Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Ex County Player And Baggies Footballer Honoured With Hawthorns Plaque

Ex County Player And Baggies Footballer Honoured With Hawthorns Plaque

Former Worcestershire player Harold Bache is having a plaque dedicated to his memory unveiled by West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns tomorrow on Remembrance Sunday.

Bache died at the battle of Ypres in the First World War aged just 26 after playing cricket for Worcestershire, soccer for the Baggies as well as being an England amateur international footballer and an accomplished lawn tennis player.

After being unveiled pitch-side during the minute’s silence before Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game against Newcastle United, the plaque will be permanently mounted at the East Stand opposite the new Tony Brown statue.

Bache played 20 first class matches between 1907 and 1910 with 17 of them being for Worcestershire and three for Cambridge University and combined this with playing football for Albion.

He made his debut against Surrey at Worcester during the 1907 season, scoring nine in his only innings and holding three catches.

His top score of 36 came against Middlesex at Lord's in 1910 and in the same season took two of his three career wickets against the same opposition at Worcester in Patsy Hendren and Jack Hearne.

But 1914 changed everything. On August 4, after Bache had won two lawn tennis events in Kidderminster, war was declared.

On September 2, he was in the Albion team which started the season with a 2-1 win at Newcastle.

Just 17 days later he walked into a recruitment office and joined up specifically asking for a Commission in the combat unit of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

On Flanders Field, he was a grenade officer, in charge of bomb throwers, squads known in the trenches as “the suicide club.”

On February 15, 1916, the seemingly inevitable happened and on a battlefield in Ypres he was gunned down by a sniper’s bullet. His life was over at the age of just 26 years and 179 days.