Searching for the King’s Chain!

The Lost Chain

The Shooting Club Clusorth-Bramhar und Bramhar-Meppen owned a historic Marksman King’s Chain with badges dating from 1697 to 1939. The chain was lost in the spring of 1945 at the close of the war.  The shooting club is very keen to retrieve the chain.

The situation in spring 1945

In March 1945, the British 30th Corps was advancing through the Netherlands from the lower Rhine to the river Ems and towards Lingen. At the beginning of April 1945, the week after Easter, the British army arrived at Lingen which fell on 6th April. From Lingen, the troops continued on a northeasterly course in the direction of Bremen and further towards the river Elbe and Hamburg.

 

On the evening of Saturday 7th April 1945, the Allied Troops stood at the edges of the municipality of Clusorth-Bramhar on Reichstrasse 213 and took over the municipality the following day.

The loss of the Marksman King’s Chain and Flag of the Club

One day in spring 1945, Allied soldiers went to the mayor of the municipality of Clusorth-Bramhar and forced him to surrender the Marksman King’s Chain and the flag of the club. The main protagonist of this forced surrender is supposed to have been a French Officer who was in the service of the British troops who were stationed at the former airport of the Wehrmacht in Drope near to Gersten (approximately 15km to the North of Lingen). The French Officer is supposed to have been a catholic priest at the same time as serving in the army. He is said to have had a brother who was also a priest and who entered in the services of the French Air Force.

 

At the end of his service in Germany, the officer is understood to have taken the appropriated objects back with him to France. In 1960, apparently still in the military, he was due to be posted to Africa but died of cancer before he travelled. In spring 1960, following the death of the officer, by chance the flag made its way back to the club. The King’s Chain, however, remained missing.

The King’s Chain

The pictures available from the 1930’s show the King’s Chain from the shooting club Clusorth-Bramhar and Bramhar-Meppen. It is made of badges of various shapes and sizes dating from 1697 to 1939. Particularly striking is the crowned silver parrot hanging from one of the main badges.

 

Up until well into the 18th century, the place names Clusorth and Bramhar were transcribed in diverse ways. Please note examples of the various possible spellings: Clusorth, Klusort, Klusorth, Cluesort, Cluesorth and Bramhar, Bramhaar, Braamhaar, Bromar, Bromhar, Lingske Bromhaar, Lingsche Bromar.

 

In addition, until the beginning of the 19th century, the municipality of Bramhar-Meppen was known as Münstersche Bramhar

Information requested

 

  • Can anyone provide information as to the possible location of the chain or parts thereof?
  • Has anyone been offered the chain or parts of the chain for sale?
  • Does anyone own any of unnamed badges?
  • Can anyone provide additional information concerning the French officer mentioned above?
  • In the 19th Century, our Club is said to have sold some of the badges to museums. The money received was to be used to help the poorer households of the community.  We would be interested to hear about the location of any of these badges.

 

We would be very grateful for any information you may have and every little detail may be helpful. You can contact us by email:

 

info@schuetzenverein-cbm.de

webmster@schuetzenverein-cbm.de

 

or by: post:



Schützenverein Clusorth-Bramhar und Bramhar-Meppen e. V.

Henning Korte

zum Eichenkamp 3

49811 Lingen (Ems)