Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/295
File NumberWG 1831/237
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.295 - September 1947


DescriptionMinutes of the 295th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Circulation of minutes of 294th Commission meeting with no amendments received.

Mention of the death of General Sir Arthur Wauchope, High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief for Palestine and High Commissioner for Transjordan from 1931 to 1938. He was also ex-officio Chairman of the Commission’s Anglo-Palestine War Cemeteries Executive Committee.

Representation on the Commission of the Governments of India and Pakistan
Refers to recent institutional changes in India and warm welcome to the representative for Pakistan at the meeting.

Retirement of General Sir Richard O'Connor
Announcement of retirement of General Sir Richard O’Connor from the post of Adjutant-General.

Visit to the United Kingdom of the Secretary-General of the Canadian Agency
Welcome to Colonel Osborne who spoke of his recent visit of Central European District accompanied by Brigadier Higginson and Wing Commander Greensill. Comments on horticultural progress in all eight Canadian cemeteries in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Also refers to progress of work in Canada.

Mention that Colonel E.A. Griffin, O.B.E., E.D., had arrived in the United Kingdom from Australia to confer with Head Office Officials prior to taking up his appointment as Chief Administrative Officer, Eastern District in succession to General Williams.

Mention a note of certain items of interest had been placed on the table for the information of Members, which indicated that definite progress was being made in taking over cemeteries from the Army Graves Service.

Mention that arising from the Minutes of the last Meeting the Controller was investigating the alternative method to repainting the names on crosses. This was a system of wooden plates carrying metal name strips.

Mention that the Anzac Agency Report for July stated that the take-over of responsibility of war cemeteries in New Guinea and New Britain was completed on 30 July. Commission employees were now stationed at the war cemeteries at Port Moresby (Bomana) (4,000 graves); Lae (2,700 graves) and Rabaul (Bita Paka) (1,478 graves), and arrangements for the employment of native labour had been completed. Also mentions that Wing-Commander A. Hepburn, O.B.E., D.F.C., A.M.I.E. (Aust.) had accepted the appointment of Honorary consulting Engineer to the Agency.

Update on general condition of cemeteries in Italy, mentioning a contract had been signed for construction of headstone beams at Minturno Military Cemetery (2,033 graves) and preliminary work for the next six headstone beam contracts was in hand.

Mention the Resolution adopted at the April Meeting of the Commission regarding the re-erection of the Memorial to the 6th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery had now been implemented.

Termination of the War
Update on responses from Australia, Newfoundland, India, and the Admiralty regarding the question of the dates of termination and the proposal to seek a Supplemental Charter.

Reports of the 339th and the 340th Meetings of the Finance Committee
Refers to reports for both meetings, including items regarding the work of their Joint Negotiating Committee of wages and allowances in the Central European District.
Also refers to staff rearrangements, promotions and additions due to the creation of a separate region for the Central European District by the appointment of a Senior Administrative Officer in France, who would be responsible to the Chief Administrative Officer of the District for the role of the administration in France.
Comment on the termination of the war and how this would affect work in the United Kingdom.

Membership of the Finance Committee
Resolution that Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.'B. f D.S.O., be appointed a member of the Finance Committee.

Vevey (St. Martin’s) Cemetery, Switzerland
Brief discussion about the plot in the cemetery with resolution that:
(i) That the Commission take note of the sketch design prepared by the Senior Architect on the staff. Mr George Vey. F.R.I.B.A. for the British War Plot and its extension in Vevey (St. Martin's) Cemetery. Switzerland.
(ii) That the Commission desire the work to be put in hand as soon as possible and that every effort should be made to arrange for the proper maintenance. under Consular supervision, of this cemetery in the future.

Memorial tablet to the late Head Gardener Robert Armstrong in Valenciennes Communal Cemetery
Refers to request by local French people to erect a memorial tablet to Robert Armstrong, with reference to a precedent for a memorial of this kind in the case of a French workman who died from an accident while working on one of the pylons at the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.
Resolution that:
(1) That the Commission note with appreciation the generous action by the local people of Valenciennes in raising a voluntary subscription for a memorial tablet to be erected to the late Head Gardener R, Armstrong.
(2) That the Commission approve in principle that the tablet be affixed to the outside and wall of the Shelter in Valenciennes Communal Cemetery, subject to the design and inscription agreed with the local Committee being considered satisfactory by the Commission.

Statement by General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson
Report from Sir Robert about his visit through Belgium, Holland, and Germany. Includes comments about the siting of the cemeteries by the Army Graves Service, quality of soil, unnecessary work carried out by the Army, number of unidentified graves. Also mentions cemeteries at Uden and Ottersum, as well as 1914-1918 cemeteries at Hamburg and Cologne, including bombing damage at Cologne.
Discussion follows about costs of living in Central European District and the question of British graves located in the Russian zone, with comments about access to graves and cemeteries.

Allied War Graves in the United Kingdom District – 14th Report
Refers to announcement by President of the United States about the repatriation of American servicemen’s remains and maintenance of graves in the United Kingdom.

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)
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)
Colonel W.F. Rendell, C.B.E. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
W.B. England, Esq., M.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
R.C. Cade, Esq. (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.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Hopkins, G.C.B.
Harold Neal, Esq., M.P.

There were also present:
Sir William Halcrow, M. Inst., C.E. (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E. (Adviser on Post-War Organisation and Reconstruction)
Brigadier F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Controller)
Colonel H.C. Osborne, C.M.G., C.B.E. (Secretary-General, Canadian Agency)
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.
Date28/8/1947 - 27/11/1947
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