Club News

Albion to unveil plaque to honour First World War hero

Club pay tribute to Bache on Remembrance Sunday

West Bromwich Albion will on Sunday unveil a plaque dedicated to the memory of a former centre-forward and sporting champion who was killed in the First World War.

Harold Bache died at the Battle of Ypres having just a few months earlier departed the club as a volunteer for service.

Bache was the embodiment of the Edwardian adventurer. A Cambridge Blue, accomplished cricketer with Worcestershire, an England amateur international footballer, a Corinthian and at the time an  exciting new centre forward at the club. The world was at his feet. 

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 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. 

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

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning 

We will remember them