|Person Name||Oswald; Christopher Percy (1875-1966); Lt. Col.; Chief Accountant in France, Deputy Financial Adviser, Controller of Administration and Assistant Secretary of Finance|
|Epithet||Chief Accountant in France, Deputy Financial Adviser, Controller of Administration and Assistant Secretary of Finance|
|Source||CWGC Archive, IWGC Staff Card Index; CWGC Archive, WG 1831/47, COMMISSION MEETING NO. 105, 24/11/1927 – 07/01/1928; CWGC Archive, CM 3/1/153, COMMISSION MEETING NO. 485, 15/12/1966 - 15/12/1966; CWGC Archive, P 02 - Lt. Col. C.P. Oswald|
|Biographical Note||Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Percy Oswald CMG was the Commission's Chief Accountant in France, Deputy Financial Adviser, Controller of Administration and Assistant Secretary of Finance.|
He was born on 5 March 1875. In 1909, he married Miss Evelyn Ida Hardie, who predeceased him in 1953. In 1915, at the age of 40, he left his job as a chartered accountant to volunteer for war service in the Army. He was soon commissioned and subsequently posted to the Directorate of Hirings and Requistions in France, where his professional experience and unusual abilities helped him be promoted up the ranks. He was Mentioned in Dispatches in 1918 and awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1919.
Oswald first joined the Commission’s staff in November 1919 as Chief Accountant in France. The following year, he was transferred to London as Deputy Financial Adviser and was in charge of the Commission’s financial affairs from 1929 until 1937, also taking on the post of Controller of Administration. Oswald's duties involved the financial administration of the Commission throughout the various stages of mass construction and development. He was also Secretary of the Finance Committee. At the 105th Commission meeting, Oswald was appointed a Proper Officer of the Commission to sign notices and documents required under the terms of Part 4 of its founding Royal Charter.
In 1935, he was made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.
Shortly prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, Oswald and his colleague, Lt. Col. Henry F. Chettle, visited France to oversee preparations for it. In September 1943, Oswald retired as Controller of Administration and was succeeded by Frank Higginson, the Director of Works.
Christopher Percy Oswald died on 7 October 1966 at the age of 91 and was survived by his only son. His death was reported at the 485th Commission meeting minutes in December 1966, when it was noted he ‘had a great influence on the Commission’s policies during a most important period of their development’. His obituary notice recorded that those associated with him both in the Army and his 24 years with the War Graves Commission knew him as a calm and clear-thinking individual whose experience was relied upon in moments of crisis.
Many of the files owned by Oswald during his tenure with the IWGC are now held in the Commission’s Archive. These contain documents of the Commission's financial administration and its work in the interwar and Second World War period.