The Police Files - Bella in the Wych Elm
|Drawing of clothing worn by Bella|
in the Wych Elm - from West Mercia
Police files - held at WorcestershireArchives
The upcoming HD Paranormal film on Bella in the Wych Elm claims to have access to the police files surrounding the case, as well as declassified MI5 documents. After a bit of searching, I came across a couple of blog posts from the Explore the Past blog of the Worcestershire Archives.
The first post (September 2, 2016) introduces the story of Bella in the Wych Elm and reveals that the Worcestershire Archives have received the police case files from the West Mercia Police. This is excellent news! The files are currently being catalogued by the archivists but are due to be available for public viewing at some time in the near future (we hope).
The blog post notes:
The spy-ring theory gained more weight when MI5 published some of its wartime files. Particular interest centred around Josef Jakobs, an enemy agent who was arrested after parachuting into Cambridgeshire in 1941. Jakobs had on him a photograph of the German singer and actress Clara Bauerle. He said that Clara was a secret agent who was to have parachuted into the Midlands. Several people have linked the names Clara Bauerle and Clara Bella and speculated that Bella was Clara Bauerle. This is an avenue still being explored to this day. Another candidate put forward was 'Clara' Dronkers, a relative of a Dutchman, Johannes Marinus Dronkers, another spy executed by the British during the War.
Most readers of this blog know about my thoughts on the Clara Bauerle theory - but for those who don't - Clara Bauerle passed away in Berlin on December 16, 1942. There is a Klara Sophie Bauerle that MI5 found in their Home Office records as having been in England during the 1930s. But that is an entirely different woman and has no connection to our German cabaret singer, Hedwig Clara Bauerle.
The second post on the Explore the Past site is a short update on the story with a note referencing my discovery of Clara Bauerle's death certificate. It's always nice when people reference and acknowledge the blog.
As for the West Mercia Police files... I've put out feelers to the Worcestershire Archives. Perhaps they will digitize the files, making them more easily accessible for those who live across the Pond (like myself). Time will tell.