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Albion honour players lost in WWI

7 November 2018

CHRIS Brunt and Jay Rodriguez have added their tribute in this Remembrance season after planting trees at the Club’s Palm Training Ground in memory of the nation’s fallen.

The tree planting is part of the national campaign Football Remembers, which features a partnership between the Woodland Trust and the National Football Musuem’s For Club and Country project. 

As the nation commemorates the centenary of the end of the 1914-18 war, Albion have taken delivery of two trees to remember the two players who were killed in action after leaving The Hawthorns to answer their nation’s call.

Harold Bache, a talented all-round sportsman who had scored four goals in 14 appearances, volunteered for service seven weeks after hostilities were declared. 

He lost his life at Ypres a short while later.

Wednesbury-born William H Jackson joined the Baggies in April 1912 and had made only three appearances before heading off to France where he met his death in May 1917.

The mountain ash trees planted by Chris and Jay will grow to 10 metres and one has been deliberately placed at the end of the training ground’s driveway to ensure they are seen every day by the players of today and tomorrow.

Chris said: “It’s fitting that in the years to come, future generations of Albion players will see the tree and understand its significance. This is always a sombre time of the year and a reminder of the sacrifices so many made to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Rodriguez added: “It’s a fantastic project which will help remember the footballers who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can live our lives in freedom.” 

Albion are planning a range of Remembrance activities before kick-off against Leeds United on Saturday (ko 5.30pm).

The Woodland Trust are calling on fans to plant their own trees to create a lasting living legacy across football. Supporters can find out more about their club’s history and football’s involvement in the war by visiting www.forclubandcountry.org.uk, and information about the Woodland Trust at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees.


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