Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/251
File NumberWG 1831/193
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.251 - September 1943


DescriptionMinutes of the 251st Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, agreement, and signing of the Minutes of the 250th Meeting.

Apologies for absence from Lord Baldwin, Sir John Shute, Mr. Lawson and Sir John Kennedy.

Welcome to Sir Samuel Runganadhan, the High Commissioner for India, who was attending a meeting for the first time.

Welcome to Major-General Watson, D.A.G., War Office.

Reference to letter from Sir Frederic Kenyon in The Times.

Report Of The Special Committee On Reorganisation
Update that the Commission's work was being gravely hampered by the restrictions on staff imposed by the Man-Power Committee of the United Kingdom Government. That Committee had requested the Commission to agree that their staff should not exceed eighty in number. The result was that the work had fallen seriously into arrears, particularly in the work of Final Verification.
Reading of letter received from Sir Neville Chamberlain on the matter.
Reference to appointment of Sir Herbert Ellissen as adviser on reorganisation.
Update from Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, covering the work of the Records Department, the Works Department, and the Committee’s recommendations.

Isolated Enemy Graves In The United Kingdom
Particular reference to the graves of two German airmen, whose machines had crashed in open country and whose remains could not be removed for burial. It was proposed in these and in any similar cases which might arise to commemorate the airmen in the nearest appropriate cemetery. Since the paper was written, the Air Ministry had agreed to the same policy in regard to R.A.F. personnel who had suffered a similar fate. No resolution was required, but it was desired that the Commission should be aware of the practice proposed.
Suggestion from Colonel Chettle for headstones to take the form of Kipling memorials placed on graves after the late war.

Memorials To The Missing
Refers to a suggestion which had been made by a relative of an officer killed in North Africa by the explosion of a land mine, that the Missing should be commemorated by headstones erected in Fields of Remembrance in or adjoining the cemeteries nearest to the place of death. This would constitute, it was suggested, a symbolical burial.

Plymouth Old Cemetery
Resolution 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 relating to the purchase by the Commission of the grave of Private Christopher Bradley, Pioneer Corps, No. Gen. L.35-15, in Plymouth Old Cemetery.

Brookwood Military Cemetery – American Extension
Resolution that the Commission purchase extra plots for the burial of US servicemen.

British Graves In Italy
Mention that the paper before the meeting was submitted for the information of members and, if events in Italy went favourably, the Commission might shortly be in touch with Count Memmo, who had been in charge of the British cemeteries throughout the present war and had received funds through the Protecting Power.

Review Of Recent Events
General Williams had arrived from Australia in Cairo to take over the duties of Deputy Controller, Eastern District, from Brigadier Hart.
Colonel Osborne, the Secretary of the Commission's Canadian Agency, had sent a variety of maple seeds to this country. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew had kindly offered to raise the trees, which would be planted in Brookwood Military Cemetery.
The mother of an officer buried at Newmarket Cemetery had called at Grosvenor Gardens the previous month and had said, incidentally, that she would like to contribute to the cost of the Commission's work.
The British Naval Headquarters and the Base Commandant at Archangel had asked the Commission to prepare and despatch headstones for erection over two present war graves in Archangel Cemetery. The Commission had agreed and arrangements were being made with the Admiralty for their transport.
A letter had been received from the British Legation at Stockholm stating that the Swedish Government had established a Royal Commission to look after all war graves in Sweden.
Reference to a suggestion which had been made at one of the Area Inspectors' meetings, that a standard headstone should be erected on the first grave of the present war in each Service Plot throughout the country, so that people could see what it was like.

The next meeting would be held at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 20 October 1943.

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)
C. Knowles, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
I.T. Meyer, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Colonel C.E.T. Erskine, C.I.E., D.S.O., M.C. (Representing the Secretary of State for India)
Lieut.-Colonel S.J. Cole, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B.
General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.

There were also present:
Sir Samuel Runganadhan (High Commissioner for India)
Major-General D.G. Watson, C.B., C.B.E., M.C. (Deputy Adjutant-General)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, C.B.E., K.C.B., T.D., D.Litt.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.

And during the latter part of the meeting:
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Controller and Director of Works)
F.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut. O.D. Holt
Date29/7/1943 - 18/1/1944
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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