Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/240
File NumberWG 1831/182
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.240 - January 1942


DescriptionMinutes of the 240th Meeting Of The Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 239th Meeting.

Welcome to General Lockhart who replaced General Muspratt as representative of the Secretary of State for India.

Congratulations to Sir Edwins Lutyens, who had received the Order of Merit in the New Year Honours List.

Apologies for absence received from Mr Lawson, Sir John Kennedy, Sir William Mitchell and the Adjutant General.

Announcement that Sir Herbert Hart, Chief Administrative Officer in the Eastern District, had relocated his office from Jerusalem to a more central position at Cairo.

Report of desecration by unknown hands of eight British graves in a cemetery in Finland.

Mentions a letter was written to the India Office embodying the view expressed by the Commission at their last meeting that Indian soldiers should be commemorated on a footing of equality with British soldiers.

Mentions the conference of District Inspectors held on 8 January at Wooburn House attended by representatives of the Air Ministry, and that considerable progress had been made with the scheme for R.A.F. Regional Cemeteries in the United Kingdom.

The Special Committee appointed to consider matters at issue with the Treasury in connection with surplus revenue of the Endowment Fund had now obtained a settlement very much on the lines desired by the Commission.

Discussion regarding suggestion by the Prisoners of War Information Bureau for the exchange of photographs of prisoners-of-war graves, with view expressed opposing the proposal by Mr Spens suggesting it may be used for propaganda.

Report Of The 290th Meeting Of The Finance Committee: Estimates For 1942-43
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, referring to the success of Staff Canteen established at Wooburn House; mention of a gardener, with his wife and children, who had come from occupied France; and annual estimates for expenditure in respect of 1914-1918 War graves as well as Present War graves and Civilian War Dead.

Trustees Of The Imperial War Graves Endowment Fund: Accounts For The Year 1941-1942
Mentions that the Vice-Chairman submitted this Paper to the Meeting and it was laid on the table.

Record Of Civilian War Dead
Update from Vice-Chairman that there was no decision required on the matter but that work was progressing well and nearly sixty per cent of relatives had completed and returned the forms sent to them.

Definition Of A War Grave
Refers to question asked to Service Departments on what classes of personnel they considered entitled to War Graves and, on the special question of bodies washed up or brought ashore, the Ministry of Health by circular 2507 of 21 October 1941 had instructed the coastal authorities that all such bodies should be assumed, in default of evidence to the contrary, to be the bodies of officers or men of the British Merchant Navy dying through enemy action at sea.
Mentions the Commission generally expressed agreement but would write to the High Commissioners for their agreement before adopting the presumption.

Discussion regarding the commemoration of casualties cremated in the United Kingdom, with resolution that the authorities be invited to agree to the permanent commemoration of cremated war dead (except those whose ashes were buried in a regular burial ground) on a panel or panels fixed at a suitable place at the columbarium, and also, that the Register should record under the name of each crematorium the names of officers and men commemorated there.

Destruction Of Old Enquiry Files
Refers to the Paper placed before the Meeting, concerning the First World War enquiry files which were to be released for destruction, namely those files on which no correspondence had taken place since 1 January 1932. It was an administrative decision and members were not asked to accept responsibility.

Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
Major-General R.M.M. Lockhart, C.I.E., M.O. (Representing the Secretary of State for India)
E. MacLeod, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
C. Knowles, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
D.B. Sole, 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 George Macdonough, 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:
Colonel C.E.T. Erskine, C.I.E., D.S.O., M.C.
Colonel A.R. MacAllan, (A.A.G., D.G.R.& E.)
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 P.R. Foster
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Second Lieutenant O.D. Holt
Date1/12/1941 - 8/4/1942
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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