Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/550
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.550 - September 1982


DescriptionMinutes of the 550th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

The Vice Chairman welcomed the President and expressed the Commission's pleasure at His Royal Highness's presence.

Mr M Coulshed and Mr J W Graham
The President welcomed Mr Coulshed, representing the Minister for Housing and Construction, and Mr Graham, representing the Canadian High Commissioner, who were attending a Commission Meeting for the first time.

Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL
Announcement that Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL would be leaving to take up the Governorship of Gibraltar.

Signora L Meo
Appointment of Signora L Meo, the Administrative Officer in the Commission's Rome office as Cavaliere Officiale al Merito della Republica.

Botanical Adviser to the Commission
Appointment of Professor Bell as Botanical Adviser to the Commission.

South African Agency
Appointment of Mr van der Vyver as Chairman of the Commission's South African Agency and thanks to Mr van Blommestein his predecessor for his services to the Commission.

Kenyan Agency
Announcement of the death of Mr Gichuru who, as Kenya's Minister of State for Defence, had been the Commission's Agent in that country.

Announcement of the deaths of two honorary members of the Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee, General der Kavallerie Siegfried Westphal in early July and Or Schneeberger in early August.
Announcement of the deaths in service of three members of staff: Mr Malshi, Head Gardener, Khayat Beach Cemetery, Israel, Mr Varin, a Gardener of the Rouen Static Group, France, and Mr Snoek, a driver in Belgium.

Matters arising from the Minutes of the 549th Meeting
Report on the styles of horticulture and maintenance of cemeteries, including comments about the use of chemicals and machinery.
Request that the Treasury Reports be made available to participating countries.

63rd Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the Commission
Approval of the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the Commission for the year ended 31 March 1982.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) - Revised Terms for Contracting Out
Proposal that the Members of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) should remain contracted out of the earnings-related part of the scheme provided by the Social Security Pensions Act 1975.

Adoption of the Report of the 591st Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 4 concerned the presentation of expenditure on the Entertainment Fund which had been referred to the Finance Committee by the Commission at its June Meeting.
Item 7 referred to the appointment of Mr Phoenix as the Commission's new architect. He replaced Mr Baber who had died in service the previous December.

Appointment of Deputy Director-General
Proposal that Mr P.R. Matthew B.A. be appointed to be the Deputy Director-General.

Appointment of Proper Officer of the Commission
Appointment of Sir Arthur Patrick Hockaday K.C.B., C.M.G. as a Proper Officer of the Commission.

Appointment of Trustee of the Superannuation Scheme (1952)
Proposal that Sir Arthur Patrick Hockaday K.C.B., C.M.G. is nominated as a Trustee of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) with effect from 18 September 1982.

Membership of the Finance Committee
Appointment of Sir David Muirhead K.C.M.G., C.V.O., as a Member of the Finance Committee in succession to Admiral Sir David Williams G.C.B. D.L..

The Falkland Islands
Report on and discussion of the Memorial to those who died during the Falklands Campaign and the establishment of a War Graves plot in the Falkland Islands.

Appointment of the following to be Members of the Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
Son Excellence, Monsieur Charles-Ferdinand Nothomb (Ministre de l'Interieur)
Commonwealth-Danish Joint Committee:
Mrs Herdis Steen (Assistant Head of Division, Cultural Relations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Monsieur Djelloul Bourokba (Directeur des Statuts et des Service Minister des Anciens Combattants)
Monsieur Jean-Paul Angles (Directeur des Francais a l'Etranger Ministere des Relations Exterieures)
Commonwealth-German-French Joint Committee:
Monsieur Henri Froment-Meurice (French Ambassador, Bonn)
Monsieur Djelloul Bourokba (Directeur des Statuts et des Service Medicaux Ministere des Anciens Combattants).

Unmaintainable Graves – Republic of South Africa
Approval of the proposal to commemorate a further 23 South African burials of the 1939-1945 War, whose graves are lost or unmaintainable, on the Palmietkuil Memorial.

Graves Not Within The Commission’s Control – South Africa
Approval of the classification as 'not within the Commission's control', of war graves numbers 1 to 620, on the Schedules for the Republic of South Africa, recommended by the Secretary, South African Agency and submitted by him.

Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents Serial Nos Part I 576 and Part II 198, referred to in the Schedule now laid before the Meeting.

Update on Tours by Head Office Officials
Brief comment from Secretary that he had heard from Mr Bruce Brittain, the Deputy Minister of Veterans' Services, who would be having further discussions on the question of official languages and would let the Commission know the outcome.

Diary Update
Report from the Vice-Chairman on his visit to France specifically to look at war graves in the communal cemeteries and churchyards in eastern France.
Comment from Mr Gandar regarding a close friend of his had been described as missing, presumed dead, during the last war. It had not been until 1970 that his aircraft had been found in Holland and the authorities had been able to identify the remains and put to rest his friend's mother's constant concern as to what had happened to her son.
Discussion about practice of notifying next-of-kin of First World War casualties whose remains were discovered.
Comment from Mr Laing that the identity discs of the First World War were much longer lasting than those of the Second World War. The soldiers of the First World War also had their number stamped on their boots and the rest of their equipment so that very often it was easier to identify First World War remains than Second World War.
Update on the situation in Beirut, where damage had been reported at Sidon War Cemetery.

The President drew Members' attention to the Gardeners' Service to be held at Westminster Abbey on 12 November.

The Commission recorded their warm appreciation of the services of Mr Keith Pallot C.B., C.M.G. on his retirement as Secretary and Director-General after completing 46 years of loyal and devoted service to the Crown.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent GCMG GCVO (President of the Commission), in the Chair
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC FRSA (Vice-Chairman of the Commission)
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr M. Coulshed (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Mr J.W. Graham (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr R.H. Robertson (Acting High Commissioner for Australia)
His Excellency The Honourable L.W. Gandar (High Commissioner for New Zealand)
His Excellency The Honourable S.J. Marais Steyn DMS (Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
His Excellency Dr V.A. Seyid Muhammad (High Commissioner for India)
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Lord Wallace of Coslany
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE
Sir David Muirhead KCMG CVO

Mr A.K. Pallot CB CMG (Director-General)

Mr Peter A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)

There were also present:
Lieutenant Commander Sir Richard Buckley KCVO, RN (Private Secretary to HRH The Duke of Kent)
Captain D.D. Hoy San (South African Embassy)
Brigadier V. Madan VSM (Indian High Commission)

And the following officials of the Commission:
Mr A. S. Laing CBE MVO (Deputy Director-General)
Mr P.R. Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations))
Mr J. Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr N.B. Osborn ARICS (Director of Works)
Mr J.B. Paton NDH (Director of Horticulture)
Mr. P.H.M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr G.C. Reddie (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr H. Westland MIPM (Establishment Officer)
Mr S.G. Campbell MC (Director of Information Services)
Mr W.J. Symons (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr D. Kennedy (Director Outer Area)
Mr J.P. Gee (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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