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The Chairman welcomed Sir George Taylor, who was retiring as the Commission’s Honorary Botanical Adviser, Professor Lord Holford, who had succeeded Sir Edward Maufe as the Commission’s Honorary Artistic Adviser, and Mr Ian Allan, who had succeeded Brigadier Brown as Secretary-General and Regional Director of the Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region.
The deaths of Dr Zakir Husain, President of India, The Right Honourable G. W. Reynolds, MP and Minister of Defence for Administration, and Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis, former Member of the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee, were reported.
Appointment of an MBE to Mr T. H. Wildy, Area Superintendent, East Africa Area; awarding of the BEM to Mr George MacRae, Horticultural Superintendent, United Kingdom Region.
Matters arising from the 496th Meeting of the Commission
Account of the Vice-Chairman’s tour to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Delhi; report that an Egyptian newspaper had published an article stating that the Governate of Alexandria was not proceeding with the proposed removal of Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery and Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery; report concerning the closure of the Southern Regional Headquarters and re-organisation of the Southern Region, and that an Office Development Permit was obtained at Maidenhead for the Commission’s new Head Office; report on the appointment of Mr Archibald Ian Allan as Secretary-General and Regional Director of the Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region, with details of Mr Allan’s prior experience; report on Sir George Taylor’s tour of Libya, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq, including an assessment of the horticultural conditions and problems encountered at these locations.
Report of the 537th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Remuneration of the Vice-Chairman of the Commission following the extension of his appointment; acceptance of a tenure for the supply of 5,000 Botticino headstones over a period of five years, which were to replace deteriorated Portland headstones; details of the Quinquennial Valuation of the Superannuation Fund; proposals for structural maintenance and modifications to the design of Ridge Wood Military Cemetery, which included the erection of a Stone of Remembrance, Cross of Sacrifice and entrance building; approval of the provision of a Cross of Sacrifice at Gander Cemetery.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees
Appointment of Sir John Beith, United Kingdom Ambassador at Brussels, as Commonwealth Honorary Member and Monsieur Raymond Costard, Directeur-General du Service des Affairs Nationales, Ministere de l’Interieur, as Belgian Official Member of the Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee; appointment of Mr Paul Beaulieu, Canadian Ambassador at Paris, and Mr Alan P. Renouf, Australian Ambassador at Paris, as Commonwealth Honorary Members and Monsieur Jean Brenas, Directeur-General des Collectivites Locales, Ministere de l’Interieur, as French Official Member of the Commonwealth-French Joint Committee; appointment of Signor Raimondo Manzini, Italian Ambassador at London, as Italian Honorary Member and Generale Aldo Beolchini, Commissioner-General, Italian War Graves Organisation, as Italian Official Member of the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee; appointment of Mr A. J. Pick, Canadian Ambassador at The Hague, and Mr S. M. Hassan, S.Pk., Pakistan Ambassador at The Hague, as Commonwealth Honorary Members and Vice-Admiral Jonkheer W. C. M. de Jonge can Ellemeet, Flag Officer, Personnel, Ministry of Defence, as Netherlands Official Member of the Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee; appointment of Mr G. S. Littlejohn Cook, Counsellor and Consul-General, United Kingdom Embassy, Bangkok, as Commonwealth Member of the Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee.
War Graves in China
Approval of the proposed commemoration of 72 Commonwealth war burials in China at Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery.
Gander Cemetery, Newfoundland
Approval of the proposed erection of a Type A.1 Cross of Sacrifice at Gander Cemetery.
Graves not within the Commission’s Control – United Kingdom
Approval of the classification of the 1,371 war graves enumerated in List No. 19 of war graves in the United Kingdom recommended for classification as “not within the Commission’s control”.
Unmaintainable Graves, United Kingdom: Braiseworth (St. Mary) Old Churchyard, Suffolk
Approval of the proposed commemoration of one Commonwealth war burial in Braiseworth (St. Mary) Old Churchyard on a special memorial headstone, bearing a suitable superscription, to be erected within the First World War plot in Ipswich Cemetery.
Unmaintainable Graves, United Kingdom: Twelve Cemeteries in County Durham
Approval of the proposed commemoration of 101 Commonwealth war burials, including eight in Brandon (St. John) Church Cemetery, two in Crook Roman Catholic Cemetery, nine in Dunston (Christ Church) Churchyard, eight in Durham (St. Margaret) Churchyard Extension, five in New Bottle (St. Matthew) Churchyard, fourteen in New Seaham (Christ Church) Churchyard, eleven in Shildon (St. John) Churchyard, thirteen in Usworth (Holy Trinity) Churchyard, eleven in West Pelton (St. Paul) Churchyard, seventeen in Winlaton (St. Patrick Churchyard, two in Wolviston (St. Peter) Churchyard, one in Stockton-on-Tees (Oxbridge Lane) Cemetery, on a new Screen Wall Memorial that was to be erected at Gateshead (Saltwell) Cemetery.
Report on the 4th Meeting of the Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee (CM 13/19/10): Discussions concerning the protection of the surroundings and signposting of Commission cemeteries in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Account of the Annual Act of Remembrance at the Runnymede Memorial, which had been attended by Sir Walter Cheshire.
Announcement concerning the forthcoming retirement of Commission Member Sir Arthur Rucker, and his proposed replacement by Sir John Winnifrith, Director-General of the National Trust; report on the events marking the 50th anniversary of the German War Graves Organisation; proposal to use the granite from London Bridge, which was being dismantled, for the Cross of Sacrifice that was to be erected at Gander Cemetery; account of the Vice-Chairman’s tour in the United Kingdom with discussion about the maintenance of war graves by local government authorities; recount of Sir Robert Black’s private visit to Yokohama War Cemetery.
Admiral Sir Guy Grantham GCB CBE DSO (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
Mr F. C. Boyle (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr R. M. Miller (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Major B. N. Satya Murti (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr J. W. T. Pritchard (Representing the Minister of Public Building and Works)
Sir Arthur Rucker KCMG CB CBE
General Sir John Anderson GBE KCB DSO
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Colonel Sir Richard Glyn BART OBE TD DL MP
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Air Chief Marshal Sir Walter Cheshire GBE KCB
Mr W. J. Chalmers CBE (Director-General)
Professor Lord Holford ARA FRIBA MTPI DLitt (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
Sir George Taylor DSc FRS FRSE FLS VMH (Honorary Botanical 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. I. Allan (Secretary-General and Regional Director, Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region)
Mr J. P. P. Smith