|Content Note||Topics covered:|
H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, President of the Commission, took the Chair.
Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 261st Meeting.
Apologies for absence received from the Secretary of State for War (Chairman of the Commission), Lord Baldwin, the Minister of Works, and Colonel Deneys Reitz (High Commissioner for South Africa).
Welcome to Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, who had been appointed as representative of the Air Ministry on the Commission.
Review Of Recent Events
Upcoming announcement in the Press on 21 October regarding an offer by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster to allocate four stalls in the Abbey to the High Commissioners for Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Sir William Halcrow had accepted the position of Honorary Consulting Engineer, succeeding Sir George Humphreys.
On 1 October, the Secretary of the London Branch of the Canadian Legion visited Brookwood Military Cemetery and laid a wreath at the base of the Cross of Sacrifice.
News received of the revival of the sounding of the Last Post of the Menin Gate, with comments about wartime damage.
In September an officer of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment visited the Cemetery of Hollain in Belgium and found the headstones were made from a stone specially brought from Belgium.
Sir Fabian Ware would give a broadcast on Armistice Day at 12.55 p.m. about the work of the Commission.
Appointments Of Principal Architects For France And Italy
Discussion and resolution for the appointment of Louis de Soissons, O.B.E., A.R.A., F.R.I.B.A. to the position of Principal Architect for Italy, and for the appointment of Philip Hepworth, F.R.I.B.A. to the position of Principal Architect for France.
Report Of The 306th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee, with reference to appointment of Major Macfarlane as Deputy Director of Works No. 2 in the United Kingdom, and further appointments of a Chartered Accountant in the Finance Department and an Appointments Officer.
Item 11 dealt with the remuneration of staff in Italy.
Item 12 concerned the accounts of the Commission for the year to 31 March 1944.
Item 13 dealt with the expenditure for the concentration of graves in Asia Minor into Haidar Pasha Cemetery.
Repatriation Of Staff From Internment
Update on further repatriation of staff from internment where a second party of gardeners and their dependants had been received by Commission officials at Liverpool.
327 out of a total 540 has returned to England in May 1940; 101 had been repatriated since then; and 28 were known to be in Germany. There remained 84 still to be accounted for, of whom some had died, others were in neutral countries and about 65 were at liberty in France and Belgium.
Mention of many wives who were French and Belgian nationals and had remained behind in those countries.
Also mentions assistance given by the Army in arranging the resumption of the Commission’s work in France and Belgium.
Reopening Of The Commission’s Work In France And Belgium
Update on progress of the trip of the three-man advance party sent to report on the condition of cemeteries and memorials in France and Belgium and on the facilities available for the early resumption of the Commission’s work in France and Belgium.
Maintenance Of War Graves In The United Kingdom – 8th Quarterly Report
Update on maintenance of war graves in the United Kingdom, including that over 53,000 wooden crosses erected in some 5,600 cemeteries and churchyards, mentioning that Air Force graves outnumbered those of the Army, and that plans for construction were with Mr Maufe.
Response to comments about complaints of the poor condition of graves in churchyards in the United Kingdom, where construction of large aerodromes had absorbed all available manpower and mentions that the Commission’s Head Gardeners had been dispatched to help in the more difficult areas.
Exhumation And Repatriation Of Bodies Overseas
Refers to the question of exhuming and repatriating bodies from overseas, with reading of letter dated 2 October 1944 from Colonel H.C. Osborne, Secretary-General of the Commission’s Canadian Agency.
Short address by Mr Massey referring to the President of the Commission’s upcoming journey to Australia, with response from the President, discussing his interest in the Commission’s work and visiting cemeteries in 1939-1940 on the Western Front.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, K.Q., P.C., K.T., K.P., G. C. M.G., G.C.V.O. (President, in the Chair)
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman)
The Hon. Vincent Massey (High Commissioner for Canada)
The Rt. Hon. S.M. Bruce, C.H., M.C. (High Commissioner for Australia)
W.J. Jordan, Esq. (High Commissioner for New Zealand)
R. Petrie, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
D. James Davies, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
Sir Samuel Runganadhan (High Commissioner for India)
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.
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
General Sir Ronald Adam, Bart., K.C.B., D.S.O., O.B.E. (Adjutant-General)
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:
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur M. Longmore, G.C.B., D.S.O.
Sir Godfrey Thomas, Bart., K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.S.I. (Private Secretary to H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester)
Lieut. -Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B., T. Do, D. Litt.
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O.
Major the Earl of Courtown, O.B.E. (D.A.A.G., D.G.R. & E.)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
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)
Major R.W. Murphy, M.B.E.
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Lieut. O.D. Holt