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Circulation, approval, signing of the Minutes of the 274th Meeting of the Commission.
Apologies for absence received from the Secretary of State for War, the Adjutant-General, Lord Wigram, and the High Commissioner for India, who was represented by Mr Dutt. Mention the Chairman had written to say he generally attended Cabinet meetings on Thursday, and it was therefore hard to attend Commission meetings.
Agreement that Commission meetings should continue to be held at 11 a.m. on the third Thursday of the month.
Relations Between The Commission And The D.G.R.E.
The Vice-Chairman said he had been informed of prospective measures affecting the Army side of the work of Graves Registration and he was taking action, the nature of which he indicated.
Review Of Recent Events
Mention that a letter of thanks and appreciation had been received from Lady Braithwaite in response to the Commission’s letter of sympathy on the death of her husband, General Sir Walter Braithwaite.
General Roberts had lately returned to the United Kingdom from Canada and Mrs Roberts hoped to travel to France within a few days.
An anonymous donation of £10 had been received for the upkeep of war graves and was placed to the credit of the General Fund for the Care and Maintenance of the Graves of the Fallen.
Account of several French ceremonies having taken place, including at Brookwood Military Cemetery and at Aldershot. Also refers to ceremonies held at Dover, Margate, Harrogate, Beaconsfield, and Kensal Green.
Polish ceremony held at Newark cemetery, attended by Sir Arthur Longmore, which was an annual commemoration of the death of General Sikorski.
First party of Commission gardeners to return to Germany had left the UK, consisting of Mr Batty, Mr Friend, Mr Grant, and Mr Langley.
Report received from Mr Sillar regarding tour of inspection of France and Italy, mentioning he was accompanied to Arras by a representative of the Transport and General Workers' Union and Mr Newton of the Treasury.
Discussion regarding requests for personal inscriptions received from the father of the late Flying Officer J.R.G. Sutton and the mother of the late Lance Corporal E.R. Scarth. Mentions the mother of Corporal Scarth had also requested the hammer and sickle emblem in place of a religious symbol on the headstone.
Present War Graves In India
Mentions that acting on the authorities given by the Commission at their meeting on the 30 August, arrangements had been completed for sending out to India Brigadier H.N. Obbard, whose secondment to the Commission for one year as Inspector had been approved by the Army. Discussion follows concerning his upcoming tour of India and Burma, accompanied by Major Oakes and Major Macfarlane, and comments regarding policy for present war graves in India.
Emblem Of The George Cross On Headstones
Discussion regarding placing of the George Cross emblem on headstones, including suggestion to follow precedent established by the custom of placing the Victoria Cross emblem as the religious symbol on headstones.
Repatriation Of Bodies
Refers to decision made at Special Meeting in September when the Commission decided to issue to the Press the announcement embodying the decision of the Governments against the repatriation of bodies. Includes letter sent by J.L. Lawson, M.P., dated 31 October 1945, regarding the United Kingdom government’s position on repatriation.
Inscriptions At Cemeteries
Proposal and resolution to follow the practice of the last war to include inscription tablets at entrances to cemeteries and also to acknowledge the gift of land.
Definition Of A War Grave: Civil Affairs Personnel
Resolution that on the recommendation of the War Office the Commission accept for recognised war graves treatment the graves of civilian personnel of Military Civil Affairs and Military Government Organisations dying whilst serving overseas, or from wounds inflicted overseas.
Brief account of Armistice ceremonies in which the Commission had taken part, including Westminster Abbey where 13 gardeners were present, the Arc de Triomphe, Brussels, and Tower Hill.
Comment from Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson regarding the Vice-Chairman’s broadcast on 11 November.
Superannuation Scheme – Assignment of Commission’s Policy
Resolution that the Seal of the Commission be affixed to and the Proper Officer sign the Assignment to Herbert William Ridgeway of Policy No. 114709 in the National Provident Institution, being the Commission’s policy in relation to the above named Gardener-Caretaker effected under the Superannuation scheme.
Date Of Next Meeting
The next meeting would be held at 11 o'clock on Thursday 20 December 1945.
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
Colonel E.H. Jones, D.C.M., E.D. (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)
J. L. Murphy, Esq. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
S.N. Dutt, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Lieut.-Colonel S.J. Cole, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
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.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.B., D.S.O., D.L.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B.
Sir William Halcrow, M. Inst., C.E. (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, O.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E. (Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries, War Office)
Brigadier F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Controller)
F.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Captain F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Lieutenant O.D. Holt