|Content Note||Topics discussed:|
Approval and signature of the 383rd Commission meeting minutes
a) Visit of Her Majesty the Queen to Oslo Western Cemetery, Norway
b) Appointment of Sir John Crocker as a Trustee of the Commission’s Superannuation Scheme
c) Unveiling of the Halifax Memorial
d) Tour of Cemeteries in France, Belgium and Holland by Members of the Canadian Parliament.
Report of the 428th Finance Committee meeting
Item 1 referred to the recess authority and led to a discussion about the alteration of the design for Coriano Ridge War Cemetery.
Item 2 said that Her Majesty the Queen had approved the ceremonial for the ceremony at Tower Hill on November 5th.
Item 3 dealt with the water supply at Massicault War Cemetery, Tunisia.
Item 4 referred to Mogadishu Cemetery in Italian Somaliland.
Item 11 referred to a proposal to remove the Cross of Sacrifice and replace it with a small feature containing a register box in Edinburgh (Comely Bank) Cemetery.
Item 21 concerned the accounts of the Superannuation Scheme for the year ended 31 March 1955.
War Graves Agreements
Point of order regarding the amendment of paper submitted and mention of progress of the signing of the Commonwealth-Japanese War Graves Agreement and reduction of members on the Commonwealth-German Joint Committee.
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee
Resolution outlining the organisation and terms of reference of the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee.
Membership of the Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee
Refers to the resignation of Their Excellencies Sir Christopher Warner and Dr Botha, as well as the appointment of Their Excellencies Mr. George Peter Labouchere, C.M.G. and Mr Krishna Krishna Chettur as Honorary Members.
Membership of the Commonwealth-Danish Joint Committee
Refers to the resignation of Mr F.M. Tovell and the appointment of Mr Ormond Wilson Dier as an Official Member.
Examination of sketch design by Mr J.A. Stewart, A.R.I.B.A., for the reorganised layout and cremation memorial at Basra War Cemetery, Iraq, and resolution for the removal of graves from Shaiba War Cemetery, Iraq.
Sarona Indian Cemetery
Resolution regarding the approval of the land forming Sarona Indian Cemetery, Israel.
Mention of progress report for the quarter ended 30 June 1955, with comment from Sir Patrick Spens he had been much struck during a recent visit to the Commission's office in Arras by the number of people who had called to make enquiries about the location of cemeteries or graves.
Report regarding ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the "Call of General 00 Gaulle in 1940", on 18 June 1955 when the local French branch of the Association des Francais Libres placed wreaths on the graves of British officers and men in the cemetery at Jibuti; mention of report from the British Consul in Bucharest that at the request of the Roumunian Government, the Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, the Rumanian Prime Minister and H.M. Charge d'Affaires had laid wreaths at the British War Cemetery at Snagov on 22 August 1955.
Bronze Plaque in Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard, Norfolk
Mention that the bronze plaque commemorating King George VI had been placed in Great Bircham (St. Mary) Churchyard, Norfolk.
Appointment of Sir Arthur Rucker as Member of the Commission
Mention that Sir Arthur Rucker had consented to fill the vacancy left by the death of Sir Richard Hopkins.
Certificates for Long And Meritorious Service
Mention of award of certificates for long and meritorious service in 1953 to 14 gardeners; 4 in Italy, 3 in Greece, 3 in Gallipoli, 3 in Egypt and 1 in Iraq, including Mustafa Ali in Egypt for 26 years’ service; as well as Ahmet Celik for 25 years’ service and Emin Unal and Muharrem Saim for 30 years’ service in Turkey.
Visit to Canada by the Vice-Chairman
Mention that the Chairman would be leaving for Canada the following day on a short visit to the Canadian Agency, and he hoped to see the Halifax Memorial and the site for the Air Forces Memorial in Ottawa.
Visit to Dunkirk by the Vice-Chairman
Mention by the Vice-Chairman Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.B., D.S.O. that he had recently visited war cemeteries in Dunkirk and in the surrounding area, with comment that Mr Hepworth, Sir Edward Maufe and he had examined the question of the Memorial window in the shelter and had decided that instead of stained glass, it should be filled with plain opaque glass engraved with emblems depicting the outstanding features of the Dunkirk evacuation and with the simple words "Dunkirk 1940".
Tour of War Cemeteries in Italy by Sir Patrick Spens
Brief account of tour of war cemeteries in Italy by Sir Patrick Spens, including mention of water shortage at Salerno, slow progress of construction at Cassino and the plot of 1914-1918 graves at Worms Cemetery in Germany.
Aden War Cemetery
Comment from Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson that he had recently received photographs from his son, who was stationed at Aden, of the war graves in the cemetery there. These had revealed the cemetery to be in a very unsatisfactory state. Response from the Director of Works Major-General J.F.D. Steedman, C.B.E., M.C that it was a military cemetery, now run by the R.A.F. Works Department and the R.A.F. Padre and the Commission was responsible for the graves themselves only.
Middle Eastern tour by the Director of Works
Account of tour of Middle Eastern District by the Director of Works Major-General J.F.D. Steedman, C.B.E., M.C., with comments about the condition of cemeteries and the progress of the Commission’s work in Kenya, Abyssinia, British and Italian Somaliland, Aden, Eritrea, the Sudan (only Khartoum) and Egypt.
The South Africa Legion Pilgrimages to War Cemeteries and Memorials
Mention of pilgrimage of the South Africa Legion to war cemeteries and memorials, including El Alamein War Cemetery and Memorial, Egypt.
Pilgrimage to Arnhem
Description of arrangements for the annual pilgrimage to Arnhem (Oosterbeek) War Cemetery, the Netherlands, including the broadcast of the service by the BBC.
Mention by the Secretary Brigadier F. Higginson, C.B., C.M.G. that the Commission’s film was shown at the request of the British Legion Women's Section at a meeting of the Cambridge and Isle of Ely Group at Linton Village College Hall on 20 July 1955, and at Kirkwall, Orkney, on 26 August 1955.
Date of next meeting scheduled for Thursday 20 October 1955 at 11:00am.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, G.C.B., D.S.O. (Vice-Chairman in the Chair)
Frederic Hudd, Esq., C.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
L.R. McIntyre, Esq., O.B.E. (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
J.G. Hale, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
K.R. Narayanan, Esq. (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Captain M. Jan (Representing the High Commissioner for Pakistan)
A.J. Isaac, Esq. (Representing the Minister of Works)
D.K. Malone, Esq., M.B.E. (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
General Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., D.L.
Admiral Sir Martin Dunbar-Nasmith, V.C., K.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.L.
General Sir John Crocker, G.C.B., K.B.E., D.S.O., M.C.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Patrick Spens, K.B.E.,Q.C.,M.P.
Sir Edward Maufe, Esq., R.A. (Chief Architect and Artistic Adviser)
F. Higginson, Esq., C.B., C.M.G.
Also in attendance:
F.C. Sillar, Esq., C.B.E. (Principal Assistant Secretary)
W.J. Chalmers, Esq., C.B.E. (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)