Unique IDCWGC/2/1/ADD 6.2.8
File NumberADD 6/2/8
TitleAnnual Report No: 08 (1926-27)


DescriptionEighth IWGC Annual Report for 1926-1927
Content NoteUpdated list of Commissioners as at February 1st 1928.

Introduction written by Fabian Ware summarising the development of the Commission’s work over the ten years since it was founded and, as the construction of the cemeteries draws to a close, the transition of the organisation to one concerned with their permanent maintenance, with the associated reduction in staff numbers. Refers to the Principal Architects being dropped apart from Sir Edwin Lutyens who has still to complete memorials to the missing in France and London, describing also those memorials unveiled since the last annual report. Acknowledgement of the contribution of Field Marshal Earl Haig and Sir Robert Hudson, and the appointment of Captain Lord Stanley, M.C. M.P., to succeed the latter as an unofficial member of the Commission.

Maps and illustrations including photographs of the Tablet in the Church of Ste. Gudule, Brussels; Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt; Blargies Communal Cemetery Extension; Brown's Road Military Cemetery, Festubert; Derry House Cemetery No. 2, Wytschaete; Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No. 2; Fienvillers British Cemetery; Ghissignies British Cemetery; Jerusalem Memorial, Chapel Entrance; Jerusalem Memorial, Side View of Chapel; Jerusalem War Cemetery, General View; Jerusalem War Cemetery, The Entrance; Menin Gate, Ypres, Aerial Photograph; Menin Gate, Ypres, Interior View of Arch; Minia War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt; Neuve-Chapelle Memorial; Neuve-Chapelle Memorial, Indian and French Guards of Honour at the Unveiling Ceremony; Ramleh War Cemetery, Palestine; Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt; Tel el Kebir War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt; Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Helles, Gallipoli; Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, before construction; Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, 1927; V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; "Y" Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier.

Identification by name of the members of the Commission on the 31st March 1927, and the number of meetings held in the course of the year (12). Identification by name of the Trustees of the Endowment Fund and reference to the appointment of Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E., as Secretary to the Trustees.

Statistical summaries of the extent of the work and the total personnel employed by the Commission which showed a reduction during the year and mention of a Departmental Committee having been successful in helping many of those leaving the service to find other employment.

Summary of the Memorial Tablets erected in memory of 600,000 men of the Armies of Great Britain and Ireland who fell in the Great War which have now been unveiled in Cathedral and Churches at (in France): Amiens, Beauvais, Bayeux, Boulogne-Sur-Mer, Bethune, Le Mans, Lille, Marseilles, Meaux, Nancy, Nantes, Orleans, Laon, Paris, Reims, Rouen, Senlis, Soissons; (in Belgium): Brussels, Malines, Mons; and (in England): Westminster Abbey. Reproduction of the wording of the inscription on tablets erected in each country and the material in which they are modelled.

Summary of progress with the publication of Cemetery and Memorial Registers to date, copies of each of which have been deposited in the Statutory libraries in the United Kingdom and the Dominions; and made available for purchase by the public at cost price (usually 3s. a part).

In France and Flanders there have been two Meetings of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee and one of the Anglo-Belgian Mixed Committee during the year. In France Arêtes Prefectoraux (or documents of acquisition) numbering 16 have been received during the year, making a total of 954 Arêtes. In Belgium nearly all British cemeteries have been authorised, with negotiations in progress regarding the remaining eight. Of the nine Memorials originally proposed for France, the Anglo-French Mixed Committee agreed that the schemes for Soissons, La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, and Neuve-Chapelle, already approved by the French Government, should be carried out, but that the proposed design for the Arras Memorial should be modified and those relating to Cambrai, St. Quentin, Lille, Bethune and Pozieres should be dropped. The names of the Missing originally allocated to these memorials will be recorded on cloisters or other architectural additions to cemeteries and on a Memorial on the Somme. Summary of those memorials for which contracts placed, construction underway or unveiling having taken place for the above-named memorials, plus those at Menin Gate, Ypres, in Tyne Cot Cemetery, at Nieuport, and in Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cemetery, Ploegsteert in Belgium.

Statistical summary of cemeteries in France and Belgium under construction or completed, plus numbers of headstones shipped, in course of manufacture, erected, or treated with fiuate dressing to prevent the growth of moss, etc.

The Establishment Branch reported a further considerable reduction in the gardening and other staffs.

The horticultural work throughout France and Belgium was well maintained with the introduction of motor lawn mowers releasing many men, who had previously spent long periods cutting grass with hand mowers.
A statistical summary of the average staff, the number of cemeteries and total number of graves maintained. Figures for the numbers of hedge plants, trees, shrubs and flowering plants distributed to the cemeteries; miles of hedges planted and acres of ground sown to grass in the cemeteries during the year.

The Transport Branch reported having taken full charge of the motor-mowing machines and repairing and renovating a large number of hand mowing machines. The total mileage run by transport vehicles showed a slight increase of the mileage run during the previous year.

Acknowledgement of the contribution to Commission's Registration work of Lieut.-Col. E. A. S. Gell, D.S.O., M.C., who had been Assistant Director of Records since 1921, following his resignation on account of ill-health. Summary of the number of certified reports and registration plans prepared for German graves in cemeteries under the control of the Commission for transmission to the French and Belgian authorities. Numbers of bodies recovered from isolated graves for reburial and the proportion fully identified at the time and subsequently.

Reference to the work of the Reduction of Staff Committee having increased with much additional work due to the renewal of Cartes d'Identite in respect of personnel in France following changes in the law.

Acknowledgement of the receipt from various sources of books and other reading matter. During the year the general health of the personnel has been good, there were two deaths and 63 admissions to the hospital.

The Assistant Legal Adviser attended the French Courts on many occasions along with the Liaison Officer acting as the Official Interpreter.

Reference to further copies of Cemetery Location Maps being issued to new hotels, and to others where the original copies had been destroyed or lost, and the number of permanent wayside Direction Signs erected during the year.

Reference to the incidence of routine ceremonies attended by Commission officials, including those held by the Souvenir Francais on 1st November throughout the whole of France and by the kindred Society Nos Tombes in Belgium, and the large Conventions of the Anciens Combattants, which included the British Cemeteries at Etaples and Le Touquet being visited. Some 67,787 cemetery visitors have signed their names in the visitors' books.

In Italy the 18 larger cemeteries are now completed, including Arquata Scrivia Communal Cemetery Extension.
Such exhumations and re-burials as were necessary in Sicily have been carried out, and headstones on all graves in this area have been erected. The land occupied by the various British cemeteries and isolated war graves has, with one or two exceptions, been granted in perpetuity. Contracts have been made for the provision of a Screen Wall, recording the names of the Missing of the S.S. "Transylvania ", to be erected in the British Cemetery at Savona.

In Macedonia the remains of two seamen from the Island of Lipso and of four unknown British soldiers from Kato Djoumya have been interred in Mikra British Cemetery. The cemeteries are complete, except the tablets for Syra Cemetery. Fourteen stone tablets bearing additional names have been added to the Doiran Memorial.

In Gallipoli the 31 cemeteries and five memorials have been finished and arrangements made for their permanent maintenance.

In Palestine and Syria constructional work has been completed and arrangements for permanent maintenance have come into operation. In connection with the Permanent Maintenance of the Cemeteries and Memorials an Agency has been formed under the chairmanship of His Excellency The High Commissioner for Palestine, Field-Marshal The Right Hon. Lord Plumer, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O. G.B.E. Cemeteries completed during the year were Jerusalem War Cemetery and Chapel including the Mosaics, Damascus British War Cemetery, Damascus Protestant Cemetery, Jerusalem Indian War Cemetery, Deir Sneid Egyptian Cemetery, Latron Egyptian Cemetery, Deir el Belah Egyptian Cemetery, Jerusalem (Bab Sitna Miriam) Moslem Cemetery, Junction Station Muhammadan Cemetery, Jaffa Jewish Cemetery (Tel Aviv), Jabaliye Moslem Cemetery, Jaffa, Tul Karm German Cemetery. A permanent water supply has been laid on to Jerusalem War Cemetery (followed by an elaboration of the horticultural treatment this has afforded).

In Syria trees and shrubs are growing fast and all cemeteries are well cared for.

In Egypt the fifteen cemeteries have been finished, and the permanent maintenance scheme is in operation under an Area Superintendent and the Deputy Controller of the Eastern District. The horticulture has improved progressively, with water being laid to the Cairo Cemetery, and to Kantara Cemetery.

In Iraq concentrations included 1,239 British Prisoners of War recovered from various Prison Camps in Asia Minor being re-interred in a Special Plot in Baghdad War Cemetery, and the graves of 299 British Officers and men located and removed to Amara War Cemetery from cemeteries and isolated sites on the Tigris Battlefields. All outstanding work on the War Cemeteries is now completed. 7,896 headstones have been erected in the cemeteries at Basra, Amara, Kut and Baghdad. Good progress has been made during the year on the Basra Memorial to the Missing. Following the flooding of Baghdad War Cemetery all damage was repaired and the cemetery is now completely enclosed by a bund ten feet high. Baghdad, Kut, Amara and Basra War Cemeteries have been planted with trees and shrubs. Arrangements have been made for an adequate water supply to each.

In East Africa the constructional work of permanent War Cemeteries has been completed at Dar es Salaam, Iringa, Mwanza, Kilwa Kivinje, Lindi, Mingoyo, Mtama in Tanganyika Territory, and at Porto Amelia, Lumbo and Beira in Portuguese East Africa. All of the 16 War Crosses in East Africa have now been erected, 4 in Kenya Colony and 12 in Tanganyika Territory. At Songea, Tanganyika Territory, and at Lumbo and Porto Amelia in Portuguese East Africa, the construction of the central masonry monuments that were substituted for the usual type of War Cross, has been completed. Memorials bearing inscribed tablets commemorating the Indian casualties in East Africa have been erected during the year in Tanganyika Territory at Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Dodoma and Tabora. Monuments supporting bronze figures, commemorating the African Native troops and Carriers have been erected at Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanganyika Territory, in addition to the monument erected at Nairobi, Kenya Colony. Screen Walls in masonry, with inscribed stone panels to commemorate the "Missing" and special groups of European, Indian and native casualties, have been built at Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Porto Amelia and Lumbo. Permanent titles for the sites of cemeteries and monuments have been secured and registered.

In Germany the cemeteries at Cologne, Cassel, Worms, Hamburg, Berlin and Zehrensdorf (Indian) have been completed and headstones erected.

Statistical summary of those cemeteries and Military Plots in the United Kingdom which have been completed with and without headstones erected, and others under construction on 31st March 1927, plus numbers of headstones erected in these and elsewhere. Arrangements have been completed for the erection of a Memorial to the Missing of the Mercantile Marine on Tower Hill, London. Progress reported with the registration of War Graves.

In Canada figures for the total number of headstones ordered and erected up to 31st March 1927, and progress with the making of records and of arrangements for the maintenance of graves in the country. A Memorial Tablet is to be placed in the Church of the Ascension, Hamilton, Ontario.

In Australia the graves upon which headstones have been erected are being maintained in satisfactory condition under annual contracts. Figures for the total number of headstones approved for erection on confirmed war graves, those which have been erected and in course of erection.

Update to the total for War Graves accepted in New Zealand, the number of headstones ordered during the year, the number erected and the number of new War Graves marked temporarily with Wooden Crosses. Reference to the provision of Soldiers' Cemeteries at Blenheim, Palmerston North, Christchurch, and an extension to the existing one at Wellington (Karori).

Progress with the work undertaken by South African Agency which, in addition to that in South Africa, included the Mandatory Territory of South West Africa. Acknowledgement of the help received from the Union Government Officials and the Public Works' Department. Contracts for the erection of headstones and memorials are put out to public tender, summarising numbers of headstones ordered, delivered and erected. Assurance has been obtained that all completed war graves and headstones will remain undisturbed in perpetuity, with similar assurances being sought for the remaining war graves. Ten sites for War Crosses have been granted free of charge by Cemetery Authorities, a contract for five of which has been placed. Investigations into ex-soldier's burials by relatives of which the Military Authorities were not informed of the location of the grave, several cases of which proved that the death was due to War Service.

Summary of the number of headstones erected in cemeteries in each District, i.e. Bloemfontein P.W.D. (including Rooidam Military Cemetery, Bloemfontein); Ladysmith P . W.D. District; Johannesburg P.W.D. District (including Benoni, Boksburg, Braamfontein, Brixton, Germiston, lIeidelberg, Krugersdorp, Randfontein, Roodepoort, Holland Farm, De Goede Hoop Farm, Lilieburn Farm and Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg); Port Elizabeth P.W.D. District; Potchefstroom P.W.D. District (including Kimberley West End Cemetery and Potchefstroom Military Cemetery); Pretoria P.W.D. District (including Roberts Heights Military Cemetery); and in South West Africa.

Revision of the list of War Graves in Ceylon and consent obtained from the Local Authorities to the issue of free grants.

In the United States Of America the Canadian Government has erected in Arlington Cemetery (Washington, D.C.), a Cross of Sacrifice, unveiled in October 1927.

A statement of accounts and finances of the Commission up to 31st March 1927, 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 1926 to 31st March 1927;
Appendix B – Percentages of Participating Governments;
Appendix C – Statement showing proportions of cash payments from 1st April 1926 to 31st March 1927 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, and maintenance of cemeteries under Supplemental Charter of 17th January 1924;
Appendix F – Imperial War Graves Endowment Fund receipts and payments account from 1st January 1926 to 31st March 1927.

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; and a statistical table of the distribution of cemeteries, graves and memorials in the various areas (countries and territories).
Extent1 file
Add to My Items