|Content Note||Topics covered:|
Mrs Casselman Wadds, Sir James Plimsoll, Admiral Sir David Williams and Mr R A Gomme
The President welcomed three new Members to the Commission, the new High Commissioner for Canada, Mrs Casselman Wadds, the new High Commissioner for Australia, Sir James Plimsoll, and Admiral Sir David Williams. He also welcomed Mr Gomme, who was representing the Minister for Housing and Construction for the first time.
New Year’s Honours List
Announcement of a knighthood conferred upon the Commission's Artistic Adviser, Professor Sir Peter Shepheard; Appointment of Mr Ward, a Horticultural Officer in the United Kingdom Area, to be a Member of the Order of the British Empire; Award of the British Empire Medal to Mr Bridges, lately Superintendent of Works in France Area.
Deaths of Staff
Announcement of the death in service of five of the Commission's staff : Mr Thomas, Assistant Caretaker at Head Office, Mr Holmes, a Head Gardener in Belgium, Mr Wartelle, a Gardener in France, Mr Mariani, a Gardener in Corsica and Mr Moussa, a Gardener in Egypt.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 539th Meeting
a) Update on the progress of the Organisation Review.
b) Report on Estimates 1980/1981.
c) Update on the provision of Historical Notices in Cemeteries with an example of them on display to the Members.
d) Report from the Secretary on vandalism at Cologne (Southern) Cemetery, an update on work carried out at Belfast City Cemetery following acts of vandalism there and report of vandalism at the Plymouth Naval Memorial, where graffiti had been cleaned off the memorial.
Vice-Chairman of the Commission
Announcement that the Appointment of General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC is extended for one year 1 April 1980 to 31 March 1981 as he had agreed to stay on for a further year as Vice-Chairman of the Commission until Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough was able to succeed him.
Announcement that Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC is appointed Vice-Chairman of the Commission in succession to General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC on 1 April 1981 and that the appointment be on a part time basis for a period of three years on terms to be agreed.
Adoption of the Report of the 581st Meeting of the Finance Committee
Includes report from Mr Campbell on repair work to the Thiepval Memorial.
France Area Accommodation
Approval of the design and specification produced under the direction of Messrs Shepheard Epstein and Hunter for new offices, workshops and stores at Beaurains, Arras, and authorisation for the Secretary and Director-General to accept the lowest satisfactory tender or combination of tenders for construction of the new buildings.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) - Amendments to Rules
Amendments to the Rules of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952), authorising and requesting that the Trustees of the Scheme make such modifications, alterations or additions to the Rules of the Scheme as may be necessary or expedient to make the amendments.
Malta – Service Cemeteries
Update on ongoing discussions about the Service Cemeteries in Malta, including concentrations into Mtarfa Military Cemetery and difficulties especially at Capuccini Naval Cemetery.
Commonwealth-Iraq War Graves Agreement
Report on problems encountered with the Commonwealth-Iraq War Graves Agreement concerning the reluctance to grant Visas for the Commission's supervisory staff to visit Iraq, and a report from Mr Paton about his visit to Iraq where he had been able to visit all cemeteries and memorials except Habbaniya War Cemetery and the Basra Memorial, both in military areas.
Brindisi Communal Cemetery, Italy
Approval of the proposal set out in Paper CEM 19738 and dated 19 March 1980 to exhume 85 Commonwealth 1914-1918 War burials from Brindisi Communal Cemetery and to re-inter them in Bari War Cemetery.
Oslo Western Civil Cemetery, Norway
Approval of the proposal set out in Paper CEM 20750 and dated 19 March 1980 for the erection within Oslo Western Civil Cemetery of a Memorial to members of the Commonwealth forces who died in Norway during the 1939-1945 War.
Bergen General Cemetery, The Netherlands
Approval of the proposal set out in Paper CEM 20082 and dated 19 March 1980 to permit the Commune of Bergen to erect a small memorial in the Commonwealth section of Bergen General Cemetery.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth- Belgian Joint Committee:
Mr George Cowley (Counsellor, Canadian High Commission, London)
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Admiral Sir David Williams, GCB (Member, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Commonwealth- Italian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Signor Andrea Cagiati (Italian Ambassador, London)
Admiral Sir David Williams, GCB (Member, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part I 562 and Part 11 160 to 164, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor.
Report from Mr Matthew and Mr Kennedy of a recent tour to Africa, a report from Mr Paton on his visit to North Africa, including Egypt, and Libya.
Information from Mr Swan of the arrangements being made for the 7th Meeting of the Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee in May, to include a reception given by the Commission in St James's Palace, a Government Dinner at Marlborough House, and a Field Day at Brookwood Military Cemetery.
Nomination of Mr Tom Wheeler to the South African Agency.
Report from Mr Kennedy on the six war graves in Mount Hope Cemetery, Panama which the Americans moved to the cemetery in Corozal, and on the proposal in South Yemen to remove the 39 burials from Sheikh Othman and Holkat Bay Cemeteries into Maala Cemetery, which had been approved by the Commission but had not so far been implemented.
Mrs Casselman Wadds expressed the appreciation of her fellow Commissioners and Commission Officials to the President for taking the Chair at the Meeting and for his support of the Commission's work during the ten years of his Presidency.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent GCMG GCVO ((President of the Commission), in the Chair)
The Right Honourable Francis Pym MC MP (Secretary of State for Defence, (Chairman of the Commission))
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
Her Excellency Mrs Jean Casselman Wadds (High Commissioner for Canada)
His Excellency Sir James Plimsoll AC CBE (High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Australia)
His Excellency The Honourable L.W. Gandar (High Commissioner for New Zealand)
His Excellency Dr Dawid J. De Villiers (Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Dr Indu Prakash Singh (Acting High Commissioner for India)
Mr R.A. Gomme (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Edward Gardner ESQ, QC MP
Lord Wallace of Coslany
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Admiral Sir David Williams GCB
Mr A.K. Pallot CMG (Director-General)
Mr Peter A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Lieutenant Commander Richard Buckley CVO RN (Private Secretary to HRH The Duke of Kent)
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Ministry of Defence)
Mr G. A. Cowley (Canadian High Commission)
Mr F.C. Murray (Australian High Commission)
Mr B. J. Lynch (New Zealand High Commission)
Mr A.L. Manley (South African Embassy)
Brigadier M. Mayadas (Indian High Commission)
And the following officials of the Commission:
Mr A.S. Laing MVO (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General)
Mr P.R. Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations))
Mr J. Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr I.E. Morgan (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr J.B. Paton NDH (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P.H.M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr H. Westland MIPM (Establishment Officer)
Mr W.J. Symons (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr G.A. Cheater (Director of Information Services)
Mr D. Kennedy (Director, Outer Area)
Mr N.B. Osborn (Organisation and Audit Officer)
Mr S.G. Campbell MC ARICS (Assistant Director of Works)
Mr. J.P. Gee (Secretariat)