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Friday, 30 August 2013

The army officer behind the poster

Horatio Kitchener (1850-1916), who was also known as Lord Kitchener, was a British army officer. He fought successfully in the Boer War. During World War I, he was responsible for buiding up the British army, and his picture appeared on a famous poster with the words "Your country needs YOU. Join your country's army, God save the King".
In 1916 Lord Kitchener sailed the cruiser HMS Hampshire for his diplomatic mission to Russia. The Hampshire struck a mine laid by a German U-boat and sank west of the Orkney Islands. Kitchener, his staff, and 643 of the crew of 655 were drowned or died of exposure. As his body was never found, a number of conspiracy theories were put forward. Some claimed that Kitchener was assassinated, or that his death would have been convenient for a British establishment that had come to see him as a figure from the past who was incompetent to wage modern war.

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