Updated list of Commissioners as at February 19th 1927.
Introduction written by Fabian Ware describing the origin of the Commission, the principles on which their work is based, some of the difficulties they have encountered and the general appearance and meaning of the monuments they are erecting, explaining the inclusion in the report of photographs selected to illustrate the general types of cemeteries and memorials and, in some cases the latest, examples of the Commission's work.
Refers to the increasing incidence of visits and pilgrimages being undertaken by the public to the cemeteries and memorials erected in the various theatres of war and the resulting positive feedback the Commission has received; the sympathy of the French and Belgian peoples with the objects of the Commission’s work and the welcome they have given to the erection of the Cathedral Tablets in their countries to the memory of the Million Dead of the British Empire; and to the unveiling of the tablet in Westminster Abbey by the Prince of Wales on the occasion of the Imperial Conference in October 1925. Acknowledgement of the unanimous vote in the House of Commons passing the Imperial War Graves Endowment Fund Act, the contributions of the governments and the appointment of the Trustees.
Elaboration of the extent of the Commission’s work statistically and geographically, the design of the headstones, the architectural embellishment of the cemeteries (the Stone of Remembrance and Cross of Sacrifice), the horticultural treatment and the task of designing the memorials to the missing to bear the names of those lost in the various theatres of war. Descriptions of three of the larger cemeteries and the features unique to them, i.e. Terlincthun, Tyne Cot and Etaples. Explanation of the different architectural treatment afforded to the cemeteries on the Asiago Plateau, Italy; on the Macedonian front, and on the Gallipoli Peninsula, describing the designs of the Lone Pine and Helles Memorials to the Missing. Reference to other completed memorials at Port Tewfik to the Indian troops, the Memorial to the "Missing" of the Salonika Force in Macedonia, and that under construction at the Menin Gate, Ypres. Descriptions of the memorials which have been erected to the Naval dead at the three manning ports in the United Kingdom (Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth); progress with acquisition of a suitable site for a monument designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens to the missing sailors of the Mercantile Marine at Tower Hill; memorials to those to the dead of the Native East African Troops, designed by Mr. F. A. Stevenson, and the French and Belgian Cathedral tablets designed by Lt.-Col. H. P. L. Cart de Lafontaine. Reference to the publication of the Cemetery and Memorial Registers and their content, and to the cost of printing and binding being offset by the sale of copies to relatives and public libraries.
Maps and illustrations including photographs of the Tablet in Westminster Abbey; Longpre-les-Corps-Saints British Cemetery, France; Bordighera British Cemetery, Italy; Etaples British Cemetery, France; Arneke British Cemetery, France; Etretat Churchyard Extension, France; Pont-Remy British Cemetery, France; Calais Southern Cemetery, France; Vignacourt British Cemetery, France; Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium; Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium; Potijze Burial Ground, Ypres, Belgium; Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, France; Posen Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland; Mitau (Nikolai) Cemetery, Latvia; Niederzwehren Cemetery, Cassel, Germany; Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany; Tottenham Cemetery, England; Ontario Cemetery, Orpington, England; Brookwood Military Cemetery, England; Songea European Cemetery, Tanganyika; Mombasa Memorial, East Africa; Damascus Indian Cemetery, Syria; Damascus British War Cemetery, Syria; Hadra Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt; Deir el Belah War Cemetery, Palestine; Port Tewfik Memorial, Egypt; Cross of Sacrifice, Falkland Islands; and a Map of a part of France showing the position of over 900 cemeteries.
Identification by name of the members of the Commission on the 31st March 1926, and the number of meetings held in the course of the year (11). The agreement of the participating Governments for the Commission to assume power under its Charter to expend money on treating the graves of members of the Mercantile Marine; the granting of a Supplementary Charter empowering the Commission to care for the graves of officers and men of the Allied or Enemy forces in any part of the Empire; and a second Supplementary Charter empowering the Commission, on the request of any of the participating Governments, to undertake as a repayment service the maintenance of any graves other than Great War Graves. Acknowledgment of the contribution to the Commission’s work of Lieut.-Colonel F. R. Durham, C.B.E., M.C. following his resignation as Director of Works. Reference to General Sir Herbert Lawrence, Mr. E. R. Peacock and Major-General Sir Fabian Ware having been appointed the first Trustees of the Endowment Fund.
A statistical summary of death casualties and identified graves, those lost or buried at sea or who have no known grave, and an estimate of coloured troops and followers, together totalling approximately 1,102,808.
Summary of cemetery constructional work which is practically complete in Italy, Macedonia, Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine; numbers of cemeteries completed architecturally, and in which headstones have been erected, in the United Kingdom, and in France and Belgium. In all, some 407,000 headstones have been erected.
Memorials to the "Missing" (those who have no known graves) have been erected at Lake Doiran; in Giavera British Cemetery, Italy; in Chunuk Bair, Twelve Tree Copse and Hill 60 Cemeteries, Gallipoli; on Cape Helles and at Lone Pine, Galllpoll; at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham; and at Port Tewflk, Egypt. The Memorial Archway at the Menin Gate, Ypres is nearing completion.
Lists of names were compiled for the memorials at Kantara, Egypt; Jerusalem, Palestine; Buttes New British Cemetery (N.Z. Memorial); Menin Gate, Ypres and Messines Ridge British Cemetery (N.Z. Memorial); Nieuport, Belgium; Tyne Cot; Mercantile Marine Memorial; Mikra, Greece; Doiran, Salonika; Beaumont-Hamel (Newfoundland Memorial); Cambrai, France; La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, France; Marfaux British Cemetery (N.Z. Memorial); Vimy Ridge (Canadian Memorial) and other memorials in France. As some modifications to their designs suggested by the French members of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee were accepted by the Commission, the exact position of the memorials and the allocation of the names to each under the new scheme has not yet been finally decided.
Update of progress with publication of Cemetery and Memorial Registers, summary of their content, scope and pricing, and numbers purchased by the public.
Figures for the total personnel directly employed by the Commission on 1st April 1926 (1,811).
Summaries of progress with land acquisition in the United Kingdom, in Norway, Holland and Spain; 'Iraq, Palestine and French Mandated Syria; In Uganda, Zanzibar, Kenya and Tanganyika.
Report on progress of work in France and Flanders where there has been a marked reduction in the number of personnel employed by the Commission. The Secretary-General's office and staff were moved from Brussels to the headquarters for France and Belgium at St. Omer. In No. 1 Area, Ypres construction is well advanced and very few cemeteries remain to be finished. On the completion of the large cemetery of St. Sever the office of No. 7 Area, Rouen, was closed.
Works Department reported numbers of cemeteries under construction by contractors, and by direct labour, and the number of graves they contain, plus the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Memorials to the" Missing" and the
Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle.
Horticultural Branch reported each Area was able to maintain as many cemeteries as in previous years with a reduced staff of gardeners, giving a statistical summary of the average staff, the number of cemeteries and total number of graves maintained. Figures for the numbers of plants and trees, shrubs and flowering plants, and bulbs distributed to the cemeteries; miles of hedges planted, acres of ground sown to grass, and length of flower borders planted in the cemeteries during the year.
Transport Branch reported the mileage run by motor transport of 1,204,000 was a reduction compared with the previous year.
Records Branch reported the number of isolated British bodies discovered and reburied during the year, and that reburial services were conducted in 61 cemeteries.
Establishment Branch reported much work was involved in complying with the French law dealing with foreign residents in France. Some much-appreciated improvements have been made in the various Camps, the papers and periodicals supplied by friends of the Commission have been much valued and attendance at Church services has distinctly improved. During the year the health of the personnel of the Commission has been generally good with no cases of infectious disease or serious accidents. There were nine deaths. Ceremonies included the inauguration of the French Cemetery at Notre Dame de Lorette.
During the year a series of maps was designed showing the British Cemeteries within a ten·mile radius of large centres, nine being distributed to hotels and other places where they have proved very useful to visitors to the battle-fields. Wayside Direction Boards have been maintained and replaced where damaged, and new ones will be erected as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made with the local authorities. Memorial tablets were placed in the cathedrals at Orleans, Marseilles, Nancy and Beauvais, and Nantes, and other tablets are in course of preparation for placing in other important churches and cathedrals in France and Belgium.
The 17 larger cemeteries in Italy have been built and completed plus some 70 small plots in Italian cemeteries, 3,404 headstones have been erected. The building of Arquata Scrivia Cemetery is in progress. Headstones for graves in Sicily and Sardinia have been made but are not yet erected. Land acquisition for British graves in Italy is nearing completion.
In Greece eleven cemeteries containing 9,102 headstones have been completed and a memorial has been erected on Colonial Hill, overlooking Lake Doiran, to the "Missing" of the British Salonika Force. It was unveiled by Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh on the 25th September 1926. In the Aegean Islands Syra New British Cemetery, Portianos Military Cemetery, Mudros, and East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos have been constructed and the headstones erected.
The 31 cemeteries on Gallipoli have been completed with their 8,890 headstones, and memorials have been erected at Lone Pine, Cape Helles, Chunuk Bair, Twelve Tree Copse and Hill 60, commemorating the names of nearly 27,000 who fell in the Gallipoli Campaign but who have no known graves. Ferikeui Protestant Cemetery, Mashlak Hindu Cemetery, Mashlak Moslem Cemetery, Osmanieh Hindu Cemetery, and Osmanieh Moslem Cemetery), all in or near Constantinople on the European side, have been completed with headstones. Haidar Pasha Cemetery, Constantinople, on the Asiatic side of the water, has also been completed.
The Chairmanship of the Anglo-Palestine War Cemeteries Committee passed in July 1925 to Lieut.-Colonel G. S. Symes, C.M.G., D.S.O., in place of Brig.-General Sir Gilbert Clayton, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G. following his resignation.
To provide for the perpetual maintenance of cemeteries and memorials, a permanent Agency of the Imperial War Graves Commission in Palestine was appointed under the Chairmanship of HE The High Commissioner for Palestine, Field-Marshal The Rt. Hon. Lord Plumer, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., G.B.E. The following eight cemeteries have been completed:- Jerusalem War Cemetery (excepting for mosaics and other small details), Deir el Belah War Cemetery, Gaza War Cemetery, Haifa War Cemetery, Ramleh War Cemetery, Wilhelma Cemetery (Indian), Sarona Cemetery (Indian) and Limber Hill Cemetery (Indian). In these cemeteries 9,646 headstones have been erected. Jerusalem Indian Cemetery, Telpioth, is under construction.
In Syria the British War Cemetery, Beirut, and (Saida Road) Indian and Cemeteries are completed. Two cemeteries at Damascus, the British War Cemetery and Damascus Protestant Cemetery, are under construction. 961 headstones have been erected.
In Egypt the Office of Chairman of the Committee was taken over by the Hon. Cecil Campbell and that of Vice-Chairman by Mr. C. H. Saxby; Brigadier-General C. W. Compton, C.B., C.M.G., and Col. G. H. Pridham, D.S.O., O.B.E., replacing Dr. W. Hastings and Lieut.-Col. H. Castle-Smith Pasha, on the Committee. Update on the completed cemeteries, the horticultural work and the number of headstones erected in the past year. Mention also of arrangements for the future care and maintenance of the German and Turkish prisoner of war graves.
The memorial at Port Tewfik (see illustration on page 37) was completed in October and unveiled on 15th May 1926, by the Rt. Hon. Lord Lloyd, P.C., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., D.S.O., in the presence of a distinguished gathering.
The Sudan Government has undertaken to maintain the War Graves in the Sudan.
In Iraq Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Baghdad (Right Bank) Indian Cemetery, Alwiya Indian Cemetery, Baghdad, Amara (Left Bank) Indian War Cemetery, Basra War Cemetery and Mosul Indian Cemetery have been constructed, with others under construction, with 6,795 headstones erected and 340 being manufactured.
Progress has been made on the foundations for Basra Memorial to the “Missing" and the stone for this memorial has been received.
In East Africa constructional work has been completed at Mombasa, Voi, Kajiado, Nairobi, Nakurn, Kisumu, Taveta, Maktau, Moshi, Arusha, Gennan Bridge, Tanga, Korogwe, Handeni, Kangata, Mhonda, Kilosa, Morogoro, Dodoma, Tabora, Kigoma, Ujiji, Kondoa Irangi, Ufiome, Mbulu, and Longido. Work is in progress at Dar es Salaam, Iringa, Lindi, Mingoyo and Mtama. Eleven Crosses of Sacrifice have been erected and four more will be put up at an early date. A monument to African Native troops and followers who fell in East Africa has been erected at Nairobi. Memorials bearing inscribed tablets have been erected to the memory of Indian casualties at Maktau, Taveta and Moshi. The masonry work is in hand for others at Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Dodoma, Tabora and Tanga. A masonry pyramid has been erected at Tanga to commemorate both the European and Indian casualties of the Tanga engagement. The concentration of isolated War Graves in Kenya and Tanganyika to the permanent cemeteries is nearing completion. The areas that have not yet been fully dealt with are on the southern frontier of Tanganyika Territory. The Kenya and Tanganyika Governments have agreed to take over the maintenance of cemeteries within their areas as they are completed.
In Germany four large cemeteries have been completed partly since the date of this report, Cologne Southern Cemetery, Berlin South-Western Cemetery, Hamburg Cemetery and Niederzwehren Cemetery, Cassel.
In the United Kingdom designs and working drawings have been completed for 251 cemeteries and war plots and 17,368 headstones have been erected. The number of agreements for maintenance concluded to 31st March 1926 cover 4,958 cemeteries and churchyards representing 47,016 graves (presented in a table giving numbers of Canadian Soldiers, Australian Soldiers and Ex-enemy Prisoners of War). Reference to the difficulty
presented by soldiers having been buried by their relatives without the military authorities being told of the place of burial being gradually overcome by enquiries addressed to the next of kin and by a search of cemeteries and churchyards. In certain plots where the graves lie so close together that there is not space for the seemly placing of headstones a screen wall has been erected bearing the names of the dead.
In Canada 5,625 headstones have been ordered, and of these 5,450 have been erected. In addition to the “War Plots" where a number of the dead of the Great War lie side by side, a large proportion of the headstones mark detached war graves in cemeteries and churchyards throughout the Dominion. During the autumn of 1925 the Vice-Chairman of the Commission visited Canada and delivered, at important centres from Halifax to Brandon, Manitoba, a series of lectures on the work of the Commission.
In Australia war graves are located in the various public cemeteries throughout the Commonwealth, except in Adelaide, where a Soldiers' Cemetery has been established at West Terrace. 2,183 headstones have been approved and 1,966 of these have been erected, representing the bulk of the work of providing headstones for War Graves in Australia.
In New Zealand There are about 2,000 War Graves in over 300 cemeteries, some in very isolated spots, but the work of erecting headstones is proceeding and eventually every soldier's grave will be marked by a permanent granite headstone.
In the Union of South Africa during the year Lieut.-Colonel D. O. van Velden, D.T.D., D.S.O., Adjutant-General, Union Defence Forces, ceased to be an ex-officio member of the Agency and Brig.-General W. E. C. Tanner, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., has been appointed in his place. The Agency reported out of an approximate total of 2,500 graves only about 20 per cent require final verification and this work is approaching completion. Rights in perpetuity in war graves and the sites for War Crosses are being obtained. A contract has been placed for the supply of 500 headstones and a further contract for a like number will be placed very shortly. Report of the dedication of the memorial at Delville Wood in France on 10th October 1926.
In Newfoundland headstones have been erected over 64 graves and four Crosses of Sacrifice are in place.
Summary of the work in the Crown Colonies and Protectorates, including Gibraltar; Northern Rhodesia; Malta;
Cyprus; Falkland Islands; Hong Kong; British Guiana; Jamaica; Windward Islands (Grenada); Barbados; Bahamas; Trinidad; Zanzibar; British Honduras; Mauritius; British North Borneo (Sandakan) and Sierra Leone.
Summary of the work in other countries including Algeria; Brazil; Denmark; China; Holland; Guatemala; Latvia;
Norway; Portuguese East Africa; Persia; Philippine Isles (Manila); Portugal; Russia; Senegal; Italian Somaliland;
Spain; Sweden; Tunisia and Uruguay.
A statement of accounts and finances of the Commission up to 31st March 1926, including identification by name of the members of the Finance Committee and the number of meetings held (18) during the year, along with explanations of the content of the various appendices containing the figures.
Appendix A – Statement of cash payments out of funds contributed by British and Dominion governments (after deduction of miscellaneous receipts) from 1st April 1925 to 31st March 1926;
Appendix B – Percentages of Participating Governments;
Appendix C – Statement showing proportions of cash payments from 1st April 1925 to 31st March 1926 borne by Participating Governments under resolution 1 of the Imperial War Conference, 1918;
Appendix D – Fund for the Care and Maintenance of the Graves of the Fallen.
Appendix E – Expenditure on acquisition of grave sites in perpetuity in the United Kingdom, payment to war office for services rendered by records offices, and maintenance of cemeteries under Supplemental Charter of 17th January 1924.
Appendix F – A statistical table of death casualties and registered graves, divided into United Kingdom, Indian Empire, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland and other British Possessions, totalling 1,019,882; presented both according to country and branch of service, and according to place of death and country of origin
Appendix G – a statistical table of graves registered in the various areas (countries and territories) corrected up to 31st December 1926.
Table listing alphabetically the cemetery and memorial registers published during the year ended 31st March 1926, namely (in France): Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont and Pys; Anneux British Cemetery; Anzac Cemetery, Sailly-sur-la-Lys; Aveluy Communal Cemetery Extension; Aveluy Wood Cemetery (Lancashire Dump);
Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette; Beaumont-Hamel British Cemetery; Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuille; Bonnay Communal Cemetery Extension; Bray Military Cemetery; Bray-sur-Somme Communal Cemetery; Bray-sur-Somme French National Cemetery; Bucquoy Road British Cemetery; Buire-sur-L’Ancre Communal Cemetery; Canada Cemetery, Tilloy-Ies-Cambrai; Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval; Couin British Cemetery;
Couin Communal Cemetery; Couin New British Cemetery; Crest Cemetery, Fontaine-Notre-Dame; Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt; Doingt Communal Cemetery Extension; Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos; Franvillers Communal Cemetery; Franvillers Communal Cemetery Extension; Gonnehem British Cemetery; Gonnehem Churchyard; Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery; Heilly Churchyard; Hersin Communal Cemetery Extension; Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau; Joncourt British Cemetery; Joncourt Communal Cemetery; Joncourt East British Cemetery; Knightsbridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart; La Vieville Communal Cemetery; Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery; . Ligny-Sur-Canche British Cemetery; Lillers Communal Cemetery; Lillers Communal Cemetery Extension; Martinsart British Cemetery; Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery; Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery Extension; Mericourt L'Abbe Communal Cemetery Extension; Mesnil Communal Cemetery Extension;
Millencourt Communal Cemetery Extension; Montay British Cemetery; Montay Communal Cemetery; Montay-Neuvilly Road Cemetery, Montay; Morval British Cemetery; Neuville-St. Remy Churchyard; Neuvilly Communal Cemetery; Neuvilly Communal Cemetery Extension; Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery; Noeux-Ies-Mines Communal Cemetery Extension; Norfolk Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt; Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul; Pommereuil British Cemetery; Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy; Proville British Cemetery; Ramicourt British Cemetery; Ramillies British Cemetery; Rancourt Military Cemetery; Ribemont Communal Cemetery; Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension; Roclincourt Military Cemetery; Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension; Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery; Sailly-Sur-Ia-Lys Canadian Cemetery; Sailly-Sur-la-Lys Churchyard; St. Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent; St. Hilaire Cemetery Extension, Frevent; St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen (5 parts); St. Venant-Robecq Road British Cemetery; Unicorn Cemetery, Vend'huile; Vend'huile Communal Cemetery; Wancourt British Cemetery; (in Belgium): Blaupoort Farm Cemetery, ZlIlebeke; Cabin Hill Cemetery, Wytschaete; Chester Farm Cemetery, Zillebeke; Colne Valley Cemetery, Boesinghe; Derry House Cemetery No. 2, Wytschaete; Dickebusch Old Military Cemetery; Essex Farm Cemetery, Boesinghe; La Laiterie Military Cemetery, Kemmel; Lancashire Cottage Cemetery, Ploegsteert; Lindenhoek Chalet Military Cemetery, Kemmel; Lone Tree Cemetery, Spanbroekmolen; Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres; Minty Farm Cemetery, St. Jean-Les-Ypres; No Man's Cot Cemetery, Boesinghe; Ploegsteert Churchyard; PIoegsteert Wood Military Cemetery, Warneton; Ramparts Cemetery. Lille Gate, Ypres; Reninghelst Churchyard; Reninghelst Churchyard Extension; Rifle House Cemetery, Warneton; St. Julien Dressing Station Cemetery, Langemarck; Somer Farm Cemetery, Wytschaete; Spanbroekmolen British Cemetery; Torreken Farm Cemetery No. 1, Wytschaete; Welsh Cemetery (Caesar's Nose), Boesinghe; Wytschaete Military Cemetery; Ypres Town Cemetery (Menin Gate); Ypres Town Cemetery Extension, (Menin Gate); (in Gallipoli): Azmac Cemetery, Suvla; Baby 700 Cemetery, Anzac; Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Anzac; Embarkation Pier Cemetery, Anzac; Green HilI Cemetery, Suvla; Hill 60 Cemetery, Anzac;. Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Helles; Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac; New Zealand No. 2 Outpost Cemetery, Anzac; No. 2 Outpost Cemetery, Anzac; Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles; Quinn's Post Cemetery, Anzac; Redoubt Cemetery, Helles; 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Anzac; Skew Bridge Cemetery, Helles; The Farm Cemetery, Anzac; The Nek Cemetery, Anzac; Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles; "V" Beach Cemetery, Helles; Walker's Ridge Cemetery, Anzac; (in Egypt): Kantara War Memorial Cemetery; (in the United Kingdom): Benwell (St. James) Churchyard; Newcastle-upon-Tyne All Saints' Cemetery, Byker and Heaton Cemetery, Jewish Cemetery, Old Jesmond General Cemetery, St. Andrew’s and Jesmond Cemetery, St. John's, Westgate and Elswick Cemetery, St. Nicholas Cemetery, Westgate Hill General Cemetery; Walker (Christ Church) Churchyard. (Memorials): Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli; Lone Pine (4 parts) and V.C. Corner, France.