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Circulation, approval and signing of the Minutes of the 283rd Meeting.
Apologies for absence received from Sir Frederic Kenyon and Sir William Halcrow. Mr Seel, who represented the Secretary of State for the Colonies, was unable to attend and Mr Savage was present in his stead as an observer. Colonel Rendell, the new Trade Commissioner for Newfoundland, had not yet arrived in London, and Mr Murphy was in attendance. Welcome to Sir Richard O'Connor, the new Adjutant-General to the Forces.
Announcement that His Majesty the King would unveil the new inscription on the Cenotaph on Sunday 10 November and on the following the day the customary informal service would be held in Westminster Abbey at which Commission gardeners from France and Belgium would attend and bring wreaths of flowers from the war cemeteries.
Death Of Lord Cavan
Announcement of death of Field Marshal the Earl of Cavan. Lord Cavan had been a member of the Anglo-Italian Committee since 1936, when he consented to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Lord Plumer. Tribute includes mention of Lord Cavan’s leadership in the Mission to Italy in the autumn 1938 and message of sympathy to be sent to Lady Cavan.
Review Of Recent Events
Mention that Mr Vincent Massey acknowledged the Commission’s letter of thanks for the help he had given whilst High Commissioner for Canada in London.
On 19 August, the 4th anniversary of the raid on Dieppe, Mr Mackenzie King had paid homage to the dead of the Canadian 2nd Division buried in Dieppe Canadian Cemetery, Hautot-sur-Mer.
Announcement Mr T.A. Rhodes had retired from the Office of Public Works at Pretoria, and consequently from the Chairmanship of the Commission's South African Agency.
Announcement that Mr N.J.L. Jansz had been appointed Secretary to the Ceylon Agency in place of Mr H.C. Coke, as from 14th May.
Announcement that Colonel Murphy, Area Superintendent for United Kingdom, had been awarded the American Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) and reading of citation signed by President Truman.
Announcement of second report received from Anzac Agency, mentioning the Duke of Gloucester, President of the Commission, had received the Secretary-General and discussed the agency’s functions and development.
Announcement that Captain Oliver Deverall Holt, the Vice-Chairman’s Personal Assistant for eleven years, had left the Commission’s service to return his old school, Sherborne, as a Master.
Announcement that Colonel Chettle had spent three days in Dublin discussing with Captain Vesper and the Department of External Affairs and Public Works the permanent marking and care of new British war graves in the Republic of Ireland.
On 17 July, the Australian Cabinet approved the expenditure of £15,000 on the restoration of the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, one of the few that were badly damaged during the Second World War.
Colonel Bigwood, Military Attaché to the Belgian Embassy, had presented a Belgian flag for use at Brookwood Cemetery. The flag was used during the war to accompany to the grave the many Belgian airmen who fell in the United Kingdom.
Mentions of the pre-war gardening staff in France and Belgium, which in May 1940 numbered 495, 301 had now resumed duty in the Central European District. There were still 182 places to be filled.
Mentions several photographs of cemeteries in Italy, France and Belgium had been received and a selection would be reproduced in the next Annual Report.
Announcement that a Memorial Stone was erected at Skarrild, West Jutland, to the aircrew of a Lancaster Bomber shot down on 27 August 1944. The unveiling was attended by people from all over Jutland and relatives from Great Britain and Canada.
Reading of an extract from a letter received from General Sir Robert Dundas Whigham, GCB, KCMG, DSO., a former Adjutant-General and member of the Commission, about his visit to the grave of his son Flying Officer Robert George Murray Whigham, at Lesneven Communal Cemetery, France.
The Burgomaster of Ypres participated in the Last Post ceremony at Brookwood on Sunday 1 September.
The Ypres Branch of the British Legion were presented with a new flag by the citizens of Ypres at a ceremony on 28 July.
On 14 July, ceremonies took place at Vailly-sur-Aisne, Vermelles, Le Treport and the 25th Division Memorial, Bailleul.
Certificates of taking over from the Army for maintenance had been received for following cemeteries in Italy: Bologna British Cemetery; Coriano Ridge Cemetery; Forli del Senio Indian Cemetery; Meldola British Cemetery; Milan British Cemetery; Padua Military Cemetery; Ravenna British Cemetery; Udine Military Cemetery; Villanova Canadian Cemetery; Argenta Gap (78th Division) Cemetery; Montescudo Military Cemetery; and Genoa Military Cemetery.
Additional documentation was received for eight cemeteries in Italy, two in Holland and one in France.
Relocation of Civilian War Dead memorial from Westminster Abbey to St. George’s Chapel.
Constitution Of India And South-East Asia District / The Indian War Graves Committee
Update with reference to the two papers under these headings, including that the new proposals of the Commission’s new organisation in India were communicated to the Indian government.
Report Of The 328th Meeting Of The Finance Committee
Adoption of the Finance Committee’s report including reference to:
Item 18, the contract for the construction of Asmara War Cemetery
Item 20, the reorganisation of Secretariat
Item 21, which dealt with the proposed establishment of India and South-East Asia District
Item 22, the adjustment of the salaries of two Assistant Secretaries.
Renumeration Of Staff In Central European District
Resolution for the adjustment of salaries, wages, and allowances for staff in France and Belgium on which the Finance Committee invited Mr F.C. Newton of the Treasury to submit a report to the Finance Committee for consideration and settlement without further reference to the Commission.
Payment for Personal Inscriptions
Quote from covering letter sent out from the Commission’s offices in Wooburn, followed by discussion covering the views of members on the topic of payment for personal inscriptions.
Anzac Agency: Area Of Responsibility
Resolution excluding Java, Sumatra, Hong Kong and Borneo from the area of responsibility of Anzac Agency, and that the Agency assume responsibility for all war graves in Japan.
Inscriptions For Tablets In Westminster Abbey And Cathedrals Abroad
Mention that Rudyard Kipling’s inscriptions were irreplaceable and that, the Vice-Chairman on the advice of Lord Chatfield's War Memorials Advisory Council, approached Mr Harold Nicolson who, after forming and consulting a small committee, consisting of the Poet Laureate and others had sent in the drafts prior to the meeting.
Supplying Of Names And Addresses Of Next Of Kin To Enquirers
Mentions that that the War Office’s policy was to refuse to disclose the addresses of next-of-kin as there was a real danger that they might get into the hands of unscrupulous persons who would exploit the relatives. It was agreed that the British Legion and others should be informed that the addresses of next of kin would not be disclosed, but that letters intended for them would be forwarded.
Battle Exploits Memorials Committee: 49th (West Riding) Division
Approval of recommendation of the Committee concerning the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division’s Memorial in Fontenay-le-Pesnel (Calvados) to commemorate two months’ continuous and very severe fighting from the landing in June 1944 to the break-out in the following August.
Surplus Income of Endowment Fund (Redemption Of Investment)
Resolution that the affixing of the Commission's Seal to, and signature by the Proper Officer of, the form of request for payment of the redemption money on £25,000 2 1/2% National War Bonds, 1946-1948, representing surplus Endowment Fund income, be ratified and confirmed.
Superannuation Scheme: Resignation
Assignment of policies to two Gardener-Caretakers: Allen James Lewis and Lewis Fulton Bonnell.
The New War Cemeteries In Italy
Report from Brigadier Collingwood updating members on progress of work in Italy, including that all 42 new cemeteries were taken over for maintenance, the transfer of documents was going slowly, and that 1914-1918 cemeteries suffered little damage during the Second World War, specifically mentioning Faenza, Genoa, and Gradisca. Also includes comments about new cemeteries at Salerno and Rome, as well as transportation difficulties, general remarks about the Italian and British gardening staff as well as the salaried officials.
Mentions the next meeting would be held at 11 o’clock on Thursday 17 October 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)
I.T. Meyer, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
J.L. Murphy, Esq., O.B.E. (Representing the Government or Newfoundland)
M.K. Yellodi, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
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.
Colonel The Rt. Hon. Lord Wigram, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.S.I.
The Rt.Hon. Sir Richard Hopkins, G.C.B.
General Sir Richard O’Connor, K.C.B., D.S.O., M.C., A.D.C. (Adjutant-General)
There were also present:-
G. Savage, Esq. (Colonial Office)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Brigadier A.W. Holbrook, C.B.E., M.C. (Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries, War Office)
Lieut.-Colonel H.F. Chettle, C.M.G., O.B.E. (Assistant Secretary, Records)
F.C. Sillar, Esq., C.B.E. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Bateman, M. lnst., C.E. (Director of Works)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E.
Brigadier S. Collingwood, C,B.E., M.C. (Chief Administrative Officer, Southern European District)
Colonel H.N. Obbard (Chief Administrative Officer designate, India and South-East Asia District)
Captain H.P.R. Foster (Legal Assistant)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
P.R. Trevelyan-Thomson, Esq.