Dr. Herbert Bach

A plaque in memory of Dr. Herbert Bach, a former Vice President of the Socialist Medical Association – now the Socialist Health Association, – was resited at the new Addison Health Centre, Harlow at a ceremony organised locally on 19th July 2001.

Bach was born in Vienna in 1913 and fled to Britain in 1938, after being active in the Socialist Youth Organisation, which was outlawed by the Nazis. His father, Martin, and uncle, David Bach, were both prominent in the Austrian Labour Movement and another uncle, Max Jacob Bach, married a sister of Emmiline Pankhurst, the suffragette.

In Britain, after internment, Herbert Bach took up residence in Manchester and began to practise medicine but in the aftermath of the Second World War, he came south. Initially, he was based in Hoddesdon, Herts, but moved into Harlow and, in due course, had his surgery in the original Addison Health Centre, which has now been replaced.

He was an extremely attentive and caring G.P. but he made time to be a dynamo of activity in Harlow Labour Party at both ward and G.M.C. level. He campaigned for the N.H.S., for an industrial health service and for the building of a hospital in the town. Founder of the local Fabian Society, he embraced a wide range of political and other voluntary work. His wife, Millicent, (a former nurse), supported him and was herself a member of Harlow Council 1963 – 1974.

His work led him to an active membership of the S.M.A. and he was elected a Vice President.

Sadly he died at 57 years of age in 1971.

The plaque was unveiled by Dr. Philip Marriot, who was brought up by Herbert and Millicent Bach, after his parents, Lydia and Gordon – a former Harlow Council Chairman – were killed in a car crash, on the way to Stavanger, with which Harlow was twinned.

Martin Lawn, Chair of Harlow Health Centres Trust and also Princess Alexandra Hospital and former Labour M.P. Stan Newens both spoke.