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Secretary of State for Defence (Chairman of the Commission)
Announcement that the new Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Francis Pym, had succeeded Mr Mulley as the Commission's Chairman.
The Honourable Daniel J Macdonald
Announcement that following the recent general election in Canada, Mr Dan Macdonald had relinquished the post of Minister of Veterans Affairs and, in consequence, had ceased to be the Commission's Agency in Canada.
Major-General R C J Van der Bijl
Announcement of the death of Major-General R C J Van der Bijl who had been a Member
of the South African Agency during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Mr C L Burgess, M. J Walter and Mr W A Wingens O’Brien
Announcement of the death in service of three of the Commission's staff: Mr C L Burgess, a Head Gardener in the United Kingdom, M. J. WaIter, a Gardener in France and Mr W A Wingens O'Brien, a Gardener Caretaker in West Germany.
Sir Richard Sykes
Announcement of the death of Sir Richard Sykes, British Ambassador to the Netherlands, and member of the Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee since June 1977.
Matters arising from the Minutes of the 536th Meeting
a) Update on the situation in Iraq.
b) Update on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952), including the announcement of the election of Mr Burns as a Trustee.
c) Update on proposed exhumations at Sofia War Cemetery, Bulgaria.
d) Update on Protection of surroundings, Helles Memorial.
e) Update on poaching at the South African Memorial, Delville Wood.
Adoption of the Report of the 578th Meeting of the Finance Committee, including discussion on various economy measures.
Item 1 dealt with France Area accommodation.
Item 2 dealt with the employment of staff after the normal minimum retiring age of 60.
Item 4 dealt with a pay settlement for non-manual staff up to the grade of Assistant Secretary.
Item 6 dealt with the purchase of Michelin’s overprinted and indexed maps showing cemeteries and memorials located in France and Belgium.
Malta – Service Cemeteries
Update on Service Cemeteries in Malta, including discussion about visitors and accessibility of the Malta Memorial.
France Area Accommodation
Approval of the sketch plans and elevations produced by Messrs Shepheard Epstein and Hunter for the France Area Accommodation and that any surplus brought forward in the General Account from the financial year 1978/79 be transferred to the Property Account.
Vandalism at Cologne (Southern) Cemetery
Update on incidents of vandalism at Cologne (Southern) Cemetery with suggestions from members as to possible added security measures to be taken.
Sixth Meeting of the Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee
Report on the Sixth Meeting of the Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee with mention of Field Fay at Laarbruch.
Commonwealth- Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members.
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
His Excellency Sir Reginald Hibbert, KCMG (British Ambassador, Paris)
Monsieur Robert Baconnier (Sous-Directeur, Relations Internationales, Service de la Legislation Fiscale, Ministere du Budget)
Monsieur Joseph Belnont (Directeur de l'Architecture Secretariat d'Etat a la Culture)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
His Excellency Mr Ronald Arculus, CMG (British Ambassador, Rome)
Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee:
Mr L L E Joseph (Minister, Australian Embassy, Bangkok)
Graves Not Within The Commission’s Control – United Kingdom
Approval of the classification as not within the Commission's control of the 94 war graves enumerated in Supplementary List no 17 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.
Unmaintainable Graves - Much Woolton (St Peter) Churchyard, Liverpool, Merseyside
Approval of the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Much Woolton (St Peter) Churchyard, Liverpool, Merseyside, by the erection of a Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same Churchyard.
Unmaintainable Graves - Harpurhey (Christ Church) Churchyard, Manchester, Greater Manchester
Approval of the proposal to commemorate the three burials of the 1914-1918 War and the one burial of the 1939-1945 War in Harpurhey (Christ Church) Churchyard, Manchester, Greater Manchester, by the erection of a single Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same churchyard.
Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part I 553 to 556 and Part 11 150 and 151, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor.
Report from the Chairman of his visit to Ypres for the 50th Anniversary of the consecration of St George's Memorial Church, and that he had joined the official Canadian pilgrimage to Normandy marking the 35th Anniversary of D-Day.
Report from Sir John Winnifrith on his visit in May to the Gallipoli Peninsula, where he had managed to visit virtually all the cemeteries and memorials on the Peninsula.
Report from Sir Edward Goschen on his visit to Italy, Algeria and Tunisia.
Report from Professor Brenan of his private visit to Kenya and, a visit to Italy with Professor Shepheard where a great range of sites had been visited.
Report from Mr Kennedy of his tours in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and the Azores.
Note that Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough had represented the Commission at the annual ceremony at the Runnymede Memorial on 13 May.
Diary update including a report from Mr Matthew that he had just learned of the destruction of 83 headstones at Belfast City Cemetery.
Report from Mr Dukes of two comparatively minor cases of vandalism in the Netherlands.
Note of the forthcoming visit to Head Office by Major van Vliet and Warrant Officer Peelen to present to the Commission the Royalties from the second edition of their book.
Announcement that Sir Douglas Carter the New Zealand High Commissioner, would be leaving London on 14 July.
Note that Mr J D Kalra the Group Supervisor in Delhi, was at present on a training visit to France, Belgium and Head Office and had been invited to join Commissioners for lunch.
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), in the Chair
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr G.A. Cowley (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr F.C. Murray (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr B.J. Lynch (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr T.F. Wheeler (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
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
Admiral Sir Frank Twiss KCB KCVO DSC
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
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 Peter A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor Peter Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Mr A.S. Laing MVO (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director General)
Mr P.R. Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations))
Mr I.E. Morgan (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr W.H. Dukes OBE (Director of Works)
Mr J.B. Paton (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P.H.M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr P.J. Cook (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr G.A. Cheater (Director of Information Services)
Mr D. Kennedy (Director, Outer Area)
Mr W.J. Symons (Deputy Establishment Officer)
Mr D. L. Ayers (Secretariat)