Field Marshal The Earl Kitchener (1850-1916)
Horatio Herbert Kitchener was born into a military family and was, naturally, commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1871. He saw service in the Sudan, the Boer War, India and Egypt before the beginning of the Great War. By pure chance, Kitchener was in Britain on leave when the war broke out and Prime Minister Herbert Asquith appointed him as Secretary of State for War. Kitchener launched a massive recruiting campaign, most famously on posters which featured his face and pointing finger. Although Kitchener was popular with the public, this admiration did not always extend to others in military or political spheres. The Shell Crisis and the defeat at Gallipoli in 1915 did nothing to improve his situation, although some did sympathise with him in his difficult position. In June 1916, Kitchener set sail on a diplomatic mission to Russia, on board HMS Hampshire. The ship struck a mine and sank, off the Orkney Islands. Kitchener did not survive.