Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/232
File NumberWG 1831/174
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.232 - December 1939


DescriptionMinutes of the 232nd Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 231st Meeting.

Apologies for absence received from the Adjutant-General, Sir John Kennedy, and Mr Parminter.

The Vice-Chairman referred to a request from General Sir Harry Chauvel, on behalf of the Trustees of the "Shrine of Remembrance" at Melbourne, for a supply of seeds of typical Palestine wild flowers and for some bulbs of the common anemone from one of the Palestine War Cemeteries. These were to be placed in a special flower bed which the Melbourne Town Council had made available close to the Shrine; they would, of course, be sent.

Mentions schoolchildren of Villers Bretonneux, with their Headmaster and Teachers, visited the Australian Memorial on 7 October and laid bunches of poppies, followed by a two minutes silence and a lecture by the Headmaster on the capture and recapture of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918.

Mentions that Monsieur Puaux, the French High Commissioner in Syria, during an official visit to Jerusalem, had laid a wreath at the War Memorial Cemetery.

Refers to Armistice Day ceremonies at Damascus War Cemetery, where M. Puaux, the British and Italian Consuls, and members of the Syrian Government attended; at Beirut War Cemetery, where General Weygand, the British Consul-General, and Italian and Turkish representatives attended; at Ramleh; and at Jerusalem War Cemetery, where 19 official wreaths were laid, as well as two at the Australian Memorial, one of which was sent by Colonel Hughes, the Australian Commissioner in Egypt.

Update on situation of Commission staff in Belgium and mentions that the German authorities were still maintaining war graves in Germany and remark that attendance at All Saints Day and Armistice Day ceremonies in Belgium was slightly fewer than previous years. There were only 21 British visitors to the Cemeteries and Memorials recorded in October and 207 others.

Update on ceremonies in France.

Refers to agreement at last meeting of the Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee that a tablet acknowledging the comradeship of the British and Italian armies during the Great War would be placed in British cemeteries in Italy. Also mentions General Cei had submitted inscriptions for the Asiago Memorial.

Refers to the discussion from the 230th Meeting of enlisting the Commission's staff in France and giving them uniforms, with update that the matter had since been referred to D.M.I., War Office, who had expressed the view that enlistment was not desirable at present and had suggested that the staff should be provided with a military pattern cap with a badge, similar to that worn by War Office messengers. The caps had been ordered and were on their way to France.

Accounts Of The Endowment Fund
Update on contributions received from the United Kingdom and Dominion governments.

Proposed Supplemental Charter
Resolution that on receipt of full approval from all the participating Governments, and subject to the concurrence of the President of the Commission, the Vice-Chairman be empowered to apply for a Supplemental Charter extending the purposes and powers of the Commission to cover the care of the graves and the commemoration of the Missing dead of the present War.

Estimates For The Year 1940/1941
Discussion on projected expenditure, with comment from Colonel Oswald that the dispatch of headstones abroad was suspended, appointments vacant by resignation were not filled, and construction at London Cemetery (High Wood) and the East was postponed.
Resolution for the provisional approval of estimated expenditure for the year 1940/1941.

Report Of The Headstone Committee
Refers to Sir Frederic Kenyon’s reports and drawings circulated at the Meeting.
Comments from Director of Works about the weathering of the Commission’s headstones referring to the different designs presented at the Meeting and also how it was not possible to incorporate the superscription “Known To Be Buried” on certain designs presented at the meeting.
Decision that those models of the types lettered "C" and "D" and the present headstone should be prepared and shown to the Commissioners at their next meeting before any communication was sent to the Governments.

Discoveries And Reburials, France And Belgium
Mentions the Vice-Chairman referred to the paper before the Meeting and observed that the figures had fallen, but that discoveries were now being made by the troops engaged in digging trenches.

Return Of Burials In The Present War
Mentions the selection of burial grounds was a matter for the military authorities, referring to selection of sites by the DGRE during the First World War and, after some discussion, it was understood by Members the former principle of leaving the dead buried, as far as possible, near where they fell would be maintained.

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)
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
The Hon. Sir Edgar Bowring, K.C.M.G. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O.
Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.

There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B.
Colonel A.R. MacAllan, D.S.O.
Major Lord Courtown, O.B.E., D.L.
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
Date4/12/1939 - 6/2/1940
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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