Describes a brief history of the Bache family and its connections to both the Page family and Hildick-Smith family.

 Churchill Forge and the Bache Family

In the text of the main family history document is mentioned the Bache family and the connections the family had to both the Page family and later the Hildick-Smith family. 

I have now managed to piece together some of the history of this family and where the connections were made. I was browsing the Chaddesley Corbett website: 

and I came across a site called : 

It tells the story of the old forge at Churchill and of the family connected to it. This family was primarily the Bache family and showed the following, with my inserts of text that shows how we are connected:

Shown by kind permission of Adam Davison at Churchill Forge, please support the Trust by visiting and donations if you can. 

The Bache family have lived in the Churchill area for many hundreds of years and their descendants still own Churchill Forge. The first recorded Bache from which the present owners can trace their decent is William who was born in 1743 and died in 1817. He had six children and his eldest son William married Penelope Willets whose family, at that time, owned Churchill Forge. The Baches ran the nearby Stakenbridge Forge and by this marriage in 1796 the two businesses came under one ownership. Of William Senior's six children, only William junior and younger brother Benjamin worked at the Forge. 

[These six children were: 

William Bache Junior                  b1770

Jeremiah Bache                         b1772

Elizabeth Bache                         b1773

John Bache                                b1776

James Bache                             b1782

Benjamin Bache                         b 1788

The current owners of the Forge are descended from Benjamin 1788, our family connections are made from William 1770.] 

 William junior had seven children but only one, Henry (1810 to 1870), came into the business, and on his death his widow, Lydia, kept the Forge going for three years until her two sons, William and Thomas were able to take over. 

[I have been unable to find any of the other 6 children at present but details of Henry Bache follows.

Henry was born at Churchill in 1810 and married Lydia Foley (b Old Swinford) in Stourbridge in 1842. They had 2 children that I have found so far: 

William Henry Bache                        b 1842 

Thomas Philip Bache                       b 1845 

Whilst Thomas Philip worked as a farmer and spade maker at Churchill, his brother qualified as a solicitor and set up practice in West Bromwich.

By 1881 Thomas was running the family firm and farming at Stakenbridge. However, by 1901 he was living in London and the forge was being run by William.

 In 1874 William married Frances Mary Stamps in Aston, Birmingham and by 1881 he was living at 60, High Street, West Bromwich with his wife and the first 4 children of the 9 they would eventually have.

 He is described in 1881 as a solicitor and spade manufacturer so he obviously retained a share in the business with his brother.

Their children were: 

Thomas Foley                                                    b1875

Ernest W                                                          b 1877

Henry Norman Bache                                         b 1878

Charles Sidney Bache                                        b 1879

Florence Lydia Gertrude Bache                           b 1880

Arthur Rupert Bache                                           b 1882

Francis Eric Leslie Bache                                   b1884

John E R Bache                                                 b 1888

Harold G Bache                                                 b 1889 

These children are the link to the Page and Hildick-Smith families.

As a well to do family the children all went to Grammar Schools in the area and several attended schools in the Walsall area. In particular Florence attended Queen Marys in Walsall where the Hildick-Smith girls were all pupils.

Florence later returned there as a PE teacher and seemingly formed a close friendship with them. In particular she encouraged Dorothy Hildick-Smith to become a PE teacher herself and through this friendship Dorothy met her future husband Francis (Eric) Bache. Frances Bache, one of Dorothy and Francisís children later married back into the Hildick-Smith family when she married Donald Ryvett Hildick-Smith, the son of one of my Grandfather Dons brothers, John Norman Hildick-Smith.

My grandfather Joseph (Don), (Dorothys brother) lived with Dorothy and Eric at Stakenbridge for a time after WW1, and through Arthur (Rupert) Bache met my Grandmother Elsie Page. Elsies sister Ethel had married Rupert Bache in 1907, although I am not sure how these two met, it is possible they too attended the same school.

Another of the children, Henry Norman Bache became a minister in the church and officiated at Don and Elsies wedding at St Cassians, Chaddesley Corbett in 1927 ]

Back to the story of the Forge.

One of Benjamin's sons, John (born 1827) is on record as being a "spade and shovel plater" and his son, another Benjamin, who had also worked in the profession, for Isaac Nash Ltd of Stourbridge, returned to re-open the forge after it had been closed due to shortage of manpower during the First World War. Together with his son Claude, then twenty one, he commenced trading as "Benjamin Bache and Son, Spade, Blade, Shovel and Ladle Works".

Ben Bache outside the forge in 1925

Benjamin worked well into his seventies, but he became blind and died in 1943. Claude carried on until he retired in 1969 aged 66, and died only a year later. Since his death Claude's daughter, Pauline Hayward, and her family have acted as custodians of the Forge.

Ben Bache working at the hammer in the forge

Branches of the Bache family are known to have settled in various parts of the world and Claude's brother and sister, Harold and Gladys, and half brother, Enos, emigrated to North America in the early part of the 20th century, Enos and Harold settling in Goshen, Indiana, USA and Gladys, after a spell with her brothers, moving on to Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, prior to eventually returning to England and becoming (in due course) the grandmother of the author of this web site.

Claude Bache making a ladle

The family would be particularly delighted to hear from any fellow descendants of the Baches, via the e-mail address below or, even better, to show them Churchill Forge.

E-mail Address: