Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/222
File NumberWG 1831/164
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.222 - December 1938


DescriptionMinutes of the 222nd Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Mention that Sir George Macdonogh took the Chair and the Minutes of the previous Meeting were circulated and signed.

Apologies for absence received from the Adjutant-General and Mr Scallan.

Mentions letters received from Lord Derby and Lady Stanley thanking the Commission for their Resolution of condolence.

Announcement that Sir Fabian Ware left London on 13 November to attend meetings in Paris, Athens, and Cairo. Also mentions the press coverage of the promotion of Sir Fabian to the rank of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour.

Mentions telegram from Sir Fabian Ware following his visit to Jerusalem.
Announcement that the Reverend G.R. Milner, Chaplain of the British Church at Ypres, and the Commission’s Welfare Worker, had been appointed Rector of Chigwell Row in Essex.

Mentions reports were received from various parts of the world of services held in the Commission’s cemeteries or elsewhere on Armistice Day.

Mentions that Major Chettle was present in Paris during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the French Unknown Soldier; a similar ceremony was attended by Brigadier Prower in Brussels.

The usual service was held at the Tower Hill Memorial in London where the Commission was represented by Colonel Jarvis.

Mentions a ceremony was held at Reading Cemetery by the British Legion; Major Dowse Brenan represented the Commission.
Mentions Mr Housden represented the Commission at the usual ceremony at Brookwood.

Other ceremonies were held at Cannock Chase and at Sunderland where the Women’s Branch of the British Legion lay flowers on the war graves.

Refers to ceremonies on All Saints’ and Armistice Day in France and Belgium; 17 in Belgium on Armistice Day and 270 in France.

In Germany, services were held at British cemeteries in Cologne and Hamburg and a large gathering of German ex-servicemen took place at Stahnsdorf cemetery near Berlin.

Elsewhere, Armistice ceremonies took place at Enschede Cemetery in Holland, at Nikolai Cemetery in Latvia, at Lembet Road Cemetery, Salonika, and in the British Cemetery at Sofia. Mentions there were also ceremonies held in the war cemeteries at Cairo, Port Said, Kantara, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beirut and Damascus.

Mentions that thanks to the help of Doctor Bourwieg arrangements had now been made for a supply of water free of charge at the British Cemetery at Stahnsdorf.

Announcement that the Annual Report of the Ypres School had been received and copies were available on the table at the Meeting.

Update on the number of visitors signing the Visitors' Books at the Cemeteries and Memorials in France and Belgium, which was 2,315 in October and 2,974 in November. The corresponding figures in the previous year were 3,845 and 2,314.

Summary of Colonel Robinson and Colonel Higginson’s tour of the Commission’s cemeteries and memorials in the Near and Middle East, referring to the British Cemetery at Marseilles, as well as 16 cemeteries in Italy and 11 cemeteries in Greece. Also refers to Haidar Pasha, Mashlak, Therapia,
Mention that Colonel Robinson was retiring and would be succeeded in the role of Director of Works by Colonel Higginson.
Comments about the tour with Colonel Robinson’s advice about the question of fitting lightning conductors to Crosses of Sacrifice, referring to the recent case of the Cross of Sacrifice at Montecchio being struck by lightning, as well as comments about use of local stone in cemeteries on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Mentions meeting with Captain Peek in Iraq and problems of salt in soil in cemeteries in Iraq, as well as the condition of the Basra Memorial, with problems of erosion from the nearby river.
Mentions they visited cemeteries at Haifa, Ramleh, Beersheba and Deir-el-Bela, referring to problems of salt in the soil at Egypt.

Dedication Of Flags In The Warriors’ Chapel, Westminster Abbey
The Chairman said that a statement was before the Meeting about this ceremony in Westminster Abbey which was an extremely impressive one, and at which Lord Baldwin had made a most moving address.

Report Of The 18th Meeting Of The Education Committee
Refers to a routine Meeting called to deal with several outstanding applications for educational grants, with resolution for the report of the Education Committee to be adopted by the Commission.

Report Of The 15th Meeting Of The Anglo-French Mixed Committee
Mentions the principal event at this Meeting was the investiture of Sir Fabian Ware with the insignia of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, and a brief summary of the speech and ceremony. Resolution that the Report of the Meeting of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee would be adopted.

Report Of The 3rd Meeting Of The Anglo-Greek Mixed Committee
Refers to the question of marking 35 White Russian graves at Mikra, with comment that all gardeners in the Commission’s employment in this area were White Russians, and that these men had found it difficult to understand why the graves of ex-enemies were permanently marked whilst the grave of the ex-allied Russian soldiers had only temporary memorials. Resolution for the adoption of the Report of the Anglo-Greek Mixed Committee.

Discovery And Reburial Of Bodies In France And Belgium
Update that the total number of bodies found during the months under review was considerably lower in 1938 that in the corresponding period in 1937 and 1936.

Endowment Fund Accounts For The Year Ended 31st March 1938
Summary of information from the Trustees’ Balance Sheet as at 31 March, referring to the Dominion and United Kingdom contributions as well as a further contribution from the United Kingdom government received in August.

Anglo-German-French Committee
Refers to vacancy among the French honorary members of the Committee, with resolution that His Excellency Monsieur Robert Coulondre be appointed an Honorary member of the Anglo-German-French Mixed Committee in succession to Monsieur Francois-Poncet.
Mentions photographs on display on the walls of the room in which the Meeting took place.
Appointment Of New Member To The Finance Committee
Refers to vacancy on the Finance Committee caused by the death of Sir Morgan Singer, with resolution that Admiral Sir Howard Kelly be appointed a member of the Finance Committee in his place.

Question from Admiral Kelly regarding the maintenance of graves at Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, where there was a grave in which he was personally interested.

Report Of The 276th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with reference to an ex-gratia payment to Colonel Robinson for his temporary service and also the matter which dealt with the conditions under which certain appointments on the permanent staff should be terminated which have been recommended to the Commission on grounds of economy.

Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G. (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)
The Rt. Hon. Earl Baldwin Of Bewdley, K.G.
Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O.

There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Robinson, C.M.G.
Major H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Director of Works)
F.C. Sillar, Esq.
F. Tyrrell, Esq., M.B.E.
B.S. Conyngham Greene, Esq.
O. Holt, Esq.
Date1/12/1938 - 16/1/1939
Extent1 file
CategoryMeeting Notes
ArchNotePlease note that the downloadable document is the final version of the Committee Meeting minutes. Additional information, including the verbatim minutes and subsidiary reports, may be available in the physical file.
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