Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/308
File NumberWG 1831/250
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.308 - October 1948


DescriptionMinutes of the 308th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics discussed:

Apologies for absence
Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, Sir William Halcrow, Mr Seel and Mr Cade.

Death of Sir John Chute
Letters received in connection with the death of Sir John Chute from his sister, Mrs Douglas and Lady Kennedy.

Death of Sir Warren Fisher GCB, GCVO
Mention of memorial service of Sir Warren Fisher, G.C.B., G.C.V.O. on 8 October 1948.

Death of Major J.L. Maunsell-Thomas
Announcement of the death of Major J.L. Maunsell-Thomas, Appointments Officer.

Chairman’s visit to Italy
Mention of cancellation of Chairman’s visit to the Commission’s cemeteries in Italy in October 1948.

Sir Fabian Ware and Lady Ware
Mention of safe arrival of Sir Fabian Ware and Lady Ware in the south of France.

Vice-Chairman’s tour of North Africa from 23 October to 5 November 1948
Mention from Vice-Chairman that he would be departing on 23 October with Assistant Secretary to visit war cemeteries in North Africa and returning on 5 November.
Mr Sillar’s film lecture in Edinburgh
Film lecture about the Commission’s work delivered in Edinburgh to the British Legion (Scotland) Women’s Section.

Remembrance Day 1948
Outlines arrangements for Remembrance Day 1948, including: a short talk by the Chairman broadcast on the Home Services; the laying of a wreath at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris; the laying of a wreath on the Unknown Soldier’s tomb in Brussels and services at the Tower Hill Memorial and Westminster Abbey in London.

Cemeteries in Germany
Mentions the Commission assuming responsibility of cemeteries in Germany, except those in Berlin, from 15 October 1948.

Cross for the Empire Field of Remembrance
Mentions supply of wooden cross by the Commission for the Empire Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Battle of Britain Memorial Service at Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery, Kent
Report of memorial service in memory of airmen killed during Battle of Britain held at Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery, Kent, on 19 September 1948.

Visits to war graves
Mentions visits to war graves arranged by the British Legion, the YMCA, the Church Army and the Salvation Army between May and October 1948.

Visits to Canadian cemeteries and memorials in France, Belgium and Holland by General Henry Crerar, Commander of the First Canadian Army in 1944
Report of visit with mention given to headstones erected at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and a visit to Brookwood Military Cemetery on 29 September 1948. Also mentions Canadian delegation led by Major General Foster to Antwerp (Schoonselhof) Cemetery and Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in September 1948.
Report on constructional progress
Particular mention of the erection of the first Cross of Sacrifice of the 1939-1945 War in Anzac Agency’s area at Adelaide Centennial Park Cemetery, Australia, unveiled on 5 September 1948. Also the first Cross of Sacrifice erected in France at Chouain (Jerusalem) British Cemetery, Normandy.

Refers to report on inspection visit of Commission cemeteries in Palestine by Major Cameron, Area Superintendent, Palestine, under Egyptian Army Escort. Cemeteries visited included Gaza, Beersheba and Deir-el-Belah Cemeteries, where he had found the native gardeners hard at work.

Other items of interest
Mentions a short report circulated at the meeting.

Report of the 352nd Finance Committee Meeting
Item 25 indicated that the Treasury had authorised the expenditure of Italian lire on the manufacture of further headstones in Italy.
Items 20 and 20A referred firstly to the confirmation of the action taken by the Commission's representatives on the Joint Negotiating Committee in fixing new rates of pay and allowances for the French and North West European Districts. The second contained special authority recommended by the Finance Committee.
Item 22 contained recommendations for the appointment of an Area Superintendent, Germany, and the establishment of staff and transport in that area.

Reconstitution of the Ceylon Agency
Mentions reconstitution of the Ceylon Agency and the acceptance of Mr Senanayake as Minister for Defence and acting as the Agency of the Commission in Ceylon.

Memorials to the Missing – Omission of names
Refers to requests from next of kin related to two missing seamen asking for the omission of their names from memorials to the missing.

Report on visit of inspection by Horticultural Adviser Sir Edward Salisbury to cemeteries in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during August 1948. Includes comments regarding Sir Edward’s suggestion that the removal of the damaged War Stone in Ecoivres Cemetery might improve the vista of the Cross of Sacrifice.

Sketch designs for war cemeteries
Examination and approval of sketch designs, including Tilly-sur-Seules British Cemetery by Philip D. Hepworth, F.R.I.B.A., Principal Architect for North-Western Europe, and also Adelaide River War Cemetery as submitted by Anzac Agency.

Belgian war dead in the United Kingdom
Refers to decision by Belgian government to exhume and repatriate the remains of Belgian war dead buried in the United Kingdom, except 70 buried at Brookwood.

24th Quarterly Report on the maintenance of war graves in the United Kingdom
Includes comments from Sir Arthur Longmore about the condition of Haslar Cemetery and that he hoped that the Air Force would follow the example of the Navy and Army and establish a recognised Cemetery for the burial of their Dead.

Conveyance of strip of land at Brookwood Military Cemetery owned by the War Department to the Commission.

Authority granted for Chief Administrative Officer of India and Pakistan District to sign off on the Commission’s behalf for leases of land.

Authority given for the Commission’s Chief Administrative Officers of each district (North-West European District, French District, Southern European District, Western Mediterranean District, Eastern District, India and Pakistan District, and South East Asia District) to sign on the Commission's behalf for any lease, tenancy or document of similar purport for the occupation of any premises in his district as a District or Area Office or for any other purposes of the Commission's business and at need to delegate this authority.

Date of next meeting scheduled for 18 November 1948 at an earlier time to allow for the screening of the Commission’s film.

Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Smith, V.C., K.C.B. (Vice-Chairman in the Chair)
J.P. Sigvaldason, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
C. Knowles, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
I.T. Meyer, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
W.B. England, Esq., M.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
E. Simcock, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for Pakistan)
Colonel W.F. Rendell, C.B.E. (Representing the Government of Newfoundland)
P.H. Cooper, Esq., (Representing the Minister for Works)
General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.
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.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E.

Also in attendance:
Brigadier F. Higginson, C.M.G. (Secretary)
F.C. Sillar, Esq., C.B.E. (Principal Assistant Secretary)
W.J. Chalmers, Esq. (Assistant Secretary)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Bateman (Director of Works)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E. (Foreign Relations Officer)
Major W.K.K. Kinnear (Chief Records Officer)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E. (Chief Enquiries Officer)
P.R. Trevelyan-Thomson, Esq.
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, O.B.E. (Chief Administrative Officer, United Kingdom District)
Date28/10/1948 - 4/1/1949
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.

Show related Persons records.

DS/UK/2Ware; Sir; Fabian Arthur Goulstone (1869-1949); newspaper editor and the founder of the Imperial War Graves Commission1869-1949
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