|Date of Birth||June 26, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Belfountain, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Agnes Brock (mother), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Merchant|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Branch||Royal Air Force (Canada)|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 28, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||22|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 18, 1980|
|Age at Death||84|
|Buried At||Elmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Cadet Pilot Clifford Wallace Brock was the oldest son of Robert Meadows Brock and Agnes McKechnie Francis of Kenora, Ontario. His mother was from a large family in Stirlingshire, Scotland and his father was born and raised in Belfountain, Peel County, Ontario. They were married in 1890 in Belfountain and Clifford was born there on 26 June 1895. His older sister Pearl was also born in Belfountain. By 1898 Robert and Agnes had moved to Rat Portage (later called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. They had another daughter and five more sons: Earl, Eunice, Ewart, Lester, Stanley and Quinton (born 1908, died as an infant). When the 1911 census was taken the family was living in the Rideout area of Kenora, with Robert listed as a farm labourer. A few years later they were able to get a homestead in Melick Township and Robert began clearing the land for farming. Sadly, he died on 29 January 1917, at age 52, from injuries received in an accident five days earlier.
Conscription started in Canada in the fall of 1917 and single men aged 20 to 34 were called up first. Clifford was working as a merchant in Kenora and he had his army medical on 29 April 1918. He was enrolled with the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment in Winnipeg on 2 May. That same day he was discharged from the army so he could enlist with the Royal Air Force. He signed his RAF attestation in Winnipeg on 9 May and four days later he joined his unit in Toronto. From there he was sent to the Armament School in Hamilton, Ontario for training as a cadet pilot. The Armistice was signed on 11 November and Clifford arrived back in Kenora on 7 December. He received his official discharge at the end of the month, ‘in consequence of being Surplus to R.A.F. requirements.’ His brother Earl had enlisted with the Canadian Field Artillery and he served for a year in Canada and the UK. Their uncle and a cousin, John and David Francis of Kenora, were both killed at the Somme Offensive in France on 8 October 1916.
By 1921 Clifford and his family were living in Winnipeg and he was attending the University of Manitoba. He was very involved in sports while he was a student, as a player, coach and manager. He studied law and after graduating he was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1927. On 3 July 1928 he married a local girl, 26-year-old Jessie Watson Craig. Jessie was born and raised in Winnipeg, the daughter of Andrew and Madeline Craig. Her father worked as an engineer for the CPR. Clifford and Jessie made their home in Winnipeg and they had four children: Carol, Rosemary, Helen and Donald. Clifford set up his own law practice and in 1941 he received the honour of Queen’s Counsel. He was very active in his church and in the community, serving on school boards and as city solicitor. He belonged to the Kiwanis Club and several lodges. His son Donald also studied law and joined the family firm in the 1950s.
Clifford retired from his practice in 1977, at age 81, and passed away in Winnipeg on 18 April 1980. His wife died in October 1991 and they are both buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
By Becky Johnson
Photos are from the University of Manitoba Brown and Gold Yearbook – 1923 (Creative Commons License).