Memorable Manitobans: Eustache Alexander Brock (1887-1977)
Naval officer, insurance executive.
Born at Winnipeg on 13 August 1887, son of Jeffrey Hall Brock and Louisa Adelaide Clara Gillespie, he was educated at Woodstock College, Manitoba College, and McGill University. In 1915, he began working at Great-West Life Assurance before serving in the Royal Navy from June 1916 to March 1919, on Channel Patrol in the Anti Submarine (M.L.) Service. By the end of the First World War, he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant and held command of the HM Yacht Assegai. Returning from military service, he rejoined his father’s company, and upon establishment of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) in 1923, he was one of the first Canadians to join. He organized RCNVR’s Winnipeg Division and was appointed GWL Secretary in 1927, working for the company until the start of the Second World War.
With the onset of hostilities, he was appointed Controller of Naval Information at Naval Service Headquarters in Ottawa, the first Canadian naval officer to hold the post. After a brief tenure, he crossed the Atlantic in December 1939 with the first Canadian troop convoys. By August 1940, he was reassigned to England for liaison duties with Admiralty, becoming Chief Canadian Liaison Officer. In May 1942, he was appointed Director of the newly created Women’s Branch of the Royal Canadian Women’s Naval Service, serving in that position until April 1943, when he was named head of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) land base known as HMCS Niobe, the RCN’s port of call for manning ships, leave, transport, discipline, training, medical care in the United Kingdom or vessels sailing from British ports. His tenure as Commanding Officer (1943-1945) continued until his retirement in April 1945. For his service, he was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1945) and awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration.
Having retired from the Navy, he returned to Winnipeg and rejoined Great West Life Assurance Company as Assistant General Manager (1945-?), remaining there for about two years before moving to Victoria, British Columbia.
On 12 June 1912, he married Margaret Phoebe Jukes (1893-1948) at Winnipeg and they had five children: Jeffrey Vanstone Brock, Margaret Miriam Brock (c1914-1993, wife of Philip Cox), Joan Catherine Brock (wife of Harry M. Dutton), Gale Brock (wife of D. R. Donaldson), and Patricia Louisa Brock (wife of Ross Malcolm Hanbury). He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Anglican Church, and the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.
Having departed for the Canary Islands by 1967, he later died at Crowborough, Sussex, England on 1 November 1977.
Marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
“Miss Miriam Brock is wed to Philip Cox at Ottawa,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 February 1941, page 6.
“Four tons of onions, 36 pigs, one puppy - simple problem for Canada’s Navy,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 July 1942, page 7.
“Joan Brock becomes bride of Flight Lieut. H. M. Dutton,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 December 1942, page 8.
“Brock Commands overseas depot,” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 March 1943, page 1.
“Captain Eustace A. Brock to retire from Navy April 30,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 April 1945, page 3.
“Brock will rejoin Assurance Company,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 April 1945, page 19.
“Patricia Louisa Brock gives troth to Ross M. Hanbury,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 1948, page 13.
“Mrs. E. Brock dies at coast,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 August 1948, page 25.
“Capt. Jeffrey Brock weds British girl in Ottawa,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 March 1950, page 1.
“Against integration,” Winnipeg Free Press, 22 July 1967, page 26.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 5 November 1977, page 54.
Obituary [Margaret Miriam Cox], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 April 1993, page 38.
Page revised: 29 June 2015