"REINHARD'S ERBENGEMEINSCHAFT"
R.E.G.

 

History


Both, the epitaph of Lord of Sardhana in the Crypt of the Patriola Chapel on the Catholic Cemetery of Agra, and the Founder Panel at the Akbar Church , which was rebuild in the same town, mention him with the same name: Walter Reinhard. In consideration of the special meaning of these inscriptions for the history and the memory Walter Reinhard, it must be fact that:

  1. These details were ordered by the Lord personally and
  2. He connected his identity with this name.

On the other hand, he was always called Sombre Samroo, Samru, Sumru, or similar in India during his Soldier years. In a French troop list of the Garrison of Bengali, he is listed as a Sergeant with the name Valteres Sommer on April 1, 1747. Historical personalities, like the French Officer Gentil, who met him in India , also called him Sommer or Sommers. Quite obvious Sombre, aka Samroo, Samru, Sumru or similar is his war name.


All sources agree on this: Regarding his Nationality he must have originated from a German Speaking Area.


A Walterus Somer from the town Simmern is listed as a passenger and Dutch soldier on the “East-Indian Traveler-Ship” Hoogersmilde, which left on August 9, 1743 from Middleburg on the Island Walcheren towards India . According to the same ship documents this man deserted on January 20, 1745 at the coast of Burma , after the ship had been brought there. He then continued his journey and arrived in Colombo on February 25th.


There are several facts, which support the cause that this man is identical with the Walter Reinhard, who later became the Lord of Sardhana:

  1. This person fits exactly into the documented, historical course of Walter Sommer in Bengalia, whose existence is proven in the documents of the French Marine Archive.
  2. The Lord of Sardhana told the Count Louis Laurent de Féderbe, who visited him in India and who won his trust, about the journey on the ship.

Modaves notes about Walter Reinhard-Sombre contain also very plausible details of the circumstances, which brought him onto the Dutch ship:


He came onto the ship after his desertion from the French troops after the lost battle at Dettingen in 1743. This fact fits exactly into the timeline. Also his affiliation with a very well trained European fighting troop contributes to the explanation of his special military abilities, his over-all art of being able to stay alive and his self-confidence, which made him so successful in warfare in India . Also, the circumstance of a desertion supplies a very good reason for a name change.


It is the merit of Prof. Dr. Kurt Reinhard that the identity of Walter Reinhard-Sombre and Walter Sommer is the same.  It is determined today the history of this man can be traced back to the battle of Dettingen. Prof. Dr. Kurt Reinhard tracked down this amount of information through enquiries and research in Dutch and French archives.


Details on earlier phases of the life of Walter Reinhard Sombre and particularly his birth can be found very often in literature. Details are also told by a variety of people, which have high hopes on an imaginary substantial inheritance. However, something they all have in common is speculation, because of poetic liberty, prejudice towards war enemies or due to following subjective interests. Major Polier, a Swiss National, who collected information about Walter Reinhard-Sombre as a secret agent of the Community of East-India, reports Reinhard trained to be a carpenter or butcher. He does not provide any evidence, supporting this theory, but he remarks- probably an allusion to the “Black Action”, which made Walter Reinhard-Sombre the most hated enemy of the English, he is inclined to believe the latter.


A clear detail of a place of birth for Walter is found on an official document, the troop list of the French Garrison of Bengali, in which Walter Sommer, aka Walter Reinhard-Sombre is listed as Sergeant on April 1, 1747. The birthplace listed is: Trier . However, a birth certificate for the questionable time period (1710-1725) can neither be found there nor in Simmern or Traben-Trarbach. The latter place is also mentioned from Lord Sardhana himself in a conversation with the Count of Modave. Though, Count Modave had the impression that Walter Reinhard did not speak the truth, because of his roguish and secret way, he said it.


Altogether, more than 20 different statements of Walter Reinhard-Sombre’s birthplace became known.  However, there is only one proof of an identity under the name of Reinhard.


 Walter Reinhard-Sombre, Lord of Sardhana, contributed very much to this confusion. Apparently, he wanted to keep his origin a secret and therefore made different statements about his birthplace at many different occasions, which were all wrong except the one, which states his real birthplace. He- Walter Reinhard, probably had his reasons for keeping it a secret.


The fact that he mentioned the “Diocese Trier”, ( Trier , with the regions Rhine-Mosel-Hunsrueck) and many other smaller, unknown villages in this region, supports the theory, he knew that area, probably because he lived there for some time of his life. The place of origin “Old Simmeren”, indicated in the Dutch shipping documents could be a conscious attempt to mislead. Research in Simmern and the surrounding area showed that there never was an “Old Simmeren”.


The only documentarily verifiable birthplace of Walter Reinhard in Germany is a church register entry in Eisenberg/ Palatinate . Eisenberg belonged to the Diocese Trier at that time. All other mentioned birthplaces are very doubtful and not supported with documented evidence.