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Report on the hostilities in the Middle East and announcement that Commission officials in Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo and Tel Aviv were authorised to evacuate with their families, with specific reference to the departures of Mr Quinn, Local Supervisor in Iraq, Mr Pritchard, Horticultural Superintendent, and Mr Jones, Superintendent of Works, and decision by Mr Cadigan, Area Superintendent, to remain in Cairo.
Visits to War Cemeteries by the Royal Family
Account of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s private visit to Bayeux War Cemetery.
Message of thanks from Her Royal Highness Princess Marina following her attendance at the service in Westminster Abbey marking the Commission’s 50th Anniversary.
The Chairman welcomed Mr Charles Ritchie, who had succeeded Mr Lionel Chevrier as High Commission for Canada, and Dr H. G. Luttig, who had succeeded Dr Carel de Wet as Ambassador of South Africa in London.
Queen’s Birthday Honours
Appointment of Mr Wynne Mason, Director of External Relations and Records, as a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG); appointment of Mr Gibson, Chief Accountant at Head Office, as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire; appointment of Mr R. G. Wall, Regional Horticultural Officer, Northern Region, as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Matters arising from the 486th and 487th Meetings of the Commission
Message from Mr Jerrom, representative of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, thanking the Commission for the services carried out in Colonial Territories; report on the meeting between the Canadian, Australian, Indian and Pakistani Ambassadors in Cairo and representative of the British Interests Section to discuss the proposed removal of Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery and Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery; progress report on construction at Ambon War Cemetery; account of visit by the Chairman, Regional Directors and Secretaries of Agencies to the Runnymede Memorial and Brookwood Military Cemetery to view the new mechanical horticultural equipment; account of the ceremonies held at the Vimy Memorial and the Ottawa National War Memorial to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and the joint British, Canadian and French ceremonies at Dieppe; report on arrangements to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Commission, with messages from The Queen, Participating Governments, Heads of Churches, Ex-Service Organisations and Foreign War Graves Organisations.
Report of the 529th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Recommended appointment of two members to the Permanent Maintenance Staff; account of visit by the Director of Finance and Establishments and the Director of Works to the Thiepval Memorial to investigate the use of low porosity bricks in the repair of external surfaces; details of the replacement of deteriorated headstone beams and modifications to the sunken gardens at Coriano Ridge War Cemetery; expenditure on structural maintenance at Karachi War Cemetery, including the construction of a new Caretaker’s Quarters and Store, the installation of a modern irrigation system and replacement of 51 name panels; expenditure on the provision of a modern reticulation system in Rangoon War Cemetery; recommended introduction of revised rates of pay for United Kingdom based staff in the Professional and Technical Work grades; introduction of revised rates of pay for staff of the Anzac Agency; expenditure on structural maintenance of the Sai Wan Memorial, which had been damaged during tropical storms; details of expenditure for the construction of the new Halifax Memorial and demolition of the existing memorial.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees
Appointment of Mr Thirmualraya Swaninathan, Indian Ambassador at Brussels, as Commonwealth Honorary Member of the Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee; appointment of Herr Ministerialrat Wilhelm Norres, Federal Ministry of Finance, Bonn, Herr Legationsrat Herbert Ruoff, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Herr Walter Hammersen, General Secretary, Volksbund Deutche Kriegsgraberfursorge, as German Official Members of the Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee; appointment of Mr Bahadur Singh, Indian Ambassador at Rome, as Commonwealth Honorary Member and Professor Carlo Vetere, Ministry of Health, as Italian Official Member and Mr R. M. Miller, New Zealand High Commission in London, as Commonwealth Official Member of the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee.
Approval of the classification of the 1,710 war graves enumerated in List No. 11 of war graves in the United Kingdom recommended for classification as “not within the Commission’s control”.
Unmaintainable Graves, United Kingdom: New Hythe (Holy Trinity) Churchyard, East Malling, Kent
Approval of the proposed commemoration of eight Commonwealth war burials in New Hythe (Holy Trinity) Churchyard on special memorial headstones, bearing suitable superscriptions, that were to be erected within the Second World War plot in Lenham Cemetery.
Coriano Ridge War Cemetery, Italy
Approval of the proposed modifications to Coriano Ridge War Cemetery, which included the retention of the sunken garden feature and reduction of brickwork to just above ground level.
Execution of Documents by the Commission or on its Behalf
Attempts to add an amendment to the Bill proposed by the Portsmouth Corporation to protect the Commission’s interests in cemeteries controlled by the Corporation.
War Graves Agreements - Note for the information of the Commission
Note regarding the completion of War Graves Agreements in foreign countries, with particular reference to newly independent countries, such as Tunisia and Algeria, and Poland.
Recount of Sir Charles Guest’s representation for the Commission at the Annual Act of Commemoration at the Runnymede Memorial; account of ceremonies held in the Regions on Anzac Day, VE Day and other anniversaries during April and May; report on General Sir John Anderson’s visit to Benghazi War Cemetery and Phaleron War Cemetery.
The death of Mr. Rood, former Chairman of the South African Agency, was reported; modifications to the design of Rome War Cemetery, which included the removal of two lateral paths; proposals to improve the appearance of Tripoli (Victoria) Naval Cemetery, which included the demolition of the compound wall, removal of pathways and kerbs in the cemetery and to provide an entrance threshold and re-site the Register Box; account of the Director-General’s inspection of war graves and memorials in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa; brief recount of the Vice-Chairman’s forthcoming visits to the Arras and Estaires Areas of the Northern Region and the South Western Area of the United Kingdom Region; report on the inauguration ceremony at Cannock Chase German Military Cemetery.
Admiral Sir Guy Grantham GCB CBE DSO (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
Colonel Alan Chambers DSO OBE (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr F. C. Boyle (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr R. M. Miller (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr D. S. Preller (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Major B. N. Fatya Murti (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Air Marshal Sir Charles Guest KBE CB
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Mr Verner Wylie
Colonel Sir Richard Glyn BART OBE TD DL MP
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Mr W. J. Chalmers CBE (Director-General)
Sir Edward Maufe RA FRIBA (Chief Architect and Artistic Adviser)
Also in attendance:
Mr W. Wynne Mason MC ((Assistant Secretary) Director of External Relations and Records)
Mr A. K. Pallot ((Assistant Secretary) Director of Finance and Establishments)
Brigadier K. F. Daniell CBE BA (Director of Works)
Mr H. L. Simmons LLB (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr W. F. W. Harding OBE BSc (Hort.) (Chief Horticultural Officer)
Mr A. E. V. Shephard