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Compiled and copyright © David Hughes and Neil Clark 2005

H.H KITCHENER 1850 – 1916

This impressive mounted figure of Field Marshal Horatio Herbert KITCHENER KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE stands in front of Kitchener Barracks, Chatham, Kent. The reason why this statue stands here is probably because Kitchener’s parent unit was the Royal Engineers who of course have always been based in nearby Brompton Barracks, Gillingham. This statue was placed here after the Great War as a tribute to the former Secretary of State for War. He was killed 6th June 1916 whilst on his way to Russia when the ship he was sailing in H.M.S “Hampshire” was sunk by enemy action.

Mention should also be made here of his accompanying personal staff and of the ships company all of whom perished alongside Kitchener.

Photographs Copyright © David Hughes and Neil Clark 2005


Kitchener, Horatio Herbert, 1st Earl Kitchener (1850-1916), British soldier and statesman, known for his conquest of the Sudan and as a symbol of British fighting spirit in the early part of World War I.

Kitchener was born June 24, 1850, in Ballylongford, County Kerry, Ireland, and educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1871 and was promoted to captain in 1883 for distinguished service in Palestine, Cyprus, and Egypt. In 1884 Kitchener accompanied Viscount Garnet Joseph Wolseley in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum. Kitchener served as governor-general of the Eastern Sudan in north-east Africa from 1886 to 1888. He was appointed British sirdar, or commander in chief of the Egyptian army, in 1892. A ruthless but capable military leader, he started (1895) the successful invasion of the Sudan. His forces annihilated the army of the Arab leader Abdullah et Taaisha, known as The Khalifa, at Omdurman in 1898 and became firmly established at Khartoum, capital of the Sudan.

Kitchener was promoted to the rank of major general in 1896 and raised to the peerage as Baron Kitchener of Khartoum in 1898. After serving in the South African Wars (Boer Wars) he was made a viscount and received the Order of Merit. He served as commander in chief of the British forces in India from 1902 to 1909, when he was promoted to field marshal. Although he greatly strengthened Britain's power, he was refused the viceroyship of India. Instead, in 1911 he was appointed consul general in Egypt, and for his services in Egypt he was made Earl of Broome in 1914.

At the outbreak of World War I Kitchener was appointed secretary of state for war; in that capacity from 1914 until 1916 he was responsible for recruiting the volunteer British army. He was lost at sea on June 5, 1916, when the armoured cruiser Hampshire, on which he was travelling to Archangel, Russia struck a mine and sank off the Orkney Islands.

Kitchener’s personal staff perished as well -

1. Lieutenant Colonel O.A Fitzgerald
2. General Ellershaw
3. Mr O’Beirne (Foreign Office)
4. Sir H.F Donaldson
5. Mr L.S Robertson (Ministry of Munitions)
6. Second Lieutenant McPherson
7. Three civilian Clerks
8. Personal Detective (bodyguard)
9. Three personal Servants

800 men of the ships crew perished alongside Kitchener and his personal staff. There were only 12 survivors including these men -

Stoker Walter Charles Farnden
Petty Officer W Wesson
Leading Seaman W Cashman

Last updated 31 January, 2006

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