KITCHENER 1850 – 1916
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 brought back from the Sudan when it became independent in
the late 1950's and was re-erected on the approach road to Kitchener
Barracks, on a plinth built by one of the military mason instructors,
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.
should also be made here of his accompanying personal staff and of the
ships company all of whom perished alongside 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.
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.
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.
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.
personal staff perished as well -
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
of the ships crew perished alongside Kitchener and his personal staff.
There were only 12 survivors including these men -
Walter Charles Farnden
Petty Officer W Wesson
Leading Seaman W Cashman