Invitation to Meet Field Marshall Earl Kitchner Melbourne Australia 1910 World Tour
Fine embossed invitation to meet Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, (1850-1916), in Melbourne, Australia, whilst on his World Tour, dated 18th January 1910.
Kitchener was a senior British Army officer and colonial administrator who won notoriety for his imperial campaigns, most especially his scorched earth policy against the Boers and his establishment of concentration camps during the Second Boer War, and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War.
Kitchener was credited in 1898 for winning the Battle of Omdurman and securing control of the Sudan for which he was made Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, becoming a qualifying peer and of mid-rank as an Earl. As Chief of Staff in the Second Boer War he played a key role in Lord Roberts' conquest of the Boer Republics, then succeeded Roberts as Commander-in-Chief – by which time Boer forces had taken to guerrilla fighting and British forces imprisoned Boer civilians in concentration camps. His term as Commander-in-Chief of the Army in India saw him quarrel with the Viceroy Lord Curzon, who eventually resigned. Kitchener then returned to Egypt as British Agent and Consul-General.
In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Kitchener became Secretary of State for War, a Cabinet Minister. One of the few to foresee a long war, lasting for at least three years, and with the authority to act effectively on that perception, he organised the largest volunteer army that Britain had seen, and oversaw a significant expansion of materials production to fight on the Western Front. Despite having warned of the difficulty of provisioning for a long war, he was blamed for the shortage of shells in the spring of 1915 – one of the events leading to the formation of a coalition government – and stripped of his control over munitions and strategy.
Kitchener was among 737 who died on 5 June 1916 when HMS Hampshire sank having struck a German mine 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the Orkney Islands, Scotland. He was making his way to Russia to attend negotiations.
Size: 20 x 14.5 cm approx