It is with great pleasure last week that I received the wonderful pictures and heard the heart warming stories and fond memories of Frank Reginald Bache - affectionately known by his family as FRB.
His daughter-in-law Lynda handed over a parcel of treasures to the West Midlands Police Museum that tell the story of FRB, from his early career in the army to his hugely successful career in the Worcestershire force. He rose to the rank of Chief Superintendent and was offered a promotion to Assistant Chief Constable, but alas his long suffering wife called time on the family being moved around the county and shortly afterwards he retired after 37 years in the police service, having reached the upper age limit.
He spent much of his career in Wythall, Oldbury and Halesowen - also spending 11 years in the CID shortly after joining the force.
Lynda recollected her husband telling her about one occasion during the Blitz when FRB was asked to go to Coventry City Police to help after some severe bombing. He told her they didn't see him for a week as he immersed himself in the task at hand, supporting the police of the city that had suffered so badly. This is a lovely example of mutual aid between former forces within the Midlands that are now part of the same force area.
He had many different responsibilities during his career, overseeing the policing operation of the Queen's visit on one occasion, involving himself in local organisations concerned with welfare and receiving many commendations from Judges, Recorders at Quarter Sessions and Magistrates.
In 1952 FRB received the Queen's Police Medal for his police service, the highest police award for services other than gallantry.
It was highlighted upon his retirement in 1958 that he was the only serving officer within the Worcestershire force who had seen service during the First World War, during his four year spell with the Army.
His fair nature and good humour were noted by many of the solicitors and probation workers present at Oldbury Magistrates Court on the 5th September 1958, at FRB's last appearance in the court as Chief Superintendent.
I am pleased to say that Frank's pictures and stories will be safely stored within the police museum and we will gladly share his story with the world, and ensure he is never forgotten.