Lord Kitchener is Britain’s war minister. His influence in government has long been waning as powers are taken from him by the likes of David Lloyd-George, the munitions minister, but he remains a popular figure in the country at large, who remember his successful campaigns in earlier wars against the Boers and the Sudanese Dervishes. Capitalising on his popularity, Kitchener’s face was used on recruitment posters encouraging men to enlist in the army.
Today he sets sail aboard the Hampshire, a Royal Navy cruiser. He is bound for Russia on a diplomatic mission. However he never reaches Britain’s ally. As the Hamphsire sails by the Orkneys, it strikes a mine laid by a German U-boat. It sinks quickly. There are just 12 survivors. Kitchener is not among them. His body is never found.
Many in Britain are shocked by news of Kitchener’s death. His popularity means that conspiracy theories soon arise, suggesting that his political enemies have engineered his death, or perhaps that he is actually still alive and away on a secret mission. But it seems that he has died the kind of senseless, meaningless death that many less famous men are experiencing every day across Europe.
image source (Wikipedia)