Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/313
File NumberWG 1831/255
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.313 - March 1949


DescriptionMinutes of the 313th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics discussed:

Apologies for absence
Mr Duffy and Sir William Halcrow

Welcome to Mr Pakendorf representing the High Commissioner for South Africa.

Vice-Chairman’s visit to Egypt and Sicily
Mention that the Vice-Chairman was intending to visit sites in Egypt and Sicily; also mention that the Vice-Chairman unable to be present at the meeting due to an altercation in the starting time for the plane he was travelling.

Sandakan War Cemetery
Mention that a full report had been received from the Secretary-General of Anzac Agency and had been considered by Sir Arthur Longmore’s committee, which had made recommendations for the removal of the site to the Finance Committee. The matter was covered in the Finance Committee’s report.

29th Annual Report of the Commission
Advance copies of the 29th Annual Report distributed among members.

Headstones for unidentified Graves
Sample headstone produced for members’ inspection in relation to selecting headstones for unidentified graves of the 1939-1945 war.

Agreement between the United Kingdom and Czechoslovakia on the mutual upkeep of war graves.
Mention that that the Commission had now been informed by the Foreign Office that the Agreement had received the approval of the Czechoslovak Council Ministers and had been signed in Prague by the British Ambassador on behalf of the United Kingdom Government on 3 March 1949.

Erection of headstones in Scotland
Mention that four cemeteries in Scotland had been selected for early treatment. Dunfermline, Corstorphine Hill, Heddington and Dyce Old Churchyard. In the first three the headstones would be or Portland stone and in Dunfermline and at Haddington Crosses of Sacrifice in Portland stone would be erected. In Dyce Old Churchyard, the work would be carried out in granite.

Canadian Representative
Appointment of new Canadian High Commissioner L.D. Wilgress as well as mentioned that Mr Jordan, High Commissioner for New Zealand, had been undergoing treatment in hospital.

Representation of Newfoundland on the Commission
Mention this was subject to change due to the impending union between Canada and Newfoundland.

Appointment of General Sir James Steele, K.C.B., K.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., Adjutant-General to the Forces
Mention of appointment of General Sir James Steele as a Member of the Commission.

Visit to sites in Jersey by General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson.
Mention that the Chairman had visited 9 nine sites including some with German graves. The standard of maintenance was very variable, some cemeteries being indifferently maintained, while in others maintenance was excellent.

Graves in Norway
Mention that Deputy Director of Works, Mr. Macfarlane, was on a visit to Norway to arrange for starting the constructional work and erection of headstones on war graves in that country.

Secretary’s tour of East Africa
Mention of the Secretary Brigadier Higginson was scheduled to commence an inspection tour of East Africa on 4 April 1949 accompanied by Mr H.J. Brown, Senior Deputy Director of Works, and Colonel Griffin, Chief Administrative Officer, Eastern Region.

Report of the 357th Finance Committee Meeting
Item 2 said that from the figures submitted the Commission might expect their expenditure for the year ending 31 March 1949 to be very close to the Estimate.
Item 11 concerned contracts were placed for the first headstone beams to be laid in Holland, particularly in Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery where there would be an important ceremony expected to take place in May.
Item 21 stated the Commission would observe that a Contract being let for the constructional work at Minturno in Italy.
Item 23 indicated the Anzac Agency anticipated carrying out the constructional work in their area at an average rate of £15 per grave instead of £16.10. Od. originally estimated.
Item 24 referred to the removal of graves from Sandakan to Labuan.

Air Forces Memorial
Reference to discussions about the new site for the Air Forces Memorial to be erected at Runnymede.

Commemoration of members of the African Pioneer Corps and other service personnel of the High Commission Territories - Resolution that:
(1) the maintainable graves of members of the African Pioneer Corps and other service personnel of the High Commission Territories be marked by Commission headstones in the normal way;
(2) That those who fell in theatres of war and whose graves are unknown be commemorated by numbers only on the appropriate Commission memorial, a brief statement being added to the effect that the names are engraved on a specified memorial in the home territory;
(3) That a contribution in respect of those whose graves are unidentified or unmaintainable be offered to each of the three High Commission Territories towards the cost or erecting an appropriate memorial locally.

Examination of sketch design for cemetery construction by Philip D. Hepworth, Principal Architect for North-Western Europe, for Secqueville-en-Bessin British Cemetery, France.

Examination of sketch designs for cemetery construction submitted by the Anzac Agency for Cairns War Cemetery, Queensland, and Sandgate War Service Plot, New South Wales.

New office premises near Velp, Arnhem, Holland
Refers to resolution for the purchase of new Commission office premises near Velp, Arnhem, Holland at a location more central and satisfactory for the staff.

Service plot at Bassingbourn and Kneesworth Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Resolution for the conveyance of land to the Commission in order to complete the Service Plot at Bassingbourn and Kneesworth Cemetery, Cambridgeshire.

Superannuation scheme – assignment of policy to Wilfred Charles Legg, Fitter.

Date of next meeting scheduled for Thursday 21 April 1949 at 11:00am.

General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. (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)
K.E. Pakendorf, 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)
C.C. Burdge, Esq. (Representing the Minister of Works)
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.
Lieut.-Colonel Sir Herbert Ellissen, C.B.E.

Edward Maufe, Esq., R.A. (Chief Architect and Artistic Adviser)

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)
O.D. Holt, Esq. (Principal, Secretarial Branch)
Major W.K.K. Kinnear (Chief Records Officer)
M.D. Fyfe, Esq.
Lieut.-Colonel R.W. Murphy, O.B.E. (Chief Administrative Officer, United Kingdom District)
Date25/2/1949 - 11/5/1949
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.
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