Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/238
File NumberWG 1831/180
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.238 - September 1941


DescriptionMinutes of the 238th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, agreement, and signing of the Minutes of the 237th Meeting. Amendment requested by Mr MacLeod.

Announcement of the death on the 26th July of Lord Rennell of Rodd, a member of the Anglo-Italian Committee, followed by a short tribute recorded in the Minutes of the Meeting.

Mention that the Adjutant-General had recently inspected D.G.R.& E. (A.G.13) at Wooburn, and, being also a member of the Commission, had taken the opportunity to pay a very welcome visit of inspection to the Commission office.

In "La Belgique Independante" for the 7th August, it was reported that when three British airmen were brought down at Houthaelen (Limbourg) a memorial Mass was celebrated in the village church and a collection was made for the purpose of providing wreaths, tied with the Belgian colours, to be placed on the graves.

Reports from the Foreign Office and the International Red Cross regarding information on the current state of cemeteries and memorials in occupied Europe. Also mentions letter from Commission gardener Mr Leech explaining that the German War Graves Service were favourable to the continued care of British cemeteries and memorials.

Report received from Sir Herbert Hart, referring to inspection tour of Syria, specifically cemeteries at Beirut and Damascus.

Desecration Of British Cemeteries In Iraq
Refers to detailed report received from Colonel Peek regarding vandalism at cemeteries at Baghdad and Hainadi, with decision to ask for the opinion of the Iraq Committee before the damage could be made good at the cemeteries.

Record Of Civilian War Dead
Report from Vice-Chairman that 30,000 letters and forms had been sent out, and 15,500 forms had been returned completed. The proportion was affected by a "time-Iag”, and it was expected that sixty per cent of replies would be received.
Mentions majority of letters were favourable but there were one or two complaints, and that many relatives requested wooden crosses over the grave leading to a discussion about the treatment of civilian war dead graves, where the Commission was reluctant to place wooden markers as it would imply responsibility for permanent marking and that the matter would be referenced in future meetings following further discussions.

Report Of The 288th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with reference to Items 4 and 5 which were to be referred to further advice required from the Treasury.

Endowment Fund And Reserves
Discussion regarding the business and events related to the Commission’s Endowment Fund and Reserves, with resolution that a Committee consisting of The Rt.Hon. S.M. Bruce, Sir George Macdonogh, Mr. W.P. Spens and the Vice-Chairman be appointed to advise the Commission, and that Sir Edward Peacock and Sir Herbert Ellissen be invited to assist the Committee in its deliberations in an advisory capacity.

Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey
Update on the use of the cemetery for present-war Canadian and other Dominion burials, with question over use of cemetery for Royal Air Force burials being considered by the Air Ministry, and a further question regarding the flying of flags of the Dominions on appropriate days.

Membership Of Overseas Committees
Discussion and resolution regarding the proposed emergency power to be granted to the Vice-Chairman to make appointments as are necessary to secure that vacancies from time to time in the membership of the Overseas Committees are filled, namely: the Anglo-Egyptian War Cemeteries Committee; the Anglo-Palestine War Cemeteries Executive Committee; the Iraq Committee of the Imperial War Graves Commission; the Ceylon War Graves Committee; and the South African Agency.

Mentions the Vice-Chairman referred to the Paper submitted and requested Members to consider the questions raised in it before the next meeting.

Future Meetings Of The Commission
It was agreed that the Commission should meet again on Wednesday the 12th November, and thereafter on the second Wednesday in each alternate month.

Captain The Right Honourable David Margesson, M.C. (Secretary of State for War, in the Chair)
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman)
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.J. Jordan, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
D.B. Sole, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Lieut.-General Sir George Macdonough, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
J.J. Lawson, Esq., M.P.
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.

There were also present:
Colonel A.R. MacAllan, (A.A.G., D.G.R.& E.)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B., T.D. etc.
Colonel C.P. Oswald, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Controller)
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.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Captain H.P.R. Foster
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Second Lieutenant O.D. Holt
Date12/8/1941 - 17/9/1941
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.

Show related Persons records.

DS/UK/69Hart; Sir; Herbert Ernest (1882-1968); Brigadier-General; solicitor, barrister, soldier, Deputy Controller (Chief Administrative Officer) of the Imperial War Graves Commission in Eastern District, Assistant Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries in the Middle East, 1940-19421882-1968
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