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Minutes of the last meeting approved.
The Minutes of the 218th and 219th Meetings were approved, with update arising out of the Minutes by the Vice-Chairman that he had accepted an invitation from the War Office to organise a War Graves Service in the event of war, and a detailed system had been worked out.
Also mentions arrangements had been made by Brigadier Prower with Prefets for the Commission's staff to be rationed etc. The general policy was that those members of the staff who did not return to the United Kingdom to serve in other capacities should remain in France and throw in their lot with the French population.
Mentions the day following the Munich Agreement, it had been arranged for a wreath to be laid on the grave of the Unknown Soldier in Berlin and another wreath at the Commission’s cemetery at Stahnsdorf. A letter was received from Frau von Seckt, widow of General von Seckt who had been a member of the Anglo-German-French Committee, stating the action had been mentioned in the German press and was widely appreciated.
Verbatim transcripts of letters received from Dr Bourwieg, Dr Horning, and Dr Eulen then appear recorded in the Minutes for the Meeting.
Announcement of a number of unpleasant incidents reported by Sir Herbert Hart in Palestine:
On 20 September, Mr Isaac, the caretaker of Jerusalem War Cemetery, had been ordered by the military authorities to evacuate with his family following fires and shooting in the vicinity of the Caretaker’s Cottage.
On 17 September, brigands entered Ramleh Cemetery and stated they intended to burn down the cottage and break up the cemetery; the British caretaker Mr Gale and his wife and child were accommodated at the Royal Air Force depot at Ramleh as a result.
At Deir-el-Belah, the Caretaker’s cottage had been burnt down and all the garden tools destroyed.
Mentions report received from the Canadian Agency of tour of inspection made by Mr Watson, the Assistant Secretary-General, with brief summary of tour including comments of assistance rendered by veterans’ associations and the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire.
Announcement that a number of ceremonies took place in France and Belgium during August and September, with large numbers of British ex-servicemen from all over parts of the Empire visiting the war graves.
Announcement that the Departmental Joint Council, which represented the Commission’s employees in France and Belgium, had held a meeting at Arras on 20 September to discuss various routine matters.
Acknowledgement of services rendered by Major Graham Hamilton, who had recently been working in the Commission’s offices in London during the recent crisis and who had worked with Sir Fabian Ware during the First World War, when he served with the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries.
Report Of The 275th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with reference to Item 6, which referred to the work of renovating headstones on graves in the United Kingdom, and an unspecified item which dealt with the Annual Accounts of the Commission for the year 1937/38.
Report Of The Fifth Meeting Of The Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee
Summary of the recent visit to Italy by the Vice-Chairman and other members, noting delays at Dover owing to rough weather, a telegram received from the Italian Disabled Ex-servicemen, and a tour of the British cemeteries including Asiago and Magnaboschi, where aircraft flew over and dropped flowers on the graves. Also mentions audiences with the King of Italy and Mussolini, wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Rome, and the completion of construction of the Australian Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
Verbatim transcripts of speeches by Marshal Cavigilia, Lord Cavan, and Lord Perth appear in the Minutes.
Armistice Day Ceremonies
Mentions it was proposed, as in previous years, for arrangements for wreath-laying ceremonies in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere on Armistice Day, and that the Vice-Chairman was invited to broadcast by the BBC immediately after the ceremony at the Cenotaph.
Photographs Of Cemeteries And Memorial
Refers to 66 photographs supplied by Country Life, of which 30 would be displayed in the House of Commons.
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
E. Macleod, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
C. Knowles, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
E.K. Scallan, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
The Hon. Sir Edgar Bowring, K.C.M.G. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
J.J. Lawson, Esq., M.P.
The Right Hon. Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, K.G.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel C.P. Oswald, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Controller and Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Major H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
Lieut.-Colonel E.H. Jarvis (Deputy Director of Works)
F. Tyrrell, Esq., M.B.E.
B.S. Conyngham Greene, Esq.
O. Holt, Esq.