Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/244
File NumberWG 1831/186
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.244 - September 1942


DescriptionMinutes of the 244th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 243rd Meeting.

Announcement of deaths of Sir George Macdonough and Sir James Allen with a short tribute recorded in the minutes and comments from Mr MacLeod, Mr Lawson, and Mr Knowles.

Also mentions death of Sir Henry Barker, an original member of the Anglo-Egyptian Committee.

Membership Of The Commission – Post-War Organisation
Mentions that discussions took place, the minutes of which were sent to the Commissioners under secret cover as appendix A to the Minutes and a copy of which was placed in the Minute book.

Civilian War Dead In India And Burma
The Vice-Chairman referred to the paper before the meeting, and said the outcome of the negotiations was very satisfactory.

Definition Of A War Grave: Merchant Seamen
Reference to the paper before the meeting with suggested resolution. Comment from Colonel Chettle that the resolution conformed with the extension of pension rights contained in the Pensions (Mercantile Marine) Act 1942; that all Departments of the Commission approved; and that the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen would include these names retrospectively in his Roll of Honour. Mr MacLeod requested to have the opportunity to consult his Government and it was agreed to defer a decision until the next meeting.

Authority For Use Of The Commission’s Seal
Resolutions for the affixing of the Commission’s seal to documents concerning the following:
1. Purchase by the Commission for the American Extension and Belgian Plot in Brookwood Cemetery.
2. Assignment of the Commission’s policies under the Superannuation Scheme to William P. Squires.
3. Stock transfer relating to purchase by the Commission of £496. 11. 5d 2 ½ % National War Bonds 1946/1948 purchased at the request of the Australian Government out of surplus income from existing stock held for the maintenance of the Australian Memorials of the late war.
Also that the Seal of the Commission be affixed to, and the Proper Officer sign, the counterpart deed of grant by the Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse Cemetery Company conveying the exclusive right of burial in perpetuity in 33 war graves of the First World War at cost of £6 per grave.

Maintenance Of 1914-1921 War Graves In The United Kingdom
Refers to Colonel Higginson’s inspection of Service plots in Kent and East Sussex, where he noted the plots were receiving treatment similar to the pre-war treatment of British war graves in France and Belgium, noting in particular the lawns and headstone borders of flowers at Hastings, Eastbourne, and Tunbridge Wells.

First Lists Of Civilian War Dead
The Vice-Chairman asked Members to examine the specially bound copy of the first volume of Civilian War Dead lists in typescript, intended for permanent and honourable preservation.

Graves Of Service Personnel Dying Before The 3rd September 1939
Referred to the paper before the Meeting, with comment that the Vice-Chairman would not ask for a decision and the matter was complex and difficult. Mentions suggestion for the Commission erect a memorial over the graves of the HMS Thetis and also the Brockbank case referred to the Air Ministry where it was still under consideration.

Review Of Recent Events
Announcement of Mr Jordan’s extended term of office as High Commissioner for New Zealand.
Mr Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia, had written a personal letter of appreciation of the Commission's twenty-second Annual Report.
Brief summary of reports of British cemeteries at Archangel and Murmansk from the Naval authorities as requested by Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, also referring to contact with the Soviet Government who requested assistance in locating and maintaining a number of graves of Russian prisoners who lost their lives trying to escape from Germany into Switzerland.
The Belgian administration in Brussels had apparently placed "Nos Tombes", a semi-official society, in charge of British and American graves of the late war in Belgium, and had suggested (through the Swiss diplomatic authorities and the Foreign Office) that the society should be paid quarterly for this service.
The conference with Service representatives on the graves of auxiliary formations, approved at the 242nd meeting, had been duly held, with very useful results.
Announcement of death of Mr A.S. Rush, the late hall-porter.
Other recent events would be referred to in Appendix B.

Date Of Next Meeting.
It was agreed, at Sir John Kennedy's suggestion, that future meetings should be held on. the second Wednesday in alternate months, beginning the 18th November.
Graves In The Falkland Islands
The Vice-Chairman said that the Governor of the Falkland Islands had recently commented on the fact that certain Naval graves in Stanley Cemetery were not marked by standard headstones. A reply had been sent that the original collective teak crosses had been left in position by special request, and that although the war graves in the cemetery numbered only twenty-one a Cross of Sacrifice had been erected.

Trading With The Enemy Act
Mentions Mr Spens had been asked to examine the question of insurance policy moneys payable to interned Commission staff, and that whilst the definition of “enemy” was clear, the results were unsatisfactory to other bodies as well as the Commission. A letter would be sent to the Treasury Solicitor.

Appendix A: Membership Of The Commission
Refers to appointment of a successor to act in emergencies and in the Vice-Chairman’s absence, following the death of Sir George Macdonough.

Appendix B: Report Of Recent Events
Mentions General Hart’s work as Chief Administrative Officer, Eastern District, and suggested he relinquish his appointment as Assistant Director, G.R. & E.
Refers to reports received referring to the Commission’s work in Kenya, Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar, which would be referred to in the next Annual Report.
Refers to a copy of a letter from Vice-Admiral French sent by Colonel Osborne expressing appreciation of arrangements made to mark British naval graves of the present war in the United States.
On 3 September, Colonel Chettle addressed the Uxbridge Rotary Club on the work of the Commission and then the High Wycombe Rotary Club on 15 September.

Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
Lieut.-Colonel S.J. Cole, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
Colonel C.B.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 Hi:;h Commissioner for New Zealand)
D.B. Sole Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
J.J. Lawson Esq., M.P.
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., 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. (Assistant Secretary)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Director of Works)
F.C. Sillar Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Major R.W. Murphy, M.B.E.
Captain H.P.R. Foster
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Lieut. O.D. Holt
Date11/8/1942 - 10/2/1943
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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