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Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 241st Meeting
Temporary Register Of Civilian War Dead
Update from Vice-Chairman that negotiations had taken place in regard to the proposal approved at the 241st Meeting and a resolution was moved by Sir George Macdonough, seconded by Sir William Mitchell, and carried unanimously.
Free French Graves At Brookwood
Refers to a request received from the Free French Forces for permission to fly the Tricolour at the French graves, in Brookwood Military Cemetery on the 11th May (the Feast of Ste Jeanne d'Arc), the 14th July and the 11th November. This had been agreed and General de Gaulle had written expressing his deep gratitude.
Wooden Crosses Over Royal Air Force Graves In the United Kingdom
Update on the question where Sir William Mitchell was still awaiting the Air Ministry’s further remarks and comments from Mr Knowles and Mr Macleod that if the request for special treatment was pressed the same question would have to be considered in relation to graves of Dominion Air Forces. No further action would be taken until the Air Ministry had communicated its wishes.
Definition Of A War Grave
Resolution that, subject to treatment being also received from the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, for the Commission’s purposes bodies washed up or brought ashore in the United Kingdom shall in default of evidence to the contrary be presumed to be those of officers or men of the British Merchant Navy dying through enemy action at sea.
Graves Of Members of Organisations Auxiliary to the Fighting Services
Discussion regarding views of Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production that the dead of the Air Transport Auxiliary and certain other organisations were entitled to be treated as Service dead for the Commission’s purposed. Also refers to auxiliary formations of the Army and the Navy, and that the list of auxiliary organisations would have to be revised before the Commission could proceed further.
Authority For Use Of The Commission Seal
Resolutions referring to the transfer of C$800 refunding loan 1926/46 purchased compulsorily by H.M. Treasury and the affixing of the seal to the assignment of Commission’s policy under the Superannuation Scheme to C.W. Pryor.
Report On Recent Events
Announcement that Mr J.J. Lawson had lost his young son in a very recent air raid.
Delay in transit of Christmas parcels and messages sent to the Commission’s staff in internment.
Mention that the late Sir Edgar Walton, former High Commissioner for South Africa and a member of the Commission, had left no near relatives so the Commission could only send a message of regret, through Mr Sole, to the High Commissioner.
Announcement that about 400 Commission headstones were destroyed in Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta, during an air raid.
The Vice-Chairman had been unable to attend the Anzac Day service at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields; Colonel Chettle had represented him.
Update of events in occupied Europe had been received from Mr O’Neill, one of the Commission’s travelling craftsmen:
German discipline was good and the German authorities had published very strict orders against disturbances of any War Graves.
About 100 Commission headstones in Bethune Town Cemetery had been damaged by bombs in May 1940, and the French cemetery superintendent had repaired the damage; following internment of Mr Howe (Head Gardener), he had seen to the upkeep of the graves.
The local authorities at Pouquieres and Bailleul had undertaken the maintenance of the British graves in their cemeteries.
The memorials to the missing were intact, but damage reported at Le Touret and Villers-Bretonneux, and twelve yards of the enclosing wall of the Indian Memorial at Neuve-Chapelle had been destroyed.
The Vice-Chairman continued that the Vichy Government had assumed the care of the British Cemeteries of the late war in France, and were maintaining them through the Secretariat-General des Anciens Cornbattants the successor of General Vincensini's former office, and now it was believed under General Vincensini' s direction. A few of the Commission's former horticultural staff were employed by him.
Appendix: Temporary Register of Civilian War Dead
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 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)
C. Knowles Esq., C.B.E. (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.
Air Marshal Sir William Mitchell, K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., A.F.C.
Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E, K.C.B., T.D., D.Litt.
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)
Captain H.P.R. Foster
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Lieut. O.D. Holt