|Content Note||Topics covered:|
Minutes of the last meeting approved.
Apologies for absence received from General Liddell because the Army Estimates were being discussed that day. Also refers to award of the K.C.B. to General Liddell in the New Year’s Honours List.
Announcement that Colonel Robinson had been awarded a Knighthood in the Honours List.
Mention and full transcripts of two speeches relating to the Commission’s work delivered before the Meeting: Lord Baldwin’s speech in Westminster Abbey for the dedication of the flags in the Warrior’s Chapel, and the speech given by General de Castelnau at the Meeting of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee in Paris in December.
Announcement that the Vice-Chairman had signed the convention for the transfer for sites of Memorials in France on behalf of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on December 28th. Notes that the Government of India were not concerned in this matter and the Government of South Africa were concluding their own agreement.
Announcement that Colonel Vanier had been appointed Canadian Minister in Paris in place of the Hon. Philippe Roy, who had retired. A verbatim transcript of Colonel Vanier’s words of thanks appears in the minutes.
Announcement that the Portuguese Military Memorial had been inaugurated in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery at the end of November.
Mention that Major Chettle delivered a lecture on the Commission’s work at the Rotary Club at Oswestry, with reference to Park Hall Prisoners of War Cemetery, containing 1,200 graves, situated near Oswestry, where it mentions Members of the Club had devoted considerable time and thought to beautifying the graves there.
Update on the question which had recently arisen with regard to access to cemeteries on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where difficulties had been raised by the Turkish authorities during the recent visit by General Hart, Colonel Robinson and Colonel Higginson. Mentions that the Vice-Chairman had proposed the formation of an Anglo-Turkish Mixed Committee to Sir Percy Loraine; a similar proposal had been in the past, but it had not been considered desirable to proceed with it.
Update on Mr Sillar’s visit to Germany and the Commission’s relations with officials in Germany.
Update on the Vice-Chairman’s visit to Egypt where he had been able to make various arrangements for the necessary action in the event of an outbreak of war. Mentions that he had found the graves of all those who died during the present disturbances were being marked at the cost of the War Office, which departed from the previous practice of the War Office, which had been to leave the marking of the graves to the soldiers' comrades or relatives. Also mentions the work of the Commission’s staff in the different areas, particularly that of Major Menzies in Greece.
Anglo-French Mixed Committee
Resolution that His Excellency Monsieur Charles Corbin, French Ambassador in London, be appointed, and he is hereby appointed, an Honorary Member of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee in succession to Monsieur de Fleuriau.
Anglo-Belgian Mixed Committee
Resolution that General-Major Van Daele be appointed, and he is hereby appointed, an Official Member of the Anglo-Belgian Mixed Committee in succession to General-Major Michelet.
Anglo-Egyptian War Cemeteries Committee
Refers to Vice-Chairman’s recent visit to Egypt where he met Sabry Pasha, who was a brother of the mother of the present Queen of Egypt. Also includes resolution that His Excellency Mohamed Sherif Sabry Pasha be appointed, and he is hereby appointed, an Honorary Member of the Anglo-Egyptian War Cemeteries Committee in succession to the late Tewfik Nessim Pasha.
Resolution that the Seal of the Commission be affixed to and the proper Officer sign the deed of surrender to the Corporation of Colchester of all the Commission's rights and interests in the grave of Lance-Corporal R.G. Grayson, No. 0.1.31, in Colchester Cemetery.
Message of thanks to the Hon. Philippe Roy for his valuable work on the Anglo-French Mixed Committee.
Report Of The 277th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee with reference to:
Items 7a and 7b, which concerned Miss Blaikley, one of three Civil Servants on the staff who was retiring at the age of 60 after serving the Commission for 20 years.
Item 7b concerned one official in the London office and one chauffeur in France who were being retrenched.
Estimates of Expenditure for 1939, as well as certain special items, including provision for the construction of the Extension of London Cemetery (High Wood); the replacement of War Crosses in Italy; the construction of a permanent staircase at Thiepval; and the replacement of headstones in Egypt.
The meeting concludes with a discussion about the appointment of a Vice-Chairman as Sir Fabian’s engagement was due to end on 17 June 1939. After further discussion, it was resolved firstly, that Sir Fabian Ware be invited to continue his appointment after the termination of his present contract and the Finance Committee would be authorised without further reference to the Commission to conclude an agreement with Sir Fabian in accordance with the Commission’s view as expressed in part 1 of the resolution.
Major-General Sir Fabian A.G. Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
Colonel C.E.T. Erskine, C.I.E., D.S.O., M.C. (Representing the Secretary of State for India)
Lieut.-Colonel G.P. Vanier, D.S.O., M.C. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
H. Neethling, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.O.
Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel C.P. Oswald, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Controller and Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Director of Works)
Major H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
F.C. Sillar, Esq.
F. Tyrrell, Esq., M.B.E.
B.S. Conyngham Greene, Esq.
O. Holt, Esq.