Macfarlane; Andrew (1888-1969); Major; Clerk of Works; Chief Clerk of Works; Inspector of Fabric; District Works Officer, Brussels
Clerk of Works; Chief Clerk of Works; Inspector of Fabric; District Works Officer, Brussels
CWGC Archive, IWGC Staff Card Index; CWGC Archive, ADD 10/1/29, New Years List 1950; CWGC Archive, CM 3/1/64, COMMISSION MEETING NO. 396, 1/10/1956 – 31/10/1956
Major Andrew Macfarlane MC FRICS was a key figure in overseeing the construction and maintenance of the Commission’s sites for both the First and Second World Wars across many sites worldwide.
Andrew Macfarlane was born on 19 February 1888. In 1913, he entered the Inland Revenue Valuation Department as a temporary Valuer.
He entered military service in 1914 when he joined the Army and served as a Major in the Cameron Highlanders until 1920, during which he was awarded the Military Cross and twice mentioned in dispatches for his actions in the First World War.
Upon demobilisation, Macfarlane returned to the Inland Revenue until 1922, when he was appointed to the staff of the Imperial War Graves Commission as a Clerk of Works. He was later promoted to Chief Clerk of Works. Whilst working in these two roles, Macfarlane was responsible for the construction of 1914-1918 war cemeteries and memorials in France and Belgium, notably the Thiepval Memorial.
In January 1932, Macfarlane was appointed as Inspector of Fabric for Belgium, in which he directed the maintenance of all of the Commission’s structures in Belgium, including the Menin Gate, and made an outstanding contribution to improving the life of the British community in Ypres. In 1937, he was awarded the King’s Coronation Medal. He was noted for his courage and resourcefulness during the evacuation of British personnel in 1940.
Between 1941 and 1943, he served as a War Department Land Agent and was released to take up the post of Assistant to the Director of Works at the Commission’s Head Office in the United Kingdom. He conducted a tour of the North African battlefields in 1943 and carried out subsequent surveys of repair and constructional requirements in North Africa, France and the Far East, planning and supervising much of the construction work. He also planned and carried out the construction of numerous Commonwealth war graves plots in Scandinavia and helped maintain good relations locally.
In 1950, Major Macfarlane was appointed to North-West European District at Brussels, where, for six years, he directed the construction and maintenance of cemeteries and memorials of both wars throughout Belgium, Holland and Germany, including the Groesbeek Memorial. In the same year, he was recommended for the OBE. At the Commission’s request, he continued beyond the normal retiring age of 65 until 1956 when he retired at the age of 68.
He died on 2 March 1969, aged 81.
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