on its Roll of Honour. He was handsome, stood tall, and had a wonderful tenor voice.
When just 18, Sloss was invited to train with Essendon. He played his first match in round 2 of the 1907 season against Melbourne. He played one more senior match for Essendon that year, against Geelong, in round 8; and he played his third and last senior game for Essendon in round 2 of the 1908 season.
Having realized that he would not gain regular selection with Essendon, he left Essendon after that second round match and went to the VFA Club, Brighton.
He played for Brighton for the remainder of the 1908 season, the entire 1909 season, and the first half of the 1910 season.
South Melbourne took some time to obtain a VFL clearance permit for him to play with them.
Playing as a follower, he was tallish for his era and somewhat lightly framed; he was, however, renowned for his speed and agility, and for his high marking ability, and the accuracy of his long kicking.
In his last VFL match, the 1914 Grand Final against Carlton — which Carlton won 6.9 (45) to an inaccurate South Melbourne's 4.15 (39) — Sloss ran himself into the ground, and nearly won the game off his own boot; and, despite South Melbourne losing, many considered Sloss to be the best player on the ground.
The eminent sporting journalist Jack Worrall — the former Australian Test cricketer and Fitzroy footballer, and the former Carlton coach and incumbent Essendon coach — writing in The Australasian, had this to say of Sloss's performance:
Sloss had no superior on the ground, his glorious efforts in the last quarter stamping him as a great footballer. He possesses all the qualities, but is apt to attempt the impossible on occasions. He marked, kicked, and ran like a champion, and almost pulled the match out of the fire by his brilliant efforts.
Sloss was employed as a maintenance engineer at a jam factory. He invented (and patented) a method for cutting melons into cubes that involved revolving circular wheels (instead of fixed knife blades) which prevented the fruit being reduced to a pulp. An article in The Recorder reported that his invention had "revolutionised the jam-making industry".
Sloss enlisted in 1915, and was trained as a machine-gun officer. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 17 January 1916, and was assigned to the 10th Machine Gun Company, First A.I.F. (the unit in which his oldest brother Roy also served). The Unit arrived in England in July 1916. Whilst the Unit was in camp (on 3 September), Sloss was promoted to Lieutenant.
Soldier and footballer
Sloss was the captain of the victorious Third Australian Divisional Team which beat the Australian Training Units team 6.16 (52) to 4.12 (36) (see The VFL during the World Wars#.22Pioneer Exhibition Game.22 in London .281916.29).
Death and burial
Sloss died instantly, behind the lines near Armentières, when a German shell landed near him, exploded and showered him with white-hot shrapnel on 4 January 1917. He was 27. He is buried at the Cité Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentières, in Northern France.
- List of Victorian Football League players who died in active service
- "Pioneer Exhibition Game" in London (1916)
- He was the youngest of eight: Roy, who served in the First A.I.F. and was wounded in France, Biddy, Jock (John Stewart Sloss), who fought in France, James, who served at Mesopotamia, spent three years as a prisoner of the Turks, and was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Honours and awards: James Mackenzie Sloss), Christina, Mary May, Hector, and Bruce. (Main & Allen, (2002), p.179. First World War Nominal Roll (Sloper, Frederick Charles — Sly, Eric Alfred)
- Main & Allen, (2002), p.179.
- Main & Allen, D., (2002), p.180.
- Maplestone, (1996), p.450; AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): Essendon Football Club 1907 Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine..
- Maplestone, (1996), p.451; AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): Essendon Football Club 1908 Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine..
- The Brighton Football Club, along with the Northcote Football Club, were admitted to the VFA in 1908, to compensate for the defection of the Richmond Football Club and the Melbourne University Football Club to the VFL at the end of the 1907 season.
- Full Points Footy: Intercolonial And Interstate Match Results 1899 to 1914
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1910 Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine..
- Blueseum: Grand Final, 1914.
- Main & Allen, (2002), pp.180-181.
- Main, J. & Allen, D., "Sloss, Bruce", pp. 179–183 in Main, J. & Allen, D., Fallen — The Ultimate Heroes: Footballers Who Never Returned From War, Crown Content, (Melbourne), 2002. ISBN 1-74095-010-0
- Maplestone, M., Flying Higher: History of the Essendon Football Club 1872-1996, Essendon Football Club, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-9591740-2-8
- Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897-1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0
- Bruce Sloss's statistics from AFL Tables
- Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Bruce Moses Farquhar Sloss
- First World War Nominal Roll (Sloper, Frederick Charles — Sly, Eric Alfred)
- Australian Football Biography: Bruce Sloss
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): Essendon Football Club 1907
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): Essendon Football Club 1908
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1910
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1911
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1912
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1913
- AFL Player Statistics (Round by Round): South Melbourne Football Club 1914
- Blueseum: Grand Final, 1914