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Circulation, approval and signing of the minutes of the 280th Meeting.
Apologies for absence received from the Acting Adjutant-General to the Forces, Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, Sir William Halcrow and Sir Samuel Runganadhan. Sir Samuel was attending the International Labour Conference in Canada and was represented at the Meeting by Mr S.N. Dutt.
Announcement of the death of the Dean of Westminster Dr de Labilliere on 28 April with tribute by the Vice-Chairman.
Visit Of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore To Cemeteries In Scotland Containing R.A.F. Graves
Mention that Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore had attended a Meeting at the R.A.F. Training College at Cranwell on May 6th at which the maintenance of the graves at Cranwell was discussed. The same day, accompanied by Squadron Leader Michelmore, Sir Arthur had travelled by air to Prestwick and had started a five days' tour of the principal burial grounds in Scotland containing R.A.F. graves. He had seen about twenty cemeteries, most of them adjoining local Air Stations and comments that there no R.A.F. Regional Cemeteries in Scotland.
Comments about Dunure, Dyce, Montrose (Sleepy Hillock), Perth, Edinburgh (Corstorphine Hill), Glasgow (Cardonald), Seafield, and Haddington cemeteries.
Also mentions he visited Scottish War Memorial in Edinburgh and Stirling Castle where the new memorial might be erected, and also he met Major McIndoe, the Commission’s District Inspector, in Glasgow.
Review Of Recent Events
Mention that part of the Commission’s organisation had very recently moved back to 32 Grosvenor Gardens.
Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson and the Controller were at present on a visit to France.
Announcement that the 26th Annual Report had been well received, notices having appeared in some twenty-tour London and Provincial papers and extract of letter from Prime Minister of Canada was read out at the Meeting. Also reading of extract of letter from Sir Reginald Wingate.
Announcement that Mr Harold Nicolson had agreed to assist in drafting the inscription for the new Tablets which it was proposed should be erected in Westminster Abbey and cathedrals abroad.
On Anzac Day, April the 25th, the Controller represented the Commission at the annual Commemoration Service at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
A Service of Commemoration was held at the Canadian Military Cemetery at Bergen-op--Zoom on Sunday, May 5th, the first anniversary of the surrender of the German Forces in the Netherlands to the Canadian Army.
Announcement that a formal letter had been Bent to the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs asking that the Belgian Government might be invited to put forward their nominations to the Commission's Anglo-Belgian Committee, which it was hoped to reconstitute shortly.
A meeting was held at Brookwood Military Cemetery on 29 April to conduct an official handover of the Canadian Records and Reception Building there.
Handover documents received for Cassino Military Cemetery, Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Cemetery, and Fontenay-le-Pesnel British Cemetery.
Membership Of The Finance Committee
Resolution for the appointment of The Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Hopkins, G.C.B. as a member of the Finance Committee.
Supply Of Photographs To Relatives
Response from Colonel Lord Wigram to question from Vice-Chairman that the Red Cross were quite prepared to provide the money for taking photographs but they could not carry out the executive work entailed. The photographs which D.G.R. & E. had taken of the temporary wooden crosses were very satisfactory and he thought that something on similar lines would be desirable in the case of the permanent headstones.
Report Of The 325th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the report of the Finance Committee including reference to:
Item 5, which was a proposal to use German prisoner of war labour in North Africa, remarking on construction of the cemetery at El Alamein.
Item 6, which concerned the construction of Acroma Cemetery with comments about unusual design and Cross of Sacrifice as well as similar issues expected at Chittagong.
Item 12, which concerned the appointment of Colonel Brown as the new Secretary-General of Anzac Agency.
Appointment of Advisory Architect (South Africa).
Resolution for the appointment of Mr G.E. Gordon Leith, M.C., F.R.I.B.A. as Advisory Architect to the Commission, South Africa.
Definition Of A War Grave: Auxiliary Organisations – India
Resolution that the recommendations as to certain Auxiliary Organisations to be accorded war graves recognition put forward by the Government of India.
Wages Of Staff In The Central European District
Refers to subject raised as Item 11 in Report of the Finance Committee adopted by the Commission at the meeting. Mentions the decision was the Vice-Chairman be requested to refer the question of remuneration of the Gardening Staff in France and Belgium to the Finance Committee for consideration with a view to settlement, if possible without further reference to the Commission.
Construction Of Acroma (Knightsbridge) Cemetery
Refers to subject arising out of Item 6 of the Report of the Finance Committee and resolution that the Finance Committee be and hereby is authorised to consider and accept tenders for constructional work to be carried all that Acroma Cemetery without further reference to the Commission.
Date Of Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next Meeting should be held on Thursday 20th June 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)
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)
R. Petrie, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
J.L. Murphy, Esq., O.B.E. (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)
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.C.
Colonel The Lord Wigram, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.S.I.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Richard V.N. Hopkins, G.C.B.
There were also present:
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E. (Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries, War Office)
Brigadier A.W. Holbrook, C.B.E., M.C. (Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries designate)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Director of Records)
F.C. Sillar, Esq. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel G.H. Peek, O.B.E. (Deputy Director of Works, Western Mediterranean District)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, M.B.E. (Area Superintendent, United Kingdom)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
Captain M.R. Graham, M.C. (Deputy Director of Works)
Captain O.D. Holt