|Content Note||Topics covered:|
Circulation, agreement and signing of the Minutes of the 275th Meeting with slight amendments.
Apologies for absence received from the Secretary of State for War, Sir John Kennedy and Mr Murphy, who, in Mr Davies' continued absence on account of sickness, had hoped to be present as the representative of Newfoundland.
Announcement of the death of Mr Douglas Cockerell who had been the Commission's Technical Adviser on Cemetery Registers from 1920 to 1925 and Joint Director of Records from 1925 to 1929.
Announcement of the death of Dr E.F. Armstrong who, as Chairman of the War Memorials Advisory Council, had taken an active part in collecting the views of widely representative authorities as to an appropriate equivalent for the war now closing of the Tablet to the Million Dead of the First World War placed by the Commission in Westminster Abbey and in a number of Cathedrals in France and Belgium.
Review Of Recent Events
On 13 October, the Commission had addressed a letter to the Swiss Charge d'Affaires in Rome expressing their thanks for services rendered by the Swiss Government during the period of hostilities and, in particular, for the assistance afforded to Count Memmo in maintaining the 1914/18 war cemeteries in Italy.
Mention that a letter had been received from General Lord Bridgeman, who had now relinquished his appointment as Deputy Adjutant-General at the War Office.
Captain Scholtz, Secretary to the Commission’s South African Agency, had been in the United Kingdom for consultations with senior officials at Headquarters on the immediate steps to be taken in preparation for the permanent marking of graves and the construction of cemeteries in South Africa.
Colonel Hoffman, Deputy Controller of the Southern European District, had also been in the United Kingdom and it was mentioned the Commission could look forward now to real progress in Italy.
Colonel Peek, Deputy Director of Works in the Western Mediterranean District, and Colonel Buller had also visited the United Kingdom for consultations, to discuss the first major contract for the Second World War, Halfaya Sollum Cemetery. Also comments on construction at Keren which was practically complete.
Replies received from the Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland on the policy, to be followed in regard to the graves in Japan or Japanese territory. Replies from the Governments of Australia and India were awaited.
On 3 December, the first meeting of the Battle Exploits Memorials Committee, under the Chairmanship of the Adjutant-General, had taken place.
Colonel H.N. Obbard, the Commission’s Inspector for India, had departed on tour accompanied by Major Oakes and Major Macfarlane.
Mentions interesting letter received from Tasman Millington, the Commission’s Area Superintendent for Gallipoli.
Ceremony held at the two cemeteries at Anzio, Italy on All Saints Day.
On 9 November, a Memorial Service was held at El Alamein Cemetery at which General Sir Bernard Freyberg and about 250 members of the New Zealand Forces were present.
Mention that an impressive ceremony attended by some 3,000 people was held on 2 December at Brookwood Military Cemetery, when a silver trumpet was presented on behalf of the Woking Branch of the British Legion to the Officer Commanding No. 1349 (Woking) Squadron, Air Training Corps.
Discussion regarding two personal inscriptions received from next-of-kin which the Vice-Chairman had found difficulty accepting.
Agreement to contact the relatives to submit alternative inscriptions.
Reports Of The 318th And 319th Meetings Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of both reports, with updates on negotiations with the Transport and General Workers Union, the acquisition of an occupied house on the south-east corner of Phaleron Cemetery, new appointments in United Kingdom and Central European Districts, and Works staff.
Civilian War Dead: Commemoration In Westminster Abbey
Update on volumes of Civilian War Dead lists, including the Committee appointed to advise the Commission, the placing of the volumes in Westminster Abbey, and wider publication of the lists.
Manufacture Of Headstones
Discussion about the Commission’s claim that in general, headstones were made of British stone by British workmen in Great Britain but this was not universally true, citing examples of headstones in Italy made from Italian marble or headstones made in Canada, New Zealand. Also mentions shortage of available labour for headstone manufacturing.
Commemoration Of The Missing In Gibraltar
Discussion regarding commemoration of the missing in Gibraltar on tablets set a wall which was considered when Mr Worthington and Sir Arthur Longmore were last in Gibraltar and saw plans for reconstructing the buildings on the airfield adjoining the cemetery.
Destruction Of Graves In Military Operations
Discussion about the destruction of graves in cemeteries caught up in fighting during the Second World War, and the method of commemoration where headstones could be replaced but the bodies were lost. It was agreed that, following further discussion, the question should be resubmitted.
Superannuation Scheme: Gardener-Caretaker R.W. Sinclair
Resolution that the Seal of the Commission be affixed to, and the Proper Officer sign, the Assignment to Rufus Wylie Sinclair of policies Nos. 153649 and 119156 in the Atlas Assurance Company Ltd., being the Commission’s policies 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 17 January 1946.
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)
C. Knowles, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
I.T. Meyer, Esq., Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa
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)
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.
Colonel the Lord Wigram, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.S.I.
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, C.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)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Bateman, (Director of Works)
F.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Captain E.P.R. Foster, (Legal Assistant)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Captain O.D. Holt