Freddie Bates (bottom right with the dog) is pictured with the Albion team.


PUBLISHED
13:19 24th October 2014
by Luke Nicoli
He was the first Albion man to die, one of five members of staff to make the supreme sacrifice along with at least ten former players"
Tim Carder

One hundred years ago today, Freddie Bates became the first Brighton & Hove Albion man to die in the First World War.Bates, from the East End of London, had been appointed Albion’s groundsman at the Goldstone Ground a few years earlier but as an army reservist, he was called up when war broke out earlier in 1914.
On 18th October his battalion, the 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, attacked the village of Herlies, south west of Lille in France, part of which was still in German hands. The fighting went on for five days and more than 20 men from the unit were killed. Another 115 or so were wounded, one of them Bates.
The 33-year-old was removed to a military hospital in Béthune – but there was no saving him. He died on the Saturday as the Albion players were beating Southend United, some 125 miles away, at the Goldstone.


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Club historian Tim Carder recalled, “He was the first Albion man to die, one of five members of staff to make the supreme sacrifice along with at least ten former players.”“Many Albion fans were also killed, of course, and nearly 50 men from Brighton and Hove had already fallen in the first months of the war.
“Sadly, Freddie was rather forgotten thereafter. He wasn’t included on the club’s 1923 war memorial, nor on the Hove memorial; but you will find his name on the Roll of Honour at the Scottish National War Memorial (as he was in a Scots regiment) and on the new Albion memorial at the Amex.”
You can read much more on Freddie’s story in tomorrow’s issue of Seagull, available in and around the Amex Stadium, priced £3.50
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Original article