Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/292
File NumberWG 1831/234


DescriptionMinutes of the 292nd Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Mention that the Commission’s 27th Annual Report had been favourably received, with responses read out at the meeting, including from Mr Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada; Mr Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia; and Mr Fraser, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Italian Stone
Update that all the participating Governments had signified their agreement to the use by the Commission of Italian stone for headstones in cemeteries in the Western Mediterranean Desert (North Africa), Egypt and Italy. The Foreign Office had been consulted about the matter.

Imperial War Memorial: Lord Chatfield’s Committee
Mention that asking whether his Committee might include his name as a member of the Deputation which it was proposed should interview the Prime Minister in regard to this project, with reading of Vice-Chairman’s response.

Update on a number of recent events that had taken place including visitors representative of the Dominions taken by the Victoria League to Brookwood Military Cemetery on St George’s Day and the 32nd anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli was commemorated at the Cenotaph on 25 April and followed by a Service of Commemoration at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

Mentions Mr F.J. Bellenger, Secretary of State for War, had consented to represent the Commission at the American memorial service at Brookwood and General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson would represent the Commission at Madingley.

Mentions impressive ceremony at Zeebrugge Memorial on 27 April with many attendees.
Announcement that the Universalia Film Company, a firm of repute sponsored by the Vatican, was making pictures of the cemeteries of the Allied Armies in Sicily.

Mentions a ceremony, including a Mass in memory of the fallen, took place on 7 April at Mertert Cemetery, Luxembourg. The Commission were represented by Major Kayser.

Mention that His Excellency the Governor of Kenya, while calling at Madagascar, had paid a visit to Tananarive Military Cemetery and was so impressed with the maintenance of war graves there that he had decided to write personally to all the next-of-kin to inform them of his visit and to tell them how well the graves were being looked after by the French authorities.

Mention Colonel Chettle, on behalf of the Commission, had visited Berlin to examine the Wehrmacht records at Hermdorf. His visit had been valuable because of the information which he had obtained and the personal contacts which he had made.

Mention that since the last Meeting of the Commission a number of cemeteries or plots had been handed over to the Commission, including Brussels Town Cemetery (639 graves) and the Athens Phaleron Military Cemetery (1,636 graves).
Request for Mr Seel to convey the Commission’s good wishes to Mr Savage on his retirement from the Colonial Office.

July Meeting of the Commission
Mention that it had been suggested that the Commission might wish to hold their Meeting on the 17th July in the Canadian Records Building at Brookwood Military Cemetery, as certain Members had expressed their wish to see the cemetery and had not been able to do so before.

Anzac Agency
Announcement that Brigadier A.E. Brown, Secretary General of their Anzac Agency, was now in England for discussions on matters of importance connected with the Agency's work, which was progressing rapidly. He would be visiting several cemeteries in England, including Harefield (St. Mary’s) Churchyard, accompanied by Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore.

Report of the 336th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Adoption of the report, including amendments to items 12 and 13 which dealt with contracts for headstones.

Imperial War Graves Commission – Joint Negotiating Committee
Update on negotiations and reading of a response to a letter received from a letter from a number of wives of the Commission's staff at Ypres emphasising their difficulties.

Indian War Graves Committee
Resolution regarding the confirmation of the powers, authorities and responsibilities of the Commission's Indian Agency under the style of "The Indian War Graves Committee”.

Report by Sir Geoffrey Evans, C.I.E., M.A., F.L.S., J.P.
Reference to the Report which was received from Sir Geoffrey Evans on the horticultural treatment of the Commission's 1939-45 war cemeteries in Italy as a result of his recent visit which the Controller had arranged.

Termination of the Second World War
Announcement that the Commission were facing numerous administrative difficulties because a date for the termination of the 1939-45 war had not been officially fixed as had been done after the First World War. Brief discussion of the local difficulties experienced by the Commission in different parts of the world in relation to this issue.

Representation of the Commission in judicial proceedings, Central European District
Resolution for the appointment of Mr Gerald William Allison Kayser as the Commission’s legal representative in Central European District.

Superannuation Scheme – resignation – assignment of Commission’s policy to Albert Edward Roberts Jr., Gardener-Caretaker
Resolution that the Seal of the Commission be affixed to, and the Proper Officer sign, the Assignment to Albert Edward Roberts of Policy No. 3969098 in the Prudential Assurance Company Limited. being the Policy taken out in the Commission's name in respect of Mr Roberts under. the Superannuation Scheme.

Mentions the time and date of the next Meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday 19 June.

Major-General Sir Fabian Ware, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., LL.D. (Vice-Chairman, in the Chair)
J.P. Sigvaldason, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
R.T. Sprange, Esq., O.B.E. (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)
Colonel W.F. Rendell, C.B.E. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
M.K. Vellodi, Esq., C.I.E., I.C.S. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
G.F. Seel, Esq., C.M.G. (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.
Colonel the Rt. Hon. the Lord Wigram, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.S.I.
Harold Neal, Esq., M.P.

There were also present:
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) Brigadier F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Controller)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E.
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, M.B.E.
E.J. King, Esq., M.C.
W.J. Chalmers, Esq. (Finance and Establishment Officer)
Major W.K.K. Kinnear (Acting Director of Records)
Captain H.P.R. Foster (Legal Assistant)
P.R. Trevelyan-Thomson, Esq.
Date1/5/1947 - 30/11/1947
Extent1 file
CategoryMeeting Notes
ArchNotePlease note that the downloadable document is the final version of the Committee Meeting minutes. Additional information, including the verbatim minutes and subsidiary reports, may be available in the physical file.
Add to My Items