Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/400
File NumberCM 3/1/68
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.400 - February 1957


DescriptionMinutes of the 400th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Announcement concerning Brigadier Shaukat Ali Shah’s return to Pakistan after representing the High Commissioner for Pakistan for four years at Meetings of the Commission and in Meetings of the Finance Committee.

Matters arising from the 399th Meeting, including publication of the 37th Annual Report and mention of notices in the newspapers reporting that the Commission’s work was nearing completion regarding construction of sites and it would soon concentrate on the maintenance and horticultural treatment of completed cemeteries and memorials; update on the situation in the Middle East, with specific reference to the expulsion of three members of local staff from Egypt and their return to the UK and surveillance of remaining staff by Egyptian authorities, report on the condition of Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, including reference to damage to over 200 headstones and theft of gardeners tools and equipment, mention of the continued loyalty and work of locally engaged Egyptian gardeners, and note that two members of the Commission’s staff in Israel had been able to visit cemeteries around Gaza and noted that no structural damage had occurred to the sites; note that the decision had been taken not to hold an official unveiling ceremony for the Northern Territory Memorial at Adelaide River due to the sites remoteness; preparations for the unveiling of the Singapore Memorial, with mention that the BBC would broadcast a recording of the unveiling on the BBC Home Service; return of Sir Patrick Spens following visit to war cemeteries in Uganda and Kenya.

Unveiling of the Dunkirk Memorial: Scheduled unveiling of the Dunkirk Memorial on 29th June 1957, which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was to unveil and the Duke of Gloucester, President of the Commission, was to attend

Report on the 444th Meeting of the Finance Committee: with specific reference to the final stage of major maintenance of the Menin Gate Memorial, including description of two new preparations for preserving the stone and brickwork; concentration of isolated Italian war graves in the United Kingdom into Brookwood Military Cemetery, which was to be carried out by the London Necropolis Company; reference to Brigadier Collingwood becoming Regional Director of the new Southern Region; provision of additional bronze plaque memorials in Burma and Thailand, with particular mention of the graves that had just been recovered and brought in to Taukkyan War Cemetery by the Army Graves Unit; provision of the Memorial Volumes and the bronze and glass cases to contain them at Bombay and Chittagong, commemorating sailors of the Royal Indian Navy and Indian Merchant Navy; and revision of Temporary Currency and Local Allowances for staff in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany

Membership of the Commonwealth-French Joint Committee: Appointment of Mr Jean Desy, QC, as an honorary member of the Commonwealth-French Joint Committee;

Premises at Liverpool: Surrender of Lease: Surrender of the lease of the United Kingdom District’s Northern Area former offices at 5, Chapel Street, Liverpool

Progress Report for the Quarter Ended 31st December 1956: Update on the progress of construction of Second World War cemeteries, stating that 90% of construction was now complete, and that approximately one hundred further cemeteries remained to be constructed, the majority of which were located in the Southern Region. Note that almost all permanent headstones were now erected, with only sizeable numbers outstanding in Israel, India, Pakistan, Burma, Java and Sumatra

Maintenance of War Graves in the United Kingdom: 57th Quarterly Report, with reference to the treatment of the stonework of the Merchant Navy Memorial on Tower Hill, effect of silicone treatment at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and renovation of Haslar Naval Cemetery;

Photographs and Film: Paper on this aspect of the Commission’s work, one of a series, for the information of the Commission.

General notes, including the unveiling of the Memorial in Phoenix Cemetery, Mauritius, and discolouration of the Naval Memorial at Halifax which was due to the failure to waterproof and provide drainage for the wall bearing the inscription.


Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore, GCB, DSO (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
E. J. B. Foxcroft (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
J. H. Hale (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
F. W. Thomashoff ((Representing the High Commissioner for South Africa)
Brigadier M. G. Dewan (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Brigadier Shaukat Ali Shah (Representing the High Commissioner for Pakistan)
S. H. Field (Representing the Secretary of State for the Colonies)
A. J. Isaac (Representing the Minister of Works)
George Sylvester, MP
General Sir John Crocker, GCB, KBE, DSO, MC
Captain Sir Harold Campbell, GCVO, DSO, RN
Sir Arthur Rucker, KCMG, CB, CBE
Admiral Sir John Edelsten, GCB, GCVO, CBE
Air Marshal Sir Charles Guest, KBE, CB


W.J. Chalmers, CBE


Sir William Halcrow, M.Inst. CE (Consulting Engineer)
Sir Edward Maufe, RA, FRIBA (Chief Architect & Artistic Adviser)

Also in attendance:
W. Wynne Mason, MC (Assistant Secretary (External Relations))
A. K. Pallot (Assistant Secretary (Finance and Establishments))
Major-General J. F. D. Stedman, CBE, MC (Director of Works)
Colonel E. A. Griffin, OBE, ED (Chief Administrative Officer, United Kingdom District)
R. I. Mill
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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