Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/234
File NumberWG 1831/176
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.234 - April 1940


DescriptionMinutes of the 234th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 233rd Meeting.

Update on the publication of the 20th Annual Report on 21 March and circulation of copies to Members. Mentions a copy of letter received from the Prime Minister and also a letter from Buckingham Palace indicating special interest in the Report.

Announcement that Earl de la Warr had succeeded Mr Ramsbotham as First Commissioner of Works and therefore became an Official Member of the Commission.

Update on decision at the Meeting on 12 December 1939 regarding the application 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. Mentions a letter had been sent to each Government and a draft Charter was forwarded to the Privy Council on 31 January with approval from His Majesty in Council on 6 February 1940. The Charter was sealed on 5 March 1940.

Announcement of the death of Lord Crawford, First Commissioner of Works and an active Member of the Commission.

Announcement of the death of Mr Joseph Radcliffe, a British member in Italy of the Anglo-Italian Mixed Committee.

Announcement of the death of Major John Braithwaite, one of the original officers of the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries in France during the First World War and who joined the Mobile Unit in October 1914.

Refers to question raised in April 1937 about the validity of titles to war cemeteries in Palestine with update that the matter wad discussed at 17th Meeting of the Anglo-Palestine War Cemeteries Executive Committee on 31 May 1939.

Announcement that Lieutenant-General G.J. Giffard had automatically become a member of the Anglo-Palestine War Cemeteries Executive Committee upon his appointment as G.O.C. British Troops in Palestine.

Announcement that Brigadier Hart had resumed his duties in Eastern District as Chief Administrative Officer.

Announcement that the wife of Brigadier H.E. de R. Wetherall had presented a number of bulbs to Jerusalem War Cemetery

H.R.H. the Duke of Windsor had recently visited Bernafay Wood Cemetery and talked to the gardeners before visiting Delville Wood.

Update on number of visitors signing Visitors’ Books in Belgium: 97 in January; 161 in February; and 376 in March.

Verbatim update from Vice-Chairman regarding his communication with Dr Bourwieg, head of the Official German War Graves Service and the informal agreement that, in the event of war, the Commission would continue to exchange burial information and would reciprocally undertake maintenance of British war graves in Germany and German war graves in the United Kingdom. Mentions he had enquired as to the state of Stahnsdorf Cemetery.

Announcement of publication of Army Council Instruction on 5 April regarding burials and temporary marking of war graves in the United Kingdom.

Discussion regarding erection of wooden crosses in the United Kingdom, with explanation from Colonel Higginson on the appearance and dimensions of the crosses, which would be in place until a permanent headstone could be erected. It was agreed after discussion that the Commission’s monogram would be used in place of the Imperial Crown.

Update from Sir Frederic Kenyon on the work of the Headstone Committee, referring to the suggestion of a new design of headstone which was rejected, as well as suggestions for improvements for the details of letters and numerals carved on headstones. The revised alphabet was incorporate heavier and more deeply cut thin strokes and Mr MacDonald Gill would prepare a sample in Hopton Wood stone. It was further agreed by the Headstone Committee for the badge designs to be revised.

Report Of The 285th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report with reference to the income of the Endowment Fund and the first authority for expenditure on graves of the present war.

Annual Delegation Of Financial Powers To The Vice-Chairman And Authority To Expend Money For Salaries And Expenses
Resolution empowering financial powers to the Vice-Chairman and authority to items of minor expenditure as well as salaries and expenses.

Cemetery And Memorial Registers
Mentions the Vice-Chairman referred to the paper and observed the Register part now submitted covered 803 war graves in 305 cemeteries and churchyards in certain parts of Eire; 68 copies were sold to relatives, 8 to the Canadian government and 48 to libraries.
Mentions the 937 Register parts now published covered 15,806 cemeteries and 81 memorials and contained 1,047,207 names.

Burials Of The Present War
Update on burials, with 403 burials in 73 cemeteries in France, of which 35 were communal cemeteries, 27 were Commission cemeteries or plots, 4 were French National Cemeteries, and 7 were new burial grounds created for the present War.

Discoveries And Reburials, France And Belgium
Mention that out of 19 discoveries, 13 were in Belgium.

Definition Of A War Grave Of The Present War
Mentions no immediate decision would be made until the views of the Dominions were received.

Burial Of Dominion Soldiers In The United Kingdom
Update following conference with the War Office concerning the burial and maintenance of graves of Dominion soldiers in the United Kingdom.

Chief Administrative Officer, Central European District
Resolution for the permanent appointment of Brigadier Prower.

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)
C. Knowles, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
The Hon. Sir Edgar Bowring, K.C.M.G. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
W.G. Parminter, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
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 (A.A.G., A.G. 13)
Major Lord Courtown, O.B.E., D.L. (Staff Captain, A.G. 13)
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
Date28/3/1940 - 19/3/1941
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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