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Circulation, approval, and signing of minutes of the 279th Meeting.
Announcement that Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson had returned after his accident and also welcome to Mr Broadbridge, representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand.
Apologies for absence received from the Secretary of State for war, the Adjutant-General, Sir John Shute, Colonel Jones and Sir Richard Hopkins.
Announcement of the death of Mr D.J. Davies,. C.B.E., J.P., Trade Commissioner for Newfoundland in London since 1934. As Acting High Commissioner from 1930-1933 he represented Newfoundland on the Commission and he became a member again in 1943, when the Commission of Government appointed him as their representative on the death of Sir Edgar Bowring.
Mention that the Royal Warrant appointing Sir Richard Hopkins to be an Unofficial Member of the Commission had been received.
Annual Report – 1944-1945
Mention that a copy of the Twenty-Sixth Annual Report had been sent, as was customary, to The King, and another to the Duke of Gloucester, as President of the Commission. Reading of letter sent by Sir Alan Lascelles, His Majesty’s Private Secretary.
Also mentions the Report was well-received in the Press, with a short account given by the BBC on the 1’o’clock news bulletin.
Designs And Plans Of Cemeteries Of The Second World War
Mention that a number of drawings were on the walls of the Committee Room for members to see. Comments about cemeteries at Keren, Sollum, Acroma, El Alamein, Agira, Phaleron, Kasterlee, Bayeux, Massicault, and Brookwood.
Review Of Recent Events
Mention that Mr Sillar had attended the last meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on the Vice-Chairman’s behalf.
Announcement of journey of Major J.W. Foote, V.C., C.F., who was charged by the Canadian government with the duty of bringing back from Canada the ashes of an unknown Canadian soldier (transferred there unofficially from France the previous year by a Canadian Chaplain) for reburial in the cemetery at Bretteville-sur-Laize.
Mr Millington, the Commission's Area Superintendent, Gallipoli, had reported that General Orbay of the Turkish General staff visited the Helles Memorial on 5 December 1944.
Mention that Mr Macfarlane had returned from a visit to Gibraltar and Malta, with comments about the site of the new Cross of Sacrifice on Gibraltar as well as recommended stone for construction on Malta.
Announcement that handover documents received for following cemeteries in Italy: Florence (Arrow Route), Florence Military, Montecchio British, Salerno (Beach Head), Faenza British. Gradara British, Arezzo Military, Rome British Military, Foiano della Chiana (4th Division), Orvieto Military, Assisi Military, Cesena Military, Ancona Military, Forli del Senio Military and Castiglione South African. Work was going ahead rapidly under Brigadier Collingwood, the new Deputy-Controller in the Southern European District.
Mention that a party of five gardeners left the United Kingdom for Italy on March 25th and a further party of twelve (men formerly employed by the Commission in the Central European District) left early in April for France and Belgium.
Tiflis British Military Cemetery
Mention that the question of maintenance of the cemetery was discussed in 1944 and that the local woman who had looked after it for many years had recently died. Update on discussions with Foreign Office and municipal authorities who had taken steps to tidy the cemetery by clearing the site, digging a ditch round it and earthing up the graves.
Report Of The 324th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Finance Committee’s report including reference to:
Item 2, which dealt with administrative expenses of the Commission and the appointment of office staff in India and Burma.
Item 4, which concerned the construction of a cemetery in Norfolk on the Royal Estate at Sandringham, containing 66 graves.
Item 5, which laid down a comprehensive establishment for the Southern European District.
Item 6, which referred to wage claims and other matters affecting staff in France and Belgium.
Item 8, which concerned the development of the Commission’s work in India, Burma, and Siam.
Anzac Agency In The Pacific Area
Update on the organisation’s business, including announcement that a letter was received from the Australian Resident Minister in London saying that the Instrument of Appointment of the Anzac Agency had been approved by the Minister of the Interior of the Commonwealth Government. The nomination of Lieut.-Colonel Brown as Secretary-General to the Agency had also been approved.
Supply Of Photographs To Relatives
Discussion about widespread desire of relatives to have photographs of graves sent to them, with suggestions for requesting funds from the Red Cross.
Maintenance Of War Graves In The United Kingdom – 14th Quarterly Report
Report on maintenance in the United Kingdom, including agreement for a Ministry of Health Order be published informing councils of the work undertaken by the Commission, and difficulty of maintaining graves in churchyards and small cemeteries.
Also mentions the Surrey Last Post Committee and the sounding ceremony at Brookwood and the Menin Gate.
Brief discussion about repatriation of American servicemen.
Update from Sir Arthur Longmore about visit to cemeteries containing graves of Dominion servicemen, including Evesham, Pershore, Bath, Bristol (Greenbank and Canford), Netley, Oxford and Kidlington.
Definition Of A War Grave: Members Of The Control Commission
Resolution that on the recommendation of the War Office the Commission accept for recognised war graves treatment the graves of United Kingdom and Dominion civilian members of the Control Commission dying whilst, serving overseas, or from wounds inflicted overseas.
Superannuation Scheme – Assignment of Commission’s Policy – Gardener-Caretaker H. Gabriel
Resolution that the Seal of the Commission be affixed to, and the Proper Officer sign, the assignment to Hubert Gabriel of Policy No. 114112 in the National Provident Institution, being the policy taken out in the Commission's name in respect of Mr Gabriel under the Superannuation Scheme.
Memorial Tablets In Cathedrals Abroad
Update on question of the new tablet and similar tablets to be erected in cathedrals abroad and Westminster Abbey, which had been put to a small committee under Mr Harold Nicolson. The Committee had come to the conclusion that a new inscription should be devised as it was impossive to improve on the existing tablet.
Date Of Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting should be held on Thursday 16 May 1946 at 11 a.m.
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
V.C. Duffy, Esq., M.V.O. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
E.A. Broadbridge, Esq. (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.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.B., D.S.O.
Colonel the Lord Wigram, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.S.I.
There were also:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Frederic Kenyon, G.B.E., K.C.B.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Sir William Halcrow, M. Inst., C.E. (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
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. (Area Superintendent, United Kingdom)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Captain O.D. Holt