Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/521
File NumberCM 3/1/189
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.521 - June 1975


DescriptionMinutes of the 521st Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Mr Roy Hutchings, Minister for Housing and Construction, thanked. His successor, Mr Aggleton, not present.

Mr L J Watt
Welcome to Mr L J Watt, representing High Commissioner for New Zealand.

Birthday Honours
Mr CF Stephens, Area Superintendent, South East Area, appointed MBE. Mr GH Harris, a Horticultural Supervisor in France, awarded BEM.
Mr Andrew Carnwath, Trustee of Imperial War Graves Endowment Fund appointed KCVO.
Dr Roger Lanbelin appointed Honorary OBE.

M. J Roland
M. Jean Roland, official Member of Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee had died.

Senator Arthur Laing, PC MP BSA
Senator Arthur Laing, Commission's Agency in Canada, had both died.

Matters Arising out of the Minutes of the 521st Meeting of the Commission
Further exchanges with Rawalpindi regarding Pakistan’s membership of the Commission.
Discussion regarding the demolition of the old Liverpool Memorial and design of the new memorial which would be made of Cornish De Lank granite and feature a sculptured figure of a Naval rating as well as a vertical column of 4 blocks of granite standing about 14 feet high with one of the Commission's larger bronze swords on the face alongside the words "THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE".
Estimates 1975-1976, referring to the weak Pound Sterling and not allowing pay increases.
Date for signing of Commonwealth-Tunisian War Graves Agreement not agreed.
Head Office Air Conditioning System, referring to remedial measures, cold spots, modification expense, consultant's report.

Report of 562nd Finance Committee Meeting Minutes
Resolution to adopt the Report of the 562nd Finance Committee Meeting.
Item 1 was a tidying up resolution to cover the point that the Commission could get into difficulties when the value of the pound changed.
Item 2 dealt with the supply and transport of Botticino headstones.
Item 5 concerned the pay of non-manual staff.
Item 6 concerned Mr Fletcher who had resigned from the Commission's staff some years ago and whose pension entitlement had been frozen until such time as he had reached the age of 60.

Membership of the Finance Committee
Ambassador for South Africa appointed to Finance Committee.

Second Meeting of the Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee
Mentions Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee visited Chungkai War Cemetery, where members met 8 Dutch men there; three of whom had been prisoners of war at Kanchanaburi.

Sixth Meeting of the Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee
Congratulations to staff, also refers to Field Day, strike threat, Union subscription, average working hours, Belgian labour legislation, refers to Mr Fayat as new Chairman, horticultural agreement, also mentions Burggraaf Eyskens unable to continue as Chairman.

Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees - Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr JG McArthur (New Zealand Ambassador, Paris)
Commonwealth-Japanese Joint Committee:
Colonel Basant Mullick (Military, Naval and Air Force Attache, Indian Embassy, Tokyo)
Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee:
Major Kamol Prachuabmoh (Ministry of the Interior)
Mr E Burtmanis (Australian Embassy, Bangkok)

Graves Not Within Commission's Control
Refers to lists, numbers, and the definition of this term.

Unmaintainable Graves - Bristol (Greenbank) Cemetery, UK
Refers to resolution for 1914-18 headstones in Bristol (Greenbank) Cemetery; clearance, delay, Bristol Corporation, burials, re-erection of headstones, tablet and discussion.

Unmaintainable Graves - Ansley (St Lawrence) Churchyard, Warwickshire
Resolution for a new headstone to be added as the original grave and private memorial were not found.

Unmaintainable Graves - Portwood (St Paul) Churchyard, Stockport
Mentions demolition of church and that all the headstones removed, including 8 war burials for which a memorial stone was to be erected.

Discussion on paper to review Unmaintainable Grave policy.

Execution of Documents
Refers to Head Office land transferred to Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Kidwells Park, with certain rights granted to the Commission to access for repair and maintenance.

Quarterly Reports from Areas and Agencies
Martinsart British Cemetery Report mentions protective procedures working, gardener, local authority.
Cyprus Report mentions political situation in Nicosia War Cemetery and refers to exchange of Greek Cypriot gardeners and DOE Turkish Cypriot labour. Also refers to restoration of water supply and commends Mr Ward, Area Horticultural Officer, British Embassy.
Iraq Report mentions little progress had been made, although some improvement particularly to Habbaniya, which had been reported to be in poor condition and with evidence of vandalism. Also mentions issue of staff visas being refused.

Headstones in Tripoli
Mentions a consignment of 85 headstones was shipped in May 1974 but had not been cleared by Customs. The Director of External Relations investigated the issue through the British and Libyan Embassies and it was found the headstones were missing so more were required.

Concentrations in Tanzania
Refers to work in Dar es Salaam War Cemetery which was almost complete and that it was hoped horticulture would be completed in August.

Keren War Cemetery
Refers to report from Commission’s agent that the Ethiopian Army establishing cemetery alongside. The British Embassy in Addis Ababa had asked for clarification.

General Notes
The Queen visited Yokohama British Commonwealth War Cemetery.
Queen Mother visited Tehran War Cemetery and Memorial.
Commission's Exhibition at Winchester Cathedral.
The Chairman's visits to Gallipoli and Italy with the Anzac and Canadian pilgrimages.
Lord Wallace visited Pieta Cemetery, Malta, mentions concerns over new road encroaching on the cemetery.
Sir Robert Black toured Normandy and Brittany in May and mentions he was impressed by the condition of the cemeteries and noted the contrast between the War Cemeteries and the vault-like Communal Cemeteries.
Mr Symons had toured West Africa, where he found things better than expected and was able to obtain data on scattered and remote graves to study. Also mentions talks with Nigerian Army and Ministry of Defence, advice for their military cemetery, maintenance in Nigeria. Further comment that Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery was satisfactory.
Mentions Mr Westland had gone to Egypt and Libya to deal with administrative and staff problems and visited some Canal Zone sites, but not Kantara War Memorial Cemetery or Port Tewfik Memorial, where conditions were better than expected despite damage to headstones, walls and living quarters. Also mentions opening up of the Suez Canal would allow Area staff to carry out their inspection visits.
Horticultural Conference, UK and Europe was held at Head Office with sixteen officials from all Areas in Europe in attendance.
Mr Harding toured Eastern Mediterranean Area, noting permanent planting in Macedonia, the condition of Suda Bay War Cemetery as well as the new German Cemetery. Also remarks on Gallipoli fire damage outside Commission sites which had opened up views where some of the indigenous planting had been destroyed.
Festival of Light Service for Peace at Chatham Naval Memorial: Mentions this was held recently and great care was taken to tidy up all litter.

Other Business
Rangoon War Cemetery
Mentions the Commission had reluctantly accepted Rangoon War Cemetery may have to be removed in 1971 with suggestion to relocate graves in Taukkyan War Cemetery.

Naval Wrecks
Mentions in 1974 an expedition had been mounted to attempt the recovery of the hull of the midget submarine X5 which had been lost off the Norwegian coast during operations against the Tirpitz. It was proposed that a further expedition be mounted in 1975. Also refers to HMS Aldenham, a destroyer mined in Yugoslav waters in 1944.

Canadian Agency
Refers to report that Mr Fuller the Secretary-General of the Commission's Canadian Agency had been charged at the end of March with a serious homosexual offence reports of which had received wide publicity.

Sir John William
Mentions it was Sir John William’s last Commission meeting and thanks him for his service.

General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), 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 K McDonald (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr L J Watt (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)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Admiral Sir Frank Twiss KCB DSC
The Lord Wallace of Coslany

Mr A K Pallot CMG, Director-General

There were also present:
Mr A S Laing MVO, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Secretariat)
Mr J Saynor, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration)
Mr P R Matthew BA, Assistant Secretary, Legal Adviser and Solicitor
Mr W H Dukes, Director of Works
Mr W F W Harding OBE BSc (Hort) FLS, Director of Horticulture
Mr P H M Swan, Director of External Relations
Mr H Westland MIPM, Establishment Officer
Mr S G Campbell, Director of Information Services
Mr D L Ayers (Secretariat)
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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