Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/256
File NumberWG 1831/198
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.256 - February 1944


DescriptionMinutes of the 256th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the last Meeting.

Review Of Recent Events
Mention of the death of Barrington Conyngham Greene the previous evening which had come as a great shock to all Members.
Letter received from Lady Emily Lutyens in response to tribute to Sir Edwin’s work.
Members received their copies of the 24th Annual Report which was published on 26 January 1944.
Approval by the King for the extension of the term of office of Sir Harold MacMichael as High Commissioner for Palestine and Jerusalem.
Announcement in the press of the appointment of Mr Edward Maufe as Principal Architect for the United Kingdom. Also refers to appointment of Mr Worthington as architect for North Africa. Mr Maufe had already visited Brookwood and was considering the architectural planning and treatment.
Report received from the Fiji Islands: two cemeteries at Suva and Sabeto Valley had been reserved for war graves since 1939.
Mention of a report dated October 1943 from Colonel Peek on the graves in Southern Italy. He had been able to confirm that the extension to Taranto Cemetery, containing British graves of the late war, was undamaged, although the adjoining civil cemetery had suffered badly from bombing.
Mention that Sergeant F.R. Whiteman, son of the Deputy Mayor of Slough, had recently visited the British War Cemetery at Gaza whilst serving in the Middle East. He had been so impressed he had written a letter to his father and suggested it be published in the Slough Observer.
Report from Colonel Scholtz regarding visit to Madagascar, where it was proposed to create three cemeteries at Diego Suarez, Tananarive and Majunga. Suggestion from Colonel Cole to use the term “African graves” from thereon instead of “native graves”.
Mention that several postcards were received from Commission staff in internment.
Mention that the Commission's supplementary estimate for £3,900 had passed the House of Commons the previous week, without any difficulty.
Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson had continued his extremely helpful work in keeping in touch with the members of the staff, and his report had been sent to the Treasury for their advice.

Update on the matter of man-power, referring to decision of the Man-Power Committee to increase the Commission’s ceiling, and figures of recent work: some 42,000 wooden crosses had been erected in the UK; and nearly 32,000 Final Verification forms had been despatched. With regard to civilian war dead, 59,000 forms had been sent out, and the High Commissioner for India had just sent in a list of 700 civilians dying in India.

Membership Of The Finance Committee
Resolution that the Right Honourable Vincent Massey, High Commissioner for Canada, be appointed a member of the Finance Committee.

Report Of The 300th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with reference to:
Item 9 (a), which referred to appointments for Italy, Tunisia, and Ethiopia.
Item 10 and 11, which referred to great difficulties facing the Commission following the invasion of France and Belgium in 1940, particularly in respect of the treatment of staff interned.

Graves Of Interned Enemy Civilians In The British Isles
Resolution that at the request and at the cost of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom the care of present-war graves in the British Isles of German, Italian and Japanese civilian internees be undertaken by the Commission, under the powers of their Charter of the 17th January 1924.

Graves In Tiflis British Military Cemetery
Discussion about future treatment of the cemetery following the death of a lady who had looked after the graves for many years.

Cemeteries In The Western Desert, Libya And Tunisia
Update on progress of tour by Deputy Director of Works Colonel Peek, with comments about sketch designs, the use of limestone and difficulties of other materials, and the potential damage caused by sand which could be countered by building a high surrounding wall.

Date Of Next Meeting
It was agreed, after discussion, to hold meetings in the morning of the second Wednesday of the month and that the next meeting should be called for 11.30 a.m. on 8 March 1944.

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)
V.C. Duffy, Esq. , M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
I.T. Meyer, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
D. James Davies, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
Lieut.-Colonel S.J. Cole, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
J.J. Lawson, Esq., M.P.
General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B.
Colonel Sir John Shute, C.M.G., D.S.O., J.P., M.P.

There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Major the Earl of Courtown, O.B.E. (D.A.A.G., D.G.R.& E.)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Controller and Director of Works)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
F.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel G.H. Peek, O.B.E. (Deputy Director of Works, North Africa)
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
C.R. Kirton, Esq., M.B.E.
Lieut. O.D. Holt
Date1/2/1944 - 6/4/1944
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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