Portrait Roundel of Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, 1902
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Diameter: 26.5cm (10.5in)
Bronze. Reflief portrait of Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916).
Born in County Kerry, Ireland, Kitchener was educated in Switzerland and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1871, he took part in the unsuccessful operation to relieve Gordon at Khartoum in 1884-85, and in 1886 was appointed Governor-General of Eastern Sudan. In 1892 he became Sirdar of the Egyptian Army. In 1896, he began the Re-Conquest of Sudan, culminating in the Battle of Omdurman and the reoccupation of Khartoum in 1898. He was made Governor of Sudan, and became a national hero. In 1900, he was appointed chief of staff to Lord Roberts in South Africa. Following Roberts’ return to England, Kitchener took command of the imperial forces in countering the guerrilla war skilfully prosecuted by the Boers. On returning to England in 1902, he was created Viscount Kitchener and was appointed Commander-in-Chief in India. In 1911, he became the Proconsul of Egypt, serving there and in the Sudan until 1914, whence he was advanced to an Earldom. Following the outbreak of the First World War, Kitchener became Secretary of State for War. Unlike many he foresaw a war lasting for years, and planned accordingly. He rapidly enlisted and trained huge numbers of volunteers for a succession of entirely new 'Kitchener Armies’. Sent on a mission to Russia in June 1916, he drowned on 5 June when his ship, H.M.S. Hampshire was mined off the Orkneys.