Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/294
File NumberWG 1831/236
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.294 - July 1947


DescriptionMinutes of the 294th Commission Meeting
Content NoteTopics covered:

Mention that the Commission had been represented at the Funeral and at the Memorial Service to Lord Bennett.

Announcement that Major F.B. Bennett, the Commission’s Chief Horticultural Officer in the Central European District, had been awarded the M.B.E. and Mr W.T. Prynn, a head gardener in France, the B.E.M. in the Birthday Honours list.

Mention that Mr Drew, Prime Minister of Ontario, had recently visited Canadian cemeteries in England and North-West Europe. An extract from his broadcast was read out at the meeting and the text appears in the minutes.

Naval Memorials
Mention that the design, prepared by the Principal Architect for the United Kingdom, Mr Edward Maufe, for the extension to the Naval Memorial at Chatham had been approved by all concerned, and Mr Maufe was now preparing the working drawings.
Modifications for the designs at Plymouth and Portsmouth had been recommended by the authorities and mention of meetings held with Lord Mayors of both localities to discuss matters.

United Kingdom District
Mentions the Commission's work in the United Kingdom had recently been reorganised. From the 1 June 1947 the Branch of the Works Department charged with the maintenance of war graves in the United Kingdom, and the Wooden Cross Branch, were separated from the Works Department and were constituted an administrative district of the Commission – the United Kingdom District.
Colonel Murphy, formerly "Area Superintendent United Kingdom" became "Chief Administrative Officer, United Kingdom District"; the Resident Engineer became "Senior Engineer United Kingdom District".

Mention that the British Legion was now able to offer limited facilities for placing poppy wreaths on war graves in North West Europe.

Announcement of establishment of Netherlands War Graves Foundation and description of its activities which would commence in January 1948.

Mention of First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John Cunningham’s visit to Norway, where wreaths were laid on war graves at Bergen and Trondheim cemeteries and Sir John had laid a wreath at a ceremony at Tromso.

Announcement of the official opening of Bucharest War Cemetery on 1 November 1946 and its handover to the Commission on 9 April 1947.

Mention that several new cemeteries and plots in the 1914-18 cemeteries, had recently been handed over to the Commission, including Leopoldsburg British Cemetery (800 graves); Bone Military Cemetery (883 graves) and the British plot in Oran American Cemetery (170 graves) in Algeria, and Leros (180 graves). Rhodes (67 graves) and Cos (58 graves) Military Cemeteries in the Dodecanese. Handing over documents (Stage II) had been received for nine other cemeteries.

Controller’s Visit of Inspection to Central European District
Report by Brigadier Higginson on his recent visit to cemeteries in France, Belgium and Holland, including comments about no justification of recent comments in the press about neglected conditions of cemeteries, the use of metal crosses at Ryes War Cemetery, cemeteries in Bayeux area and also comments from manual staff about living costs.

Report of the 338th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Adoption of the report of the 338th Finance Committee meeting, mentioning appointment of Colonel E.A. Griffin, O.B.E., E.D. nominated by the Australian Government for the post of Chief Administrative Officer in the Commission's Eastern District, and also mentions the first meeting of the Joint Negotiating Committee.

Works Report to June 30th 1947
Discussion of the report, with comments about the difficulties of a water supply at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery.

Examination of sketch designs for cemetery construction
Discussion of sketch designs with comments from Members and resolution that the Commission take note of the following sketch designs prepared by the Principal Architects:
(a) Mr Louis de Soissons, O.B.E., A.R.A. for Caserta Military Cemetery, Minturno Military Cemetery, Anzio (Beach Head) Cemetery, Anzio Military Cemetery, and Bolsena British Cemetery.
(b) Mr J. Hubert Worthington, O.B.E., A.R.A. for Cairo (Heliopolis) Cemetery.
And that the said sketch designs be referred to the Finance Committee to consider and report on the cost and method of construction.

Final Report on the Committee on Personal Inscriptions on Headstones
Comment from Mr Broadbridge that the New Zealand Government, though not permitting personal inscriptions on the headstones of New Zealand dead, had now agreed that in order to avoid administrative difficulties the cost of personal inscriptions on the headstones of others should be met from the Commission's, general funds to which New Zealand as a Participating Government contributed.

Maintenance of War Graves in the United Kingdom – 19th Quarterly Report
Response to a question regarding single and multiple burials in Edinburgh (Seafield) Cemetery.

Wooburn House Boundaries
Resolution that Brigadier F. Higginson. C.M.G., Proper Officer, be authorised to sign a Memorandum of Agreement in duplicate on behalf of the Commission, correcting and settling the exact boundaries between the Wooburn House property of the Commission and the land adjoining owned by the Wooburn Parish Council.

British Cemetery, Prague
Discussion regarding offer by the Czechoslovakian authorities to plan the architectural development of a new British cemetery at Prague and to construct it at their own expense.

War Graves in Malta
Report from Major Kinnear on his report to Malta, including comments on general condition of cemeteries and the completion of documents for Malta Royal Naval Cemetery and Pembroke Cemetery.

Date of the next meeting
Agreement the next Meeting of the Commission would be held at 32 Grosvenor Gardens at 11 o'clock on Thursday 18 September. There would be no Commission meeting in August.
Mention of expression of the Commission's appreciation to Canada be recorded in the Minutes for enabling the Meeting to be held in the Canadian Building.
Mention conclusion of the meeting at 5:15pm which would be followed by an inspection visit of Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B. in the Chair
J.P. Sigvaldason, Esq. (Representing·the High Commissioner for Canada)
F.T. Sprange, Esq., O.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
E.A. Broadbridge, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Colonel W.F. Rendell C.B.E. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
Paul D. Runganadhan, Esq., M.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
G.F. Seel, Esq., C.M.G. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
Colonel Sir John Shute, C.M.G., D.S.O., J.P.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.B. D.S.O.
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 and Acting Secretary).
F.C. Sillar, Esq., C.B.E. (Assistant Secretary, Finance)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Bateman (Director of Works)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E.
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, M.B.E.
E.J. King, Esq., M.C.
Major W.K.K. Kinnear (Acting Director of Records)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E.
P.R. Trevelyan-Thomson, Esq.
Date1/7/1947 - 26/10/1947
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.
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