Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/231
File NumberWG 1831/173
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.231 - November 1939


DescriptionMinutes of the 231st Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Minutes of the last meeting approved.

Welcome from Vice-Chairman to the Adjutant-General on his first attendance and report of visit to France with the President of the Commission, commenting cemeteries were constantly visited by young soldiers on their way to the Front, and the gardeners seemed to be taking pride in showing them how the old soldier did his work.
Announcement that King George II of Greece had visited the British Cemetery at Corfu in August.

Sir Ronald Campbell had taken Sir Eric Phipps's place in the British Embassy in Paris and would become an Honorary Member of the Anglo-French Committee.

Report of All Saints’ Day ceremonies in Belgium, namely Ypres as well as Tournai, Poperinghe, Courtrai, Roulers, Wytschaete, Neuve-Eglise and Ostend.
Announcement that copies of the report of the Ypres British School had been received and were available for circulation. In the ten years since its establishment the school had enrolled more than 270 British children, and, of 90 children now on the books, 77 were the children of Commission employees. It had been decided that the school should remain open during the War.

Announcement that Lieutenant-General M.G. Barker had succeeded Lieutenant-General R.H. Haining as G.O.C. British Troops in Palestine and thus became an official member of the Anglo-Palestine War Cemeteries Committee.
Armistice Day message from the Vice-Chairman to General Cei.

Gardeners’ Service at Westminster Abbey, where Gardener Langley had laid a wreath and who, until a few weeks before the Meeting, had overseen British graves at Stahnsdorf.

Announcement that, on Sunday 5 November, Mr Sillar had given an address on the Commission's work to the Northampton Branch of the British Legion. The attendance was about 700 and a grateful letter of thanks had been received.

Announcement that the Vice-Chairman had given a broadcast address entitled “How Sleep the Brave” on Armistice Day.
Report of the recent wreath-laying ceremonies which had taken place in Paris and Belgium and also the usual commemorative service at the Tower Hill Memorial which had been attended by Colonel Higginson who laid the Commission’s wreath.

Update on numbers of visitors signing the Visitors’ Books in France and Belgium during September: 1,201 at the Memorials and 3,126 at the Cemeteries, making a total of 4,327. The corresponding figure for last year was 20,845. There had naturally been far fewer visitors, and to meet the reasonable wishes of the Military Authorities in France the Visitors' Books had now been withdrawn from the cemeteries.

Emergency Arrangements
Report on work the Commission had undertaken for the War Office and DGRE, as well as provision of land for cemeteries of the present War in France, the Commission’s staff in Egypt, Palestine and Iraq, as well as arrangements for the evacuation of Commission staff and their families from Belgium.
Comment from Colonel Oswald that there were 120 Gardener-Caretakers in Belgium, and, with their wives and families the arrangements made concerned about 375 men, women and children.

Endowment Fund Income
Resolution for the provision for further accumulation and income for the Commission to carry out its work following the completion of the Endowment Fund allowance.

Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee: Appointment of New Member
Resolution that His Excellency Signor Giuseppe Bastianini, Italian Ambassador in London, be appointed an Honorary Member of the Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee.

Anglo-French Mixed Committee
Discussion regarding the Anglo-French Agreement of 26 November 1918 and the Commission’s position in relation to the present War.
Following discussion, a resolution was made for the following:
1) the questions raised by the Vice-Chairman should be put to the participating Governments on the basis that the contribution of each should again be proportionate to the numbers of the graves of its Dead;
2) Sir Frederic Kenyon should summon a small Committee of Artists and Architects to suggest a form of headstone for the graves of the present War (the Commissioners taking different views as to whether the headstones should be the same or slightly different from those of the late War);
3) that the Adjutant-General should informally ascertain the opinion of the Army as regards the last point;
4) that the question of other Memorials in the Cemeteries should be left over for future consideration.
Also a resolution that Major C.K. Phillips, M.V.O., O.B.E., be appointed an Assistant Secretary-General of the Anglo-French Mixed Committee.
Selection Of Sites For Cemeteries
Discussion regarding procedure for considering location of burial sites and the clearance of battlefields, referring to present practice in the United Kingdom.

Authority For Use Of Seal
Resolution for the affixation of the Commission’s seal to documents for the following:
a) Assignment of Commission Policies with the Atlas Assurance Company Nos. 109490 and 151895 to Mr J.A. Enright.
b) Assignment of Policy with the National Provident Institution No. 127558 to Miss K.M. Newman.
c) Grant of site of grave of Able Seaman F.R. Balsom, R.N., in Plymouth (Weston Mill) Cemetery.

Offices At Wooburn House
Refers to the proposed purchase of Wooburn House for discussion at the next meeting of the Finance Committee.

Major-General Sir Fabian 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 High Commissioner for India)
E. MacLeod, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
C. Knowles, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
W.G. Parminter, 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 Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
J.J. Lawson, Esq., M.P.
Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
W.P. Spens, Esq., O.B.E., K.C., M.P.

There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B.
Colonel A.R. MacAllan
Colonel C.P. Oswald, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Controller and Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Director of Works)
F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
O.D. Holt
Date3/11/1939 - 5/12/1939
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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