|Content Note||Topics covered:|
Circulation, approval, and signing of the Minutes of the 276th Meeting.
Apologies for absence received from the Secretary of State for War, the Adjutant-General, Mr. Davies, who was still ill and Sir Frederic Kenyon.
Announcement of the death of General Sir Nevil Macready and summary of his career, including as a founder member of the Commission, his role in obtaining War Office approval for the creation of a Graves Registration Service, a member of the Commission until 1921, membership of the Anglo-French Committee, the unveiling of the Loos Memorial in 1931 and of the tablets erected in Boulogne and St. Omer Cathedrals in 1927 and 1929 respectively.
Announcement of the death of Sir Amin Osman Pasha, who was murdered in Cairo. Summary of Sir Amin’s career, including his award of K.B.E. for his service as Secretary-General to the Egyptian delegation which signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, his role as Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, his support for the Anglo-Egyptian War Graves Agreement, and his membership of the Anglo-Egyptian War Cemeteries Committee.
Announcement of honours and awards in the New Year’s Honours List including:
Mr Jordon, High Commissioner for New Zealand (Privy Councillor)
Mr J.A. Beasley, soon-to-be Australian Resident Minister in London (Privy Councillor)
General Sir Ronald Adam (G.C.B.)
Major General Sir John Kennedy (G.B.E.)
Professor E.J. Salisbury, the Commission’s Horticultural Adviser (Knighthood)
Review Of Recent Events
Arrangements made for Mr Duffy to visit the Australian Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and inspect the damage caused in 1940.
Announcement in The Times about the placing of the first lists of Civilian War Dead in Westminster Abbey.
The 47th Meeting of the District Inspectors was held at Wooburn House on January 10th.
Update on preparation and planting work in R.A.F. Regional Cemeteries from Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore.
Corporal J.E. Harris, Intelligence Corps, formerly, a pupil gardener in the Commission' s service and a son of a member of the permanent staff in France, was reported to have died on release from internment in Siam on the 26th August 1945. Corporal Harris left a widow and child of 5 years of age in France. His father had been interned in Germany and his sister had lost her life in an air raid in 1940.
A Netherlands War Graves Committee had been appointed whose functions, broadly, would be to supplement the Commission's responsibilities towards the cemeteries and graves of the Second World War in Holland.
Taking over of 42 war graves in Nakuru European Cemetery, Kenya.
Handover documents received for the following cemeteries in the Sudan: Wadi Halfa British Cemetery; Juba Christian Cemetery; Port Sudan Christian Cemetery; Atbara Christian Cemetery; and Gebeit Military Cemetery. Records of burials, about 322 in number, in Madagascar were handed over to Nairobi in November 1945.
Reports of large number of ceremonies taking place in early November in France and Belgium, including at St. Sever Cemetery, Mazargues Cemetery Extension and the Menin Gate.
Mr H.W. Winkler and three other members of the Canadian House of Commons, Mr S.H. Knowles, Mr W. Bryce and Mr G. Graydon, recently visited cemeteries and memorials of both wars in France and Belgium, including Vimy Ridge and the Menin Gate.
Colonel Obbard, Inspector for India and Burma, submitted some useful reports and made contact with Sir Patrick Spens, Chief Justice of India and a former member of the Commission.
Comment from Sir Samuel Runganadhan that he welcomed the idea of a Consultative Committee, albeit when the political situation had settled.
Report Of The Special Meeting Of The Finance Committee Held On 20 December 1945
Adoption of the Special Report of the Finance Committee, including reference to tenders received from Egypt for the construction of Sollum Cemetery.
Report Of The 320th Meeting Of The Finance Committee: Annual Estimates For 1946-1947
Discussion regarding expenditures of graves of both wars, percentage of contributions from participating Governments and the establishment of two Committees by the Admiralty to decide how the missing were to be commemorated and what form the memorials would take.
Adoption of the Report of the Finance Committee and approval for estimate of expenditure for 1946-1947.
Maintenance Of War Graves In The United Kingdom – 13th Quarterly Report
Update from Colonel Murphy and a question over why there were objections raised in Belfast over the use of wooden crosses to which it was responded that a number of cemetery authorities prohibited wooden memorials owing to an old-established rule against the use of this type of marking graves. Metal crosses were used instead.
Definition Of A War Grave – Auxiliary Organisations
Resolution that personnel of the undermentioned organisations sent overseas from the United Kingdom and dying overseas or from wounds inflicted overseas be accepted for war graves recognition on the, same footing as personnel of the civilian organisations represented on the Council of Voluntary War Work:
1. The Incorporated Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Airmen’s Help Society.
2. The Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association.
3. Christian Science Committee (Overseas Welfare Workers).
Residential Hostel And Office Canteen Extension
Update on Special Advisory Committee (Sir John Shute, Colonel Jones and Sir Herbert Ellissen) set up to consider the question of acquiring property close to the Commission’s office at Wooburn Green for use as a residential hostel and canteen.
Destruction Of Graves In Military Operations
The Vice-Chairman said that the subject of this paper was important, but wished to postpone consideration of it until a later meeting.
Date Of Next Meeting
The next meeting would be held at 11 o’clock on Thursday 21 February 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., B.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)
Major-General Sir John Kennedy, G.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.C.
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:
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. (Assistant Secretary, Records)
F.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Bateman (Director of Works)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, M.B.E.
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Captain O.D. Holt