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Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 357th Meeting, with amendments received from Mr MacLeod and Mr Knowles.
Review Of Recent Events
Mention that Lord Baldwin and Sir John Kennedy could not attend the meeting.
Major-General T.R. Williams, Deputy Controller, Eastern District, had come to England for, discussions.
Colonel Fraser, A.A. G., D.G.R.& E., had also returned from a visit to Egypt, North Africa, Italy and Syria.
Quote from Prime Minister of Canada acknowledging receipt of the Commission’s Annual Report.
Colonel Peek and Major Macfarlane arrived in Cairo on 25 March and had reported on methods for creating three experimental cemeteries in North Africa.
Report of Conference of Allied Representatives held on 21 March.
Mention that Edward Maufe had visited the cemeteries at Brookwood, Cambridge and Halton, and had submitted his plans for these sites. Also mentions he planned to visit Chester and Harrogate RAF Regional Cemeteries, and the Air Ministry had requested additional regional cemeteries.
Reports had been received that Belgian patriots had placed new crosses on the British graves of 1940, and that flowers had been laid on British airmen’s graves at Jemappes-sur-Sambre.
Death Of General de Castelnau
Tribute to General de Castelnau, Chairman of the Commission’s Anglo-French Committee.
Report Of The 302nd Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with reference to:
Item 4, authorising Vice-Chairman to accept tenders for huts to accommodate increased staff of the Records Department if he received a favourable reply from the Director-General of Man-Power.
Also refers to the output of Final Verification forms being conducted by the Records Department of Colonel Higginson.
Item 5 referred to the problem of staff who had been captured and interned in Europe, with discussion about the Commission’s policy on this matter.
Concentration Of Graves In North And East Africa
Refers to letter from Army Council to various Government departments, including Dominions Office, asking whether they agreed with certain principles.
The Foreign Office had at first deprecated leaving untended the graves of African soldiers who had fought and fallen for the Empire, but had subsequently agreed that religious objections to exhumation must not be overridden.
The French attitude, on the other hand, was that a soldier who died for France, whatever his creed or colour, should be treated as a Frenchman, with the result that the isolated graves of their African troops were concentrated as a matter of course.
Overview of the forms of Special Memorials adopted after the First World War:
Special Memorial "A" was erected outside the plots of graves; that involved two headstones, one to an unidentified soldier somewhere in the plots of graves, and another outside them bearing the man's name. Where a number of graves were identified collectively but not individually, the "Vendresse" Memorial was adopted; the graves in question were marked with headstones bearing the names, but each superscribed "Buried near this spot". In both cases, the names were removed from the lists of Missing. It was proposed in the paper to adopt the "Vendresse" marking in both these cases, but to use for the superscription the more explanatory words "Buried in this or an adjacent grave".
7th Quarterly Report On Negotiations With Allied Representatives
The Vice-Chairman expressed the hope that Members would read the paper submitted.
Dominion And Colonial Personnel Serving In United Kingdom Units
Overview of three proposed methods of differentiating headstones: the use of two badges at the top of the headstone; the carving of a second (Dominion or Colonial) badge over, or instead of, the religious emblem; and the addition of the words “From Canada”, “From India”, or as the case might be. After a brief discussion, it was decided that the proposals would be presented to each of the Dominion Governments for their information and decision.
6th Quarterly Report On Maintenance Of War Graves In The United Kingdom
Update from Major Murphy who presented a plan of Oxford (Botley) Cemetery to Members and explained there would be three new R.A.F. Regional Cemeteries at Lincoln, Canterbury, and Cardiff.
The next meeting would be held at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 17 May 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)
C. Knowles Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
I.T. Meyer Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
D.J. Davies Esq. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
Sir David Meek, G.I.E., O.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B.
General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
Air Marshal Sir William Mitchell, K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., A.F.C.
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)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B., T.D., D.Litt.
Major-General T.R. Williams, C.M.G., D.S.O. (Deputy Controller, Eastern District)
Lieut.-Colonel F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Controller & Director of Works)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
F.C. Sillar Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Major R.W. Murphy, M.B.E. (Area Superintendent, United Kingdom)
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.