Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/309
File NumberWG 1831/251
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.309 - November 1948


DescriptionMinutes of the 309th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics discussed:

Apologies for absence
Sir Richard Hopkins and Sir William Halcrow.

Chairman’s visit to cemeteries in France and Italy
Mention that the Secretary of State for War had started that morning for a tour of cemeteries in France and Italy, and he would be returning around 26th November.

Sir Fabian Ware’s visit to Bordighera British Cemetery
Refers to letter from Sir Fabian Ware regarding his visit to Bordighera British Cemetery where he met two English visitors and noted the gardener appointed by the Commission 26 years previously was still in charge.

Maintenance of British graves in France
Mentions letter from the French Ministry responsible for war graves had stated unofficially that no claim against the Commission would be made by the French Government for the maintenance of the 1914/18 War Cemeteries during the German occupation of France.

Construction of service plot at Bispebjerg Cemetery, Denmark
Mention of completion of construction of service plot at Bispebjerg Cemetery, where Major Macfarlane, Deputy Director of Works, had assisted with the final arrangements and a ceremony had taken place as organised by the local branch of the British Legion.

General Crerar’s visit to cemeteries in Europe
Mention that photographs passed around of General Crerar’s visit to cemeteries in Europe.

Notice that a book of press cuttings had been started and would be passed around at each meeting from then onwards.

Jerusalem War Cemetery
Refers to letter from the Foreign Relations Department of the British Red Cross Society, reporting that their delegate had recently visited Jerusalem War Cemetery.

Report of the 353rd meeting of the Finance Committee.
Item 13 contained recommendations for revision of certain salaries arising out of the re-organisation of staff in the Head Office United Kingdom in accordance with the report of Sir Arthur Longmore’s Special Committee adopted in April last.

Remembrance Day
Mentions the Chairman’s gratitude to Sir Arthur Longmore and Mr Sillar for their assistance in helping him prepare for his Remembrance Day broadcast talk.

Vice-Chairman's Visit to North Africa
Discussion of report on Vice-Chairman’s visit to North Africa, including comments on cemeteries such as Halfaya Sollum, Acroma and Mareth Guards Cemetery.

Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson’s visit to Italy from 5 to 22 October 1948
Discussion of report of Sir Robert’s visit when he visited twenty-six of the forty-two cemeteries of the 1939-1945 war in Italy. Includes comments on challenges of local conditions and soil in cemeteries such as Anzio (Beach Head) Cemetery and Salerno Cemetery. Also comments on progress of construction and horticulture in Italy.

Memorials to the Missing of the 1939-1945 War
Discussion regarding proposals for memorials to the missing for the 1939-1945 War, with recommendation for memorials to be constructed: at or near Dunkirk; Bayeux British Cemetery; Adjacent to Groesbeek (Nijmegen) Canadian Cemetery; Cassino British Military Cemetery; Trondheim (Stavno) Cemetery.

Permanent marking of graves in India, Pakistan, and South-East Asia Districts
Discussion regarding permanent marking of graves in India and Pakistan and South East Asia Districts, particularly about suitability and material of plaque and pedestal to be erected over graves in the districts with comments from Colin St. Clair Oakes, Principal Architect for India and South-East Asia.

Report of the 21st meeting of the Commission’s South African Agency
Mention that the Chairman said members would have read the Report of the Meeting, with much interest; it was evident that the work of the Agency was, receiving wide support in, the Union, particularly from the Public Works Department and the Local Authorities.

Superannuation scheme of the Commission
Resolution for the assignment of policies relating to the Superannuation scheme.

Regional Office - Beeston
Authority given to Flight Lieutenant J.F. Flynn, Inspector Midland Region, to sign on the Commission’s behalf an agreement with the Beeston and Stapleford Urban District Council for the occupation of premises at the Public Offices, Beeston, as the Commission's Regional Office.

Items of interest
Construction of Tobruk and Benghazi cemeteries, with action for Lieutenant Colonel G.H. Peek, O.B.E., Chief Administration Officer and Deputy Director of Works, Western Mediterranean District, be authorised to sign on Commission’s behalf with Mr. J. Michaelides and his partners.

Urgent recommendation from General Sir Neil Ritchie, G.O.C. in C. Far East Land Forces that Sandakan War Cemetery should be moved and the graves therein transferred to Labuan War Cemetery.

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)
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)
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)
G.F. Seel, Esq. C.M.G. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
P.H. Cooper, Esq. (Representing the Minister of 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.
Harold Neal, Esq., M.P.
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)
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Bateman (Director of Works)
Brigadier J.K. McNair, C.B.E. (Foreign Relations Officer)
O.D. Holt, Esq. (Principal, Secretarial Branch)
Major W.K.K. Kinnear (Chief Records Officer)
Major F. Tyrrell, M.B.E. (Chief Enquiries Officer)
T.F.G. Carless, Esq., M.C.
P.R. Trevelyan-Thomson, Esq.
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, O.B.E. (Chief Administrative Officer, United Kingdom District)
Date1/11/1948 - 30/11/1948
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