|Content Note||Topics covered:|
Mr Matthys Botha
Welcome extended to Mr Matthys Botha who was attending a Commission Meeting for the first time.
Sir John Bunting
Announcement that Sir John Bunting had relinquished his appointment as High Commissioner for Australia and had returned to Australia, and the new High Commissioner was Mr Gordon Freeth who, as Minister of the Interior and Works from 1958 to 1963, had been the Commission's Anzac Agency.
Sir William Geraghty
Announcement of the death of Sir William Geraghty, and the meeting stood in silence.
Jubilee And Birthday Honours List
Announcement that Mr W H Dukes Director of Works had been appointed OBE, the awarding of a BEM to Mr L Broad, a District Inspector in the United Kingdom Area, and the awarding of the Silver Jubilee Medal to Four members of the Commission's staff in the Jubilee and Birthday Honours List: Miss P A Coleman, Mr J B H Crawford, Mr L J H Gibson and Mr A Ingram.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 528th Meeting
a) Update on the status of Pakistan's Membership of the Commission.
b) Update on the status of supplementary contributions.
c) Update on the site to be used for the Port Tewfik Memorial with samples of the stainless-steel panels proposed for the site shown to the meeting members.
d) Update on status of Head Office Air Conditioning System.
e) Update on the condition of the Liverpool Memorial.
f) Update on the Commission's requirements for land and other facilities in Papua New Guinea.
g) Update on the condition of Kantara War Memorial Cemetery.
h) Announcement of the date of the Commission's September Meeting.
i) Update on the Situation in Lebanon.
Adoption of the Report of the 570th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 2 concerned the Thiepval Memorial and the provision of bricks needed to carry out repairs on it.
Item 3 dealt with the redecoration of the Arras Office.
Item 4 dealt with the supply and transport of Botticino headstones.
Item 5 concerned the repair of the pergolas at Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio.
Item 8 dealt with appointments to authorised vacancies.
The Social Security Pensions Act (1975)
Proposal that the eligible Members of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) be contracted-out of the earnings-related part of the Scheme provided by the Social Security Pensions Act 1975, and that the Trustees of the Scheme be authorised and requested to make such modifications, alterations or additions to the Rules of the Scheme as may be necessary or expedient.
War Graves In The Soviet Union
Approval of the proposal to commemorate 621 Commonwealth War burials and commemorations of the 1914-1918 War and 25 of the 1939-1945 War in the Soviet Union by the erection of a screen wall memorial in Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey.
Commonwealth - Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Dr H H Ruete (Federal German Ambassador, London)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO (Member, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee:
His Excellency Sir Richard Sykes KCMG MC (British Ambassador, The Hague)
Graves Not Within The Commission’s Control
Approval of the classification as not within the Commission's control of the 57 war graves enumerated in Supplementary List No 13 of war graves in the United Kingdom recommended for classification as 'not within the Commission's control', submitted by the Secretary and signed by him on each page for identification.
Unmaintainable Graves – Warmsworth (St Peter) Old Churchyard, South Yorkshire
Approval of the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Warmsworth (St Peter) Old Churchyard, South Yorkshire by the re-erection in the churchyard of the existing headstone, suitably superscribed.
Unmaintainable Graves – St Sampson Churchyard, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Approval of the proposal to commemorate 8 burials of the 1914-1918 War in St Sampson Churchyard, Guernsey, Channel Islands on a special memorial panel, suitably inscribed, to be affixed to the wall by the churchyard entrance.
Unmaintainable Graves – Australia – Re-commemoration In Gardens Of Remembrance
Approval of the proposal to commemorate in the Gardens of Remembrance in the States of Australia 5 dead of both wars buried in graves considered unmaintainable in civil cemeteries in Australia, as detailed in the list brought to the attention of the members of the meeting.
Execution Of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part I 540 to 542 and Part II 130 to 133, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor; Paper brought to attention of the members to provide an idea of the many different types of training available to staff.
Reference to paper included to give Members some idea of the many different types of training available to staff.
Silver Jubilee Of Her Majesty The Queen
Note that the President had sent a personal message to every member of staff on the occasion of the Her Majesty the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
Report from the Chairman on his tour to Malta, Greece and Israel, where he inspected the military cemeteries which the Commission would be maintaining following the forthcoming withdrawal from the island by British forces. Also comments about showing the Commission’s film and the Anzec Day ceremonies at the Anzac Memorial at Beeri and at Beersheba War Cemetery. At Jerusalem War cemetery, where a new reticulation system had been installed, the rehabilitation programme was going ahead well.
Report from the Secretary of his tour of Kenya and South Africa, including comments about problems with unmaintainable graves and graves not within the Commission’s control.
Report from Mr Saynor of his Far East Tour, including comments about reorganisation of the area and attendance at Anzac Day ceremony.
Report from Mr Symons on his visits to Saudi Arabia, the Yemen, Djibuti, Somalia and Ethiopia, with comments about Sheik Othman Cemetery, Aden, where about 24 headstones had been uprooted and damaged and concentration into one of the other cemeteries in Aden would have to be considered. Also, at Dire Dawa African War Cemetery, 15 of the 70 headstones were broken.
Note that the annual ceremony had been held at the Runnymede Memorial on 8 May and the Commission had been represented by Sir John Barraclough.
Note that the Chairman had flown to France on Good Friday to join a Canadian delegation led by the Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs, Mr Daniel J MacDonald, for a ceremony to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the capture of Vimy Ridge.
Note that two Dutch authors had recently published a book on Arnhem entitled 'Drifting into Death', and had kindly arranged that the royalties from the sales of the book, which amounted to £1000 so far, should be presented to the Commission, and a copy of the book was on view on the side table for members.
Reminder that the Commission's exhibition in York Minster would open on 28 June.
Announcement that Mr McLean was attending his last Meeting as representative of the High Commissioner, and it would also have been Brigadier Vohra's last Meeting had he been able to attend.
Note that there would be a service in memory of Sir William Geraghty at the Chapel of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea on Tuesday 26 July at 1100.
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), in the Chair
Mr A. P. Hockaday CB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr R.H. Noyes Roberts (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr F.C. Murray (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr D.B.G. McLean (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
His Excellency Mr Matthys Botha (Ambassador of South Africa)
Lt Col R.N. Pandit VSM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr P.C. Aggleton (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
The Lord Wallace of Coslany
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Mr A. K. Pallot CMG (Director-General)
Mr P.A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Mr P.F. Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPlLA (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
There were also present:
Mr T.F. Wheeler (South African Embassy)
Mr A.S. Laing MVO (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Secretariat))
Mr J. Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
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 I.E. Morgan (Deputy Legal Adviser)
Mr G.A. Cheater (Director of Information Services)
Mr W.J. Symons (Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration)
Mr S.G. Campbell MC ARICS (Assistant Director of Works (Administration))
Mr D.L. Ayers (Secretariat)