Unique IDCWGC/2/2/1/564
TitleCOMMISSION MEETING NO.564 - March 1986


DescriptionMinutes of the 564th Meeting of the Commission
Content NoteTopics covered:

Announcement of the death of Mr William Chalmers CB CVO CBE, Secretary and Director-General of the Commission from 1956 to 1975 on 8th January, and the death on 22 February of Monsieur Claude Hettier de Boislambert, a member of the Commonwealth-French Joint Committee.

Welcome extended to the New Zealand and South African Representatives Mr WaIter and Colonel van Niekerk, who were respectively representing the New Zealand High Commissioner and the South African Ambassador at a meeting of the Commission for the first time, and welcome to Air Chief Marshall Sir John Gingell attending the meeting as an observer prior to taking up his appointment as a Commissioner on 1 April 1986. Mr Henry Mackay, Senior External Relations Officer, was also welcomed, as attending a meeting of the Commission for the first time.

Honours and Awards:
Announcement that in the New Year Honours List Mr Bill AlIen, a Works Officer in Outer Area, and Mr Reg Covey, Horticultural Officer in Western Mediterranean Area, had both been appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire, and that Mr Ken Lane, who until his recent retirement had been a Sector Supervisor in Belgium, and Mr George Bailey, Senior Head Gardener at Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy, had both been awarded the British Empire Medal. It was also reported that Lieutenant-General R F Holtzhausen, a member of the Commission's South African Agency, had been awarded the Star of South Africa (Class I).

Announcement that the Rt Hon George Younger TD DL MP had succeeded the Rt Hon Michael Heseltine MP as British Secretary of State for Defence, and ex-officio Chairman of the Commission, in January 1986 and that Mr Alf Clarke had taken up the post of Director of the Office of Australian War Graves in October 1985.

Unending Vigil:
Announcement that the publication date for the new edition of "The Unending Vigil", a history of the Commission by Philip Longworth, had now been fixed for 21 April.

Matters arising from the Minutes of the 563rd Meeting:
with note with reference to Commission funding from the member governments that due to the sharp decline in the value of sterling it was likely that additional funding might be necessary later in the year

The Arras Memorial – Proposed Covering of Roof in Lead:
presentation of paper by Mr Osborn covering the proposed work to the roof of the Arras Memorial to fix long-standing problem with water penetration by covering the roof with lead and installing new aluminium rainwater gutters, and approval of proposal

Report of the 603rd Meeting of the Finance Committee:
Approval of Recommendations contained in the Report of the 603rd Meeting of the Finance Committee, including for the forward buying of currency in which the Commission dealt with; the construction of base accommodation at Dieppe War Cemetery for the Dieppe Mobile Group;
and the renewal of the contract for the supply of Botticino headstones from the firm Marmi and Graniti Colosio

Burials and Commemorations:
approval of alternative local commemoration of 54 Commonwealth war burials in graves in 15 different sites in the United Kingdom (including Bristol (Greenbank) Cemetery and Garstone (St. Michael) Churchyard, Merseyside; and approval of the alternative commemoration on the memorial in Palmietkuil South War Cemetery for 7 single war burials in isolated graves in South Africa.

Annual Report of Exhumations and Reinterments: 1985;

Schedule of Documents;

Parliamentary Legislation 1985/86 Session;
presentation of report

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952): Appointment of New Trustee:
Nomination of Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL as a Trustee of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952), to fill the vacancy arising on the resignation of Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough;

Imperial War Graves Endowment Fund: Appointment of New Trustee:
Nomination of Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL as a Trustee of the Imperial War Graves Endowment Fund with effect from 1 April 1986 to fill the vacancy arising on the resignation of Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough

Membership of the South African Agency:
Approval of the appointment of Mr A W Kuhn as the South African Agency in succession to Mr J L Viljoen

Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members:
Approval of Appointment of Members to the Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees;

Briefing of Member Governments' Head of Mission;
presentation of paper with suggestion that the Commission could provide briefings to heads of missions of other member governments other than the United Kingdom, which it did as a mater of course, with deferment of decision until official members were able to report further on the proposals

Tours by Commissioners and Head Office Officials:
Sir Donald Maitland's report of his visit to Nassau War Cemetery, the Bahamas, on 18 March, with comments that the grass had suffered from an infestation of the “chinchbug” insect and that some diseased trees had recently been removed, and while the overall appearance was acceptable some improvements could be made
Mr Matthew's recent visit to Australia (including meeting with the newly-appointed Director of the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) and visits to cemeteries in New South Wales and Queensland), Papua New Guinea (to participate in discussions regarding legislation affecting the Commission’s work in the country) , Singapore (with reference to Kranji War Cemetery) and Sri Lanka
the Chairman's tour of the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria in January, accompanied by the Director of Outer Area, with comments on the good condition of Christiansborg War Cemetery in Ghana, but that other sites in the region fall far short of Commission standards, and his recent visit to the Falkland Islands, where he had visited Stanley Cemetery, noting that more attention was necessary for the group of graves dating from the 1914 Battle of the Falklands, and also mention of visit to San Carlos cemetery and presentation of a Commission goblet to the Settlement Manager who was responsible for its day-to-day maintenance.

Other Business:
concerning the Appointment of new Commissioners, and the report that Sir David Muirhead's four-year term of appointment as a Commissioner would expire and that Lord Wallace had indicated his intention to retire as soon as would be convenient. Commissioners were informed in confidence of two names which the Chairman had in mind to submit to The Queen for approval; and the retirement of Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough as Vice-Chairman, with reading of various messages of tribute to him on his retirement

Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC FRSA (Vice-Chairman of the Commission) in the Chair
Mr J N H Blelloch CB (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr R A Gomme (Representing the Secretary of State for the Environment)
Mr J Rowsome (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr A L Vincent (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr N D Walter (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Colonel G D B Van Niekerk (Representing the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa)
Brigadier S Nambiar VrC (Representing the High Commissioner for the Republic of India)
Sir Edward Gardner QC MP
The Lord Wallace of Coslany
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE
Sir Donald Maitland GCMG OBE
Professor The Baroness McFarlane Of LLandaff

Professor Sir Peter Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
Professor E A Bell PhD FLS CChem FRSC ( Honorary Botanical Adviser)

Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG, Director-General

Also in attendance:
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Gingell GBE KCB
Mr P R Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General)
Mr J Saynor JP (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr W J Symons OBE (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations))
Mr H Westland MIPM (Establishment Officer)
Mr N B Osborn FRICS (Director of Works)
Mr R J Dalley (Director of Secretariat)
Mr M S Johnson ACMA (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr P J Noakes BSc{Hort) (Director of Horticulture)
Mr H Mackay (Senior External Relations Officer)
Mr S T Bell (Secretariat)
Date20/3/1986 - 20/3/1986
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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