Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/519
File NumberCM 3/1/187
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.519 - December 1974


DescriptionMinutes of the 519th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Mr J M Sterban
Welcome to Mr Sterban who was representing the South African Ambassador for the first time.

Mr J Shearar
Mentions the Chairman had written to Mr Shearar to thank him and to wish him success in his new position as Minister in Washington.

Sir Edward Maufe RA
Report of death of Sir Edward Maufe RA on 12 December (his 92nd birthday). Brief summary of his role as Honorary Artistic Adviser and Principal Architect for the Commission.

Colonel W Russell Edmunds OBE TD
Report of the death of Colonel W Russell Edmunds in August.

Mr M M Sharma
Report of the death in service, at the age of 36, of Mr M M Sharma, a Clerical Officer at Head Office. He had joined the Commission in India in 1965, being transferred to Head Office in 1973. He left a wife and 2 children, one born posthumously.

High Commissioner for Canada
Mention that Mr J H Warren, who had been High Commissioner for Canada in London and a Member of the Commission since 1971,was about to return to Canada on relinquishing his appointment.

Minutes of the 518th Meeting And Matters Arising From The Minutes
Amendment and signing of the minutes. Matters arising from the minutes include:
Update on Pakistan's membership of the Commission.
Discussion about a 1/12th scale model of the proposed Liverpool Memorial featuring a maquette designed by the sculptor, Mr David McFall RA. The memorial was to be constructed in Cornish granite.
Update on reorganisation of Ambon War Cemetery arrangements.
Comments about hope to sign Commonwealth Tunisian War Graves Agreement shortly.
Inspection reports made on sites in Canal Zone, except Kantara War Cemetery, mentions horticultural renovation, repair of living quarters, enclosure walls and fences, water supplies, replacement headstones, grave markers, Egyptian authorities assistance, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, war damage claim, Egyptian Army, Moascar War Cemetery evacuated, damage to Port Tewfik Memorial damaged, Mr Pallot, Egyptian Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction budget.
Method of painting of lettering on the Menin Gate Memorial.
Mention that the report of the Consulting Engineer had now been received and although the Head Office air conditioning system was considered to be generally satisfactory, a number of fundamental defects in design and installation needed to be corrected.
Discussion about title of Vice Chairman, ''Chairman'' involves Charter and Participating Governments, ''Commissioner-General'', confusion, France and Italy, no change at present.

Estimates 1975/1976
Mentions estimates affected by pay rises and adverse exchange rates, explanation of amounts and additional contributions, reduction in staff, increased costs, Canal Zone, film to be updated from Library, working balance, Pakistan's outstanding contributions, funding sub-accounts, supplementary contributions, future estimates, Endowment fund income, Special Property Account, needs.

Report of the 560th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 2 dealt with provision of new road signs.
Item 10 dealt with reconstruction at Agira Canadian War Cemetery, Sicily.
Items 15 - 20 dealt with pay increases and illustrated the problem already discussed of the continuing rise of costs of staff through inflation.
Item 21 concerned a number of appointments explained by the Secretary.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Superannuation Scheme (1952) - Misc Amendments
Mentions prohibition of refund of future contributions, staff not meeting minimum health requirements and premature retirement, children's benefits to include those not born at time of death, percentage contributions for manual and non-manual staff reflecting UK Civil Service and local authorities.

Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees – Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
Burggraaf Gaston Eyskens, Lt Gen Aviateur Baron M G Donnet
His Excellency Mr David de Villiers du Buisson (South African Embassy, Brussels)
Commonwealth-Japanese Joint Committee:
Mr A Advokaat (Canadian Embassy, Tokyo)
Mr P M H Swan
Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee:
The Hon Nai Pratuang Sinthipongsa (Governor of Kanchanaburi Province)
Mr H A J Staples (British Embassy, Bangkok)

Graves Not Within The Commission’s Control - United Kingdom
Approval of 66 war graves classified as not within the Commission's control.

Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom: New Shildon (All Saints) Churchyard, Shildon, County Durham
Approval of erection of 4 special memorial headstones in New Shildon (All Saints) Churchyard in Co Durham.

Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom: Ringley (St Saviour’s) Churchyard, Kearsley, Lancashire
Approval of erection of 1 existing headstone in Ringley (St Saviours) Churchyard, Kearsley, Lancs.

War Graves in Switzerland
Approval of erection of 1 special memorial headstone in Rolle Communal Cemetery in Vevey (St Martins) Cemetery in Switzerland.

Execution of Documents
Approval and signing of documents.

Reports from Regions, Areas and Agencies: Quarter ended 30 September 1974
Mentions amendments made to a report.
Refers to a report made by the Commander British Contingent of the United Nations Force, on Nicosia War Cemetery and the adjoining post-war cemetery
in Cyprus, explaining the cemetery had avoided serious damage in the fighting and the cemetery had been tidied up by men of the British Contingent which had also arranged with the Turkish Chief of Staff that Turkish Cypriot labour employed by the Department of the Environment should have access to the cemetery and that the water would be turned on as required.
Account from Mr Matthew regarding recent visit to the Gallipoli peninsula concerning damage from a fire and whirlwinds, particularly at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, as well as soil erosion in the area.

General Notes
Visit of Chairman to UK Central and South West (Cheltenham and Bath) Areas, report on works to Portsmouth War Memorial, general good condition, UK difficulties, isolated plots, maintenance delegated.
Visit of Chairman to the Hague, Amsterdam, the Rijks Museum, Holton, Reichsveld Forest War Cemetery and saw German school children visiting Rheinberg, Cologne, Bonn, and Loenen in Holland. He met Baron van Boetzelaer the President of the Oorlogsgravenstichting, the Ambassador of South Africa, Madam van Anrooy-de Kempenaer, the Consul General, Dr Enkler the British Ambassador.
Visit to a travelling photographic exhibition at National War Museum, Ottawa, linked to launch of book ''The Silent Witnesses'', and meeting with Mr McDonald there;he also visited Arras, met Adjoint au Maire, attending wreath laying at Mairie the Stele des Heros, French Cemetery Notre Dame de Lorette, and Arc de Triomphe, and visited work at the Thiepval Memorial, and Vimy, with comments on staff, horticulture and structures.
The Secretary had toured Wales, comments on older and problem sites, and visited Italy, Greece and South Africa.
Mention of South African government, Swakopmund Memorial, South African Agency, concentrating graves in Tanzania.
Visit by Sir John Barraclough to cemeteries, mention of Royal College of Defence Studies, Oslo, Captain Syvertsen, Norwegian War Graves Service, Harstad, Arctic Circle, HMS Trumpeter, Sorvik Cemetery, Nordsel near Otta, Green Howards, Yorks and Lancs, Mr Dahl, possible move of grave from Heidal to Nordsel; he visited Bucharest War Cemetery, Romania.
Comment on lack of 1939/45 inscriptions at Marseilles.
Miss Woodgate had visited the Canadian Cemetery, Dieppe, and met gardener Mr Stanton.
Mr Robert Blake had opened an exhibition at Head Office.
Mr Laing proposed to take an exhibition to Arras, Winchester Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle and possibly London.

Tape recording was played of ''In a Strange and Muddy Land'', which had featured on the radio.

General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC, in the Chair
Sir John Wilson KCB (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr P S Cooper CVO OBE (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr D B G McLean (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr J M Sterban (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier J M Vohra SM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr R D Hutchings (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Admiral Sir Frank Twiss KCB DSC
Mr E Gardner QC MP
Lord Wallace
Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC

Mr W J Chalmers CB CBE, Director-General

There were also present:
Mr A K Pallot CMG, Assistant Secretary, Director of Administration
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 A S Laing MVO, Director of Information Services
Mr J Saynor, Chief Finance Officer
Mr H Westland, Establishment Officer
Mr D H Lloyd ARICS, Director, United Kingdom
Mr W J Symons, Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration
Mr T A E Gibson, Senior External Relations Officer
Mr D L Ayers, Private Secretary to Director-General
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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