Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/363
File NumberCM 3/1/31
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.363 - October 1953


DescriptionMinutes of the 363rd Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics discussed:

Approval and signing of the minutes for the 362nd Commission meeting and matters arising from the minutes
A) Unveiling of the Runnymede Memorial.
B) Unveiling of the Lowestoft Memorial with reference to letter of appreciation received from the Mayor Jeannie M. Mann.
C) Dunkirk Memorial to the Missing.
D) Signature of the Commonwealth-Italian War Graves Agreement.

Remembrance Day
Mentions that a service would be held on 7 November 1953 at Westminster Abbey to commemorate Remembrance Day, when two Commission gardeners would lay a wreath; also mentions the Chairman’s talk broadcast on the BBC Home and Overseas Programme on 8 November at 10.25 a.m.

Visit by Mr George Sylvester, Esq., M.P. to cemeteries in the North-West European District
Mentions Mr Sylvester presented the British Empire Medal respectively to Travelling Superintendent Gardener R. Symons at the Velp Office and Head Gardener G. Oxenbridge at the Brussels Office.

Visit by Sir Patrick Spens, K.B.E., Q.C., M.P. to cemeteries in France
Mentions Sir Patrick presented the British Empire Medal to Head Gardener C.F. Witt and Travelling Superintendent Gardener L. Jones; also comments on headstones at Rouen becoming tarnished by smoke and gas from the neighbouring industrial works and the generally good condition of cemeteries in Normandy.

Visit by Sir William Halcrow, M. Inst. C.E., Consulting Engineer, to Italy
Refers to Sir William’s visit to Rome War Cemetery, Anzio Beach Head Cemetery, Bolsena War Cemetery and Orvieto War Cemetery.

Award of Honorary O.B.E. to Monsieur Delavallade
Mentions that Her Majesty The Queen had awarded an Honorary O.B.E. to Monsieur Delavallade, an official or the French Ministry or Veterans' Affairs who had done so much to facilitate the Commission's work in France since the end of the war.

Tour of war cemeteries in France, Holland and Belgium by the Hon. Hughes Lapointe, M.P.
Summary of tour of war cemeteries in France, Holland and Belgium by the Hon. Hughes Lapointe, M.P. Canadian Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Chairman for the Commission's Canadian Agency. Mentions visiting cemeteries at Holten, Bergen-op-Zoom, Groesbeek, Adegem, Canadian memorials at Sanctuary Wood and St. Julien, Vimy Memorial, La Chaudiere, Calais and Dieppe.

Shooting of nightwatchman at Moascar War Cemetery
Refers to an incident when one of the Commission's night watchmen at Moascar War Cemetery, Ibrahim Hassan Aly, had been accidentally killed by a member of a British military patrol.

Visit by F.C. Sillar, Esq., C.M.G., Principal Assistant Secretary, to Belgium and Holland
Mentions meeting with the General Secretary of the British Legion and a screening of the Commission’s film in Brussels to a group of Commonwealth officials.

Article about the Commission’s work in the journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects
Refers to an article about the Commission’s work in the journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (R.I.B.A.) and notes there would be a further article in the next issue.

Report of the 407th Finance Committee meeting
Item 1 referred to the accounts of the Commission for the year ended 31 March 1953, which had been submitted to the Committee the day before.
Item 2 referred to the Air Forces Memorial at Valetta, on which progress was now being made.
Item 4 dealt with the purchase of premises for an Area Office at Ypres.
Item 23 said that the Commission had found great difficulty for several years in dealing with the graves in Poland.
Item 26 said that the design for El Alamein Memorial provided for the placing of the arms of the Commonwealth countries on the wall of the building facing into the cemetery.
Item 27 dealt with bronze statuary groups at Plymouth, pictures of which the Commission had already seen.
Item 28 recommended expenditure on the stone sculptures by Mr Charles Wheeler for the Tower Hill Memorial.

Publication of Cemetery and Memorial Registers
Refers to the introduction to the Runnymede Memorial register and copy of the register for Rome War Cemetery produced.

Examination of sketch design by Philip D. Hepworth, Principal Architect for North-Western Europe, for Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany, with suggestions regarding the omission of the two shelters adjacent to the Stone of Remembrance and of the pool and to the roofing of two of the seats at the back of the cemetery.

Graves of the South African War
Discussion regarding the maintenance of the graves of the South African War following suggestion presented from the Union Government the care of the graves should be added to the responsibilities of the Commission's South African Agency at the joint expense of the Union and the United Kingdom Governments.

Ipswich Crematorium, Suffolk
Resolution for Deed of Grant from the Corporation of Ipswich relating to the right to erect end maintain a Memorial Panel in an agreed position within the Crematorium at Ipswich, Suffolk.

Royal Naval Patrol Memorial – Site for register box
Resolution for Deed of Grant from the Corporation of Lowestoft of the right to erect and maintain a Register Box on a site in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft, adjacent to the site of the Royal Naval Patrol Memorial.

Purchase of premises for Area Office, Ypres
Resolution for the purchase of premises at No. 21 rue Paul Emile Janson, Ixelles, Brussels; Belgium for the Commission’s Area Office, Ypres, Belgium.

Superannuation scheme – Re-employment of retired members
Resolution regarding the Imperial War Graves Commission Superannuation scheme – Re-employment of retired members.

Superannuation scheme- Transfers to and from the Scheme
Resolution regarding the Imperial War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme-Transfers to and from the Scheme.

44th Quarterly Report for the maintenance of war graves in the United Kingdom
Mentions that the Commission took note of the paper submitted.

General notes
Refers to a question about advising relatives visiting war graves overseas.

Question addressed to Colonel E.A. Griffin, O.B.E., Chief Administrative Officer for Eastern District, regarding the Commission’s work in Egypt in light of the current political situation.

Date of next meeting scheduled for Thursday 19 November 1953 at 11:00am.

Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B., D.L. (Vice-Chairman in the Chair)
Frederic Hudd, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
W. Wynne Mason, Esq., M.C. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
W.B. England, Esq., M.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Captain K.A. Rashid (Representing the High Commissioner for Pakistan)
D.K. Malone, Esq. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
A.B. Moore, 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.
Sir Patrick Spens, K.B.E., Q.C., M.P.
George Sylvester, Esq., M.P.

Sir William Halcrow, M. Inst. C.E. (Consulting Engineer)
Edward Maufe, Esq., R.A., F.R.I.B.A. (Chief Architect and Artistic Adviser)

F. Higginson, Esq., C.M.G.

Also in attendance:
F.C. Sillar, Esq., C.B.E. (Principal Assistant Secretary)
W.J. Chalmers, Esq. (Assistant Secretary)
Major-General J.F.D. Steedman, C.B.E., M.C. (Director of Works)
H.L. Simmons, Esq. LL.B (Legal Adviser)
O.D. Holt, Esq. (Principal, Secretarial Branch)
Colonel E.A. Griffin, O.B.E. (Chief Administrative Officer, Eastern District)
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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