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Circulation, agreement, and signing of the Minutes of the last Meeting.
Apologies for absence received from the Adjutant-General.
Update on recent events:
Attention drawn to the publication of the Nineteenth Annual Report on 23rd February. Copies were presented as well as letters received from Buckingham Palace and York House, together with press cuttings.
Mention that the Vice-Chairman had appeared on the Commission's behalf before the Public Accounts Committee in the House of Commons on 23rd February. The Committee had gone very thoroughly into the accounts and had not offered any criticisms to which attention need be drawn.
The cinematograph film dealing with the Commission's work had been shown recently by Mr Sillar and Captain Vesper to gatherings of ex-service men and others at Rushden, Buxton, and Hyde. The attendances had been good, in one case numbering nearly 600.
Since the last meeting, a wreath had been laid at the Cross of Sacrifice in Chambrecy British Cemetery on behalf of an organisation named "Les Fils des Tues, France et Etranger”, which was said to represent seven nations.
The ashes of the wooden crosses from the Garden of Souvenir at Guiseley, near Leeds, had been scattered in Bethune Town Cemetery in accordance with a request made to the Mayor of Bethune.
Announcement of death of former Mayor of Bethune Monsieur Emile Leblond and mention his funeral took place on 10 December attended by the Bethune gardening staff with a wreath laid by Travelling Superintendent Gardener W.T. Prynn.
Reports of German Remembrance Day ceremonies on 5 March at Potter’s Bar, Cannock Chase, and also mentions three more ceremonies scheduled for Sunday 12 March.
Announcement that the next meeting of the Commission would normally be held on 12 April, the Wednesday following Easter Monday, and, as that date would not be generally convenient, it was proposed that the meeting should be held on 19 April.
The next meeting of the Finance Committee would be held on 4 April.
The Vice-Chairman extended a special welcome to Mr. W.G. Parminter, who had now come to represent the High Commissioner for South Africa at meetings of the Commission.
Report Of The 279th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with specific reference to a difficult case of· the division of Superannuation benefits between two persons, each of whom claimed to be the next-of-kin of a deceased gardener-caretaker.
Also refers to the decision to mark fifteen graves at Rawalpindi, which, although in fact East of the Indus, was treated for historical reasons in the same way as cemeteries West of the Indus.
Annual Delegation Of Financial Powers To The Vice-Chairman
Resolution for routine item granting financial powers to the Vice-Chairman for the approval of expenditure for the next financial year, the appointment and employment of staff, and the authorisation following investigation of the write-off of losses.
Discussion on the question of emergency measures, referring to the paper before the meeting and to the resolution passed at the Special Meeting held in September 1938 on the subject of carrying on the Commission's work in case of emergency.
Update on current situation with suggestion for the Commission to restrict its work if a war were to occur in Europe, referring to difficulties of post-war reorganisation, the powers of the Charter, and proposals for staffing.
Air Raid Precautions, France And Belgium
Mentions the Commission's Air Raid Precautions Officer, Captain Murphy, had now been able to supply masks for the protection against gas of the Commission's staff and their families in France and Belgium.
Graves In Northern Rhodesia
Update on situation that no formal agreement had hitherto been made for the maintenance of the graves in Northern Rhodesia, and although it was a small matter it was felt that it should be formally settled. Mentions a letter was written to the Government of Northern Rhodesia, who responded that the establishment of an Agency was not necessary and the Government offered to assume responsibility for the upkeep of the British War Graves and Memorials in that territory, which was accepted by the Commission.
Graves In The Union Of Socialist Soviet Republics
Refers to a copy of a letter sent from the British Embassy in Moscow, with reference to graves at Vladivostok, Batum, Tiflis, and Haidar Pasha.
After considerable discussion, it was proposed to approach the Soviet Ambassador in London about the set-up of a Mixed Committee.
Assignment Of Insurance Policies To Mr J.A.C. Lipscombe
Resolution for the assignment of Policies Nos. 105169 and 178267 taken out with the Atlas Assurance Company in the Commission's name in respect of John Alfred Charles Lipscombe under the Superannuation Scheme.
Superannuation Scheme – Assignment Of Policies
Resolution for the assignment of policies under the Superannuation Scheme to three men who, owing to economies, had become redundant to the staff, namely: Mr William George Garrett; Mr Henry Albert Ludford; and Mr Reginald Frank Kaye Farr.
Future Employment Of Pupil Gardeners
Comment from the Vice-Chairman that he personally felt there was no better source from which to recruit the gardening staff than the sons of the British gardeners residing in France or Belgium, provided that they were conversant with the English language.
Discussion about the education and training of Pupil Gardeners, including Sir Arthur Hill’s suggestion for Pupil Gardeners to receive training at a nursery first, and Sir George Macdonogh’s suggestion to have them work in a large cemetery such as Tyne Cot or Lijssenthoek under supervision of a Horticultural Officer.
Major-General Sir Fabian A.G. Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
Colonel C.E.T. Erskine, C.I.E., D.S.O., M.C. (Representing the Secretary of State for India)
E. MacLeod, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
W.G. Parminter, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel C.P. Oswald, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Controller and Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Director of Works)
Major H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
F.C. Sillar, Esq.
F. Tyrrell, Esq., M.B.E.
O.D. Holt, Esq.