George Brock (footballer)

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George Brock
Personal information
Full name Halcombe George Brock
Date of birth (1919-04-03)3 April 1919
Place of birth Casterton, Victoria
Date of death 2 August 1941(1941-08-02) (aged 22)
Place of death Air collision
near the You Yangs, Victoria
Original team(s) Port Adelaide
Height 189 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 92 kg (203 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1937, 1939–1940 Port Adelaide 24 (26)
1941 North Melbourne 4 (3)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1941.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Halcombe George Brock (3 April 1919 — 2 August 1941) was an Australian rules football ruckman who played 24 senior games with Port Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), and 4 senior games with the North Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He died as the result of an air collision during a RAAF training exercise on Saturday, 2 August 1941.


The son of Denzil William Brock,[1] and Maude Josephine Brock, née Koch,[2] of "Fairleigh", Merino, Western Victoria,[3] he was born on 3 April 1919.[4]


Exeter Football Club[edit]

Recruited from the Exeter Football Club in the South Australian Amateur Football League (SAAFL), he played one senior game for Port Adelaide in 1937.[5]

He returned to Exeter for the 1938 season, winning selection in the SAAFL's State team for the Australian Amateur Football Carnival in Launceston.[6] In the match against New South Wales, Brock was the best on ground.[7]

Port Adelaide[edit]

He returned to Port Adelaide and played for them in the 1939 and 1940 seasons.[8]

North Melbourne[edit]

He sustained serious head injuries in a car crash, in Adelaide, on Saturday night, 26 September 1940 (the evening of the S.A. Grand Final between Sturt and South Adelaide)[9] — which explains the remarks made about Brock's first appearance for North Melbourne, against Hawthorn, on 5 July 1941: "Recently injured, [Brock] played with one side of his head plastered",[10] and "[Brock] was playing at a disadvantage through a recent head injury".[11]

Following his enlistment in the RAAF on 6 January 1941, and his subsequent relocation to the RAAF Flying Training School in Victoria,[12][13] Brock was granted a permit to play with North Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL) on Saturday morning, 5 July 1941.[14] He played in his first match for North Melbourne that afternoon; and then played on each of the next three Saturdays (i.e., 4 senior games in all).[15][16][17][18]


He was killed in an aircraft accident near the You Yangs, on 2 August 1941, during a RAAF training exercise in World War II,[19] when two training aircraft, flying in formation, collided with one another.[20][21]

Brock had been chosen to play for North Melbourne against Richmond on Saturday 2 August 1941.[22] However, because he was unable to get leave from the RAAF,[23] he had to withdraw from the team at the last minute -- and he died on that very morning (when he would have, otherwise, already been on his way to the Arden Street Oval).

Coroner's inquest[edit]

At the coroner's inquest, conducted by Mr Tingate, P.M. on 19 August 1941, evidence was given that the conditions on the day were far from satisfactory -- very gusty and, as a consequence, there were many air pockets -- and that Brock was a passenger in one of three aircraft flying in a V formation.

At one stage of the training exercise, the trainee pilot (Maurice McGuire 401137)[24] of Brock's aircraft "signalled to the other pilots to change positions in the V formation, and the plane on the left of the V dropped underneath to take up a new position". Brock's plane hit an air pocket, the pilot (McGuire) "felt a bump, and his plane dropped on to the one beneath" — "[McGuire's] controls failed to respond, and the machine spun down out of control".[25]

The trainee pilot of the other aircraft (Colin Fallon 407785)[26] lost control of his craft immediately the planes collided; and both he and his passenger, John Distin Hill (407792),[27] successfully bailed out.[28] However, despite being instructed to bail out by the pilot McGuire (who successfully escaped the aircraft) his passenger Brock did not jump -- McGuire stated that "Brock must have felt the crash and known what happened, but still did not jump".[29]

Coroner's verdict[edit]

The coroner's finding was one of accidental death.[30]


His funeral was held on Monday, 4 August 1941, at the Springvale Crematorium. His remains were cremated.


"NORTH MELBOURNE — The team will wear black armbands [in their match against Carlton tomorrow] as a mark of respect to the memory of Leading Aircraftsman H.G. Brock, who was killed in an air accident last Saturday." -- The Age, 8 August 1941.[31]
"North and Carlton players stood in silence before the match for George Brock, ex-North player and South Australian airman, who was killed in an air collision last Saturday." -- The Sporting Globe, 9 August 1941.[32]
"In a brief and dignified ceremony before the [Grand Final between Norwood and Sturt on 4 October 1941], the big crowd stood in silence for a minute to honor [the eight] League players who have died on active service in the present war, The chairman of the League (Major E. Millhouse)[33] told spectators that … they were L.K. Rudd (Port Adelaide),[34] D. Waite (West Torrens),[35] D.L. Carlos (Glenelg),[36] H.G. Brock (Port Adelaide),[37] A. Exley (Glenelg),[38] H.R. Farrant (North Adelaide),[39] L. Leahy (Norwood),[40] and J. Wade (Port Adelaide).[41]" -- The Chronicle, 9 October 1941.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Familiar Figures: 23. Mr. Denzil W. Brock, Soldier of Fortune, The (Adelaide) News, Monday, 20 October 1930), p.4; Death of Mr. D.W. Brock, The (Adelaide) News, (Wednesday, 10 June 1936), p.7; Funeral Notices: Brock, The Advertiser, (Friday, 12 June 1936), p.7.
  2. ^ Deaths: Brock, The (Adelaide) Chronicle, (Thursday, 3 April 1952), p.34.
  3. ^ List of Valuations of the Shire of Glenelg for the Year ending 1918-19: South Riding, The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record, (Monday, 25 November 1918), p.6.
  4. ^ Births: Brock, The Argus, (Thursday, 10 April 1919), p.1.
  5. ^ Colmer, R., "Effective System Gives Port Lead at Alberton", The (Adelaide) News, (Saturday, 4 September 1937), p.2.
  6. ^ Amateurs Leave for Launceston, The (Adelaide) Advertiser, (Friday, 12 August 1938), p.18.
  7. ^ S.A. Victory at Football Carnival, The (Adelaide) Advertiser, (Tuesday, 16 August 1938), p.12.
  8. ^ Heard in the Clubrooms, The (Adelaide) News, (Thursday, 23 March 1939), p.21.
  9. ^ Footballer Injured, The Advertiser, (Monday, 30 September 1940), p.15.
  10. ^ Football Flashes from the Grounds, The Sporting Globe, (Saturday, 5 July 1941), p.3.
  11. ^ Western Australians Prominent, The Weekly Times, (Saturday, 12 July 1941), p.39.
  12. ^ RAAF Nominal Roll: Halcombe George Brock (407779).
  13. ^ More Sportsmen Rally to the Colors, The (Adelaide) News, (Tuesday, 21 January 1941), p.6.
  14. ^ Taylor, P., "League Four Defined", The Argus, Monday, 7 July 1941), p.8.
  15. ^ North's Big Recruit, The Age, (Friday, 4 July 1941), p.3.
  16. ^ Taylor, Percy, "Football Changes: Interstate Stars Chosen", The Argus, (Friday, 4 July 1941), p.8.
  17. ^ Men who play the game, The Sporting Globe, (Wednesday, 23 July 1941), p.10.
  18. ^ The Teams, The Age, (Friday, 4 July 1941), p.3.
  19. ^ S.A. Airman Killed in Crash, The (Adelaide) Mail, (Saturday, 2 August 1941), p.1.
  20. ^ Planes Collide: S.A. Airman Killed: Three Others Parachute to Earth, The (Grafton) Daily Examiner, (Monday, 4 August 1941), p.3.
  21. ^ Funeral of Airman, The Argus, (Tuesday, 5 August 1941), p.3.
  22. ^ The Teams, The Age, (Friday, 1 August 1941), p.2.
  23. ^ Footballer Dies in Air Crash, The Weekly Times, (Saturday, 9 August 1941), p.6.
  24. ^ World War II Service Record: Sergeant Maurice McGuire (401137); Australian National Archives: Service Record: Maurice McGuire (401137); Australian National Archives: Service Record: Maurice McGuire (401137)..
  25. ^ Plane in Air Pocket Fell on Another: S.A. Man Trapped, The (Adelaide) News, (Tuesday, 19 August 1941), p.3.
  26. ^ World War II Service Record: Flight Sergeant Colin Fallon (407785); Australian National Archives: Service Record: Colin Fallon (407785); Australian National Archives: Service Record: Colin Fallon (407785);
  27. ^ World War II Service Record: Flight Lieutenant John Distin Hill (407792);Australian National Archives: Service Record: John Distin Hill (407792).
  28. ^ RAAF Planes Collide, The (Perth) Daily News, Saturday, 2 August 1941), p.1.
  29. ^ The News, 19 August 1941, p.3.
  30. ^ Accidental Death, The Age, (Wednesday, 20 August 1941), p.7.
  31. ^ Rover Killed in Action, The Age, (Friday, 8 August 1941), p.5.
  32. ^ Football Flashes from All Grounds, The Sporting Globe, (Saturday, 9 August 1941), p.3.
  33. ^ Death of Sir Eric Millhouse, The Age, (Monday, 27 February 1950), p.2; Many Tributes to Sir Eric Millhouse, The (Adelaide) Advertiser, Monday, 27 February 1950), p.3.
  34. ^ Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Lieutenant Lloyd Kitchner Rudd (SX2923).
  35. ^ Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Corporal Donald Godfrey Waite (SX6640).
  36. ^ Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Don Lionel Carlos (28456).
  37. ^ Australian War Memorial: Roll of Honour: Leading Aircraftman Halcombe George Brock (407779).
  38. ^ Australian War Memorial: Roll of Honour: Private Albert Ira Exley (WX3798).
  39. ^ Australian War Memorial: Roll of Honour: Lance Corporal: Henry Raymond Farrant (SX2224).
  40. ^ Australian War Memorial: Roll of Honour: Private Leo Stanislaus Leahy (SX7545).
  41. ^ Australian War Memorial: Roll of Honour: Private John Samuel Wade (VX8242).
  42. ^ Norwood Wins, The (Adelaide) Chronicle, (Thursday, 9 October 1941), p.17.