Who was Lord Kitchener? Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Lord Kitchener.

  • Lord Kitchener was a senior British army officer, who played an important part during World War I. His face is familiar from propaganda posters urging young men to join the army.
  • Kitchener was born in Ireland in 1850.
  • He fought in the Franco-Prussian war.
  • He joined the Royal Engineers at age 20, and served in Cyprus and Egypt. He learned to speak Arabic.
  • In 1874 Kitchener made important maps of Palestine and the Holy land. He became a major in the Egyptian army, although he was worried that the sun would turn his moustache white.
  • In 1898, Kitchener and his soldiers successfully defeated the Dervishes for control of Khartoum, in the Sudan. Kitchener became known as K of K, and became more popular.

Lord Kitchener

  • Lord Kitchener became commander in chief of the Indian army in 1902. He became consul-general in Egypt in 1911, was later made an earl, and travelled to Australia and New Zealand.
  • He was appointed Secretary of State for War in 1914.
  • He appeared on several patriotically themed recruitment posters, which helped to recruit solders and volunteers to fight.
  • The most famous recruitment poster shows Kitchener with a pointing finger, with the caption ‘Your Country Wants You’. The poster has been copied and parodied many times since then, but some historians think that it wasn’t used very much at the time.

Your Country Needs You

  • Kitchener predicted that the war would last a long time, and realized the importance of having many volunteers.
  • Lord Kitchener died in June, 1916 when his ship was hit by a German mine in the Atlantic Ocean. Various conspiracy theories surrounded his death, including one saying he was killed by a South African spy.
  • He has been featured on Britain’s two pound coin and has a road in the West Midlands named after him. There is a stone memorial to Kitchener on the Orkney Islands.

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