HC Deb 07 July 1920 vol 131 cc1460-1W

asked the Secretary of State for War the name of the general responsible for the graves information offices in France; what staff has he under his orders; whether the general and staff are competent; and if he can explain why the information offices have no plans of the cemeteries about which they are supposed to give information?


Brigadier-General L. J. Wyatt, D.S.O., Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries, is responsible in France for all the work of the Directorate, of which these information offices are an integral part. The information offices are a new branch of the work, and are staffed from his general establishment. I have every confidence in General Wyatt and his staff. I am afraid it will be a considerable time before correct plans of cemeteries will be completed. As the hon. Member is aware, such plans depend on the final registra- tion and verification of the graves in a cemetery, and though great progress has been made with this work, it will be, at any rate, some months before it is finished. If the hon. Member has reason to think that there is any way in which rough and incomplete plans would be of use to enquirers at these information offices, I shall be glad to receive any practical suggestions from him to this effect. These information offices are of very recent establishment, and considerable time must elapse before they can replace the present source of information (Winchester House, St. James's Square, S.W.1), to which the public are still requested to apply for all information concerning graves before paying a visit to France or elsewhere. All that is claimed at present for these offices is that they can and do supplement this information on the spot, and assist visitors to find the cemeteries to which they have been directed by the War Office. I have received many grateful letters of appreciation from visitors who have used these offices.