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Welcome and acknowledgement of the presence of His Royal Highness as President.
Mr A E McNiven
Announcement that in the New Year Honours List Her Majesty the Queen had appointed Mr A.E. McNiven, Senior Superintendent of Works, France Area, to be a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
His Excellency Mr John Armstrong
Note that the Vice Chairman and the Secretary had visited the new Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr John Armstrong as a Member of the Commission.
His Excellency Mr T H McCombs
Note that His Excellency Mr T H McCombs had been appointed High Commissioner for New Zealand in London and a Member of the Commission.
Mr Merwyn Norrish
The Vice-Chairman thanked Mr Merwyn Norrish who had been acting High Commissioner for New Zealand since 1972 for his valuable help and congratulated him on his appointment as Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Wellington.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 511th Meeting of the Commission
Update on Pakistan's membership of the Commission
Update on the proposed Turkish Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula
Update on extending the Vice-Chairman's appointment to the Commission
Report from Mr Pallot on the effect of the further movement in the value of the pound on Estimates for annual expenditure 1973/74
Update on the Liverpool Memorial
Update on Venue of future meetings of the Commission and Finance Committee.
Vice Chairman of the Commission
Announcement of the appointment of General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC as Vice Chairman of the Commission commencing 1 April 1974
Minutes of the 553rd Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 1 dealt with the Secretary and Director-General's powers to make appointments, to authorise expenditure and to write off.
Item 3 recommended the approval of the reorganisation of Head Office and United Kingdom Regional Headquarters.
Item 12 dealt with a report on Thiepval Memorial.
Membership of the Finance Committee
Resolution that the High Commissioner for Australia be appointed a Member of the Finance Committee for the period of three years from 1 April 1973, vice
the High Commissioner for New Zealand.
Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region (CM 78 and CM 210/1/1/LC)
Approval of the appointment of the person holding the office in Australia of Special Minister of State as the Anzac Agency for the Pacific Region of the Commission.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees
Refers to appointment of members to the Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees, including change to the Belgian Joint Committee and the nomination of Mrs van Anrooy-de Kempenaer to the Netherlands Committee
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) - Amendments to the Rules (ES 42/17)
Announcement of Amendment to the rules of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) so that where a Member has given written notice to the Commission in that behalf which has not been subsequently withdrawn there shall in the event of the death of that member be paid from the Superannuation Fund to his widow or her widower any single payment gratuity or any deficiency payment payable in accordance with the Scheme upon such death, in lieu of payment thereof to the Legal Personal Representatives of that Member.
Execution of Documents (CM 210/4/1/LC)
Confirmation and approval of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial nos. Part 1, 465, 467, 470 and 472 and Part 11 85 referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor.
Reports from Regions, Areas and Agencies: Quarter Ended 31 December 1972
Including a note that in the report from the Eastern Mediterranean Area a Greek Army Unit in Crete had discovered the remains of 3 New Zealand soldiers, which had been handed over to the Commission and buried at Suda Bay War Cemetery, and that the remains of an RAF trainee pilot had been found in the bush in Canada.
Including a note that Princess Anne had been very interested in what she had seen at the Asmara War Cemetery in Ethiopia, and that when the President had visited Gibraltar, he had found the standard of care and maintenance of the war graves there was good.
Report from Lord Carrington on his visit to the cemetery in Singapore.
Report from the Secretary of a very brave act reported to the Commission by the Police, and carried out by Major Edwin Gibson, External Relations Officer and a member of Head Office staff who had saved a young woman's life when she had fallen in the path of an oncoming train at Reading Station.
Including acknowledgement and thanks to Colonel Black on his retirement for the work he had done for the Commission during the past 3 1/2 years where he had represented his High Commissioner at the Commission Meetings and those of the Finance Committee.
Note that the date of the next meeting would be Thursday 21st June, to be held at the Head Office in Maidenhead.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent GCMG GCVO (President of the Commission), in the Chair
The Right Honourable Lord Carrington KCMG MC (Chairman of the Commission)
Air Chief Marshall Sir Walter Cheshire GBE KCB (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
Mr J.W.T. Pritchard (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
His Excellency Mr J.H. Warren (High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr G.N. Upton (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr Merwyn Norrish (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
His Excellency Dr The Honourable Carel De Wet (Ambassador of South Africa)
Major-General Amreek Singh (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSC MC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Mr G.D. Wallace MP
Mr E.L. Gardner QC MP
Mr Verner Wylie
Mr W.J. Chalmers CBE (Director-General)
Professor Lord Holford RA FRIBA MTPI DLitt (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
Sir George Taylor DSc LLD FRS FRSE FLS VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Lieutenant Commander Richard Buckley MVO RN (Private Secretary to HRH the Duke of Kent)
Colonel C.F. Black CD (Canadian High Commission)
Colonel A.D. Watt OBE (Australian High Commission)
Mr D.B.G. McLean (New Zealand High Commission)
Mr P.A. Grobbelaar (South African Embassy)
And the following officials of the Commission:
Mr A.K. Pallot (Assistant Secretary, Director of Finance and Establishments)
Mr P.H.M. Swan (Assistant Secretary, Director of External Relations)
Mr P.R. Matthew BA (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr W.H. Dukes (Director of Works)
Mr W.F.W. Harding OBE BSc(Hort) FLS (Director of Horticulture)
Mr W.J. Symons (Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration Department)
Mr R .J. Dalley (Private Secretary to Director-General)