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Author Topic: Lord Kitchener visits Shorncliffe Camp - 1914  (Read 2182 times)

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Re: Lord Kitchener visits Shorncliffe Camp - 1914
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 16:31:19 »
   Aug 2nd 1914
   As events in central Europe continue to unfold with bewildering speed it seems likely that Kent's 64 year old veteran soldier Lord Kitchener will be summoned to join the Government. Last week Austria declared war on Serbia. Two days ago Russia, France and Germany ordered mobilisation of their armies and yesterday Britain angered the Kaiser by offering to mediate. A European war is inevitable and Britain may join the fight.
   Herbert Kitchener was enjoying life in retirement on his 500 acre Broome Park Estate, near Canterbury, had planned a Mediterranean cruise but instead he has accepted an invitation to meet Herbert Asquith amid rumours that he will be given the job as Secretary of State for War.
   If Kitchener does accept, the whole of Britain will be grateful that there is a public telephone in the little Kent village of Barham. The former British Commander-in-Chief, during hostilities in South Africa, had actually booked his passage by train to Marseilles and then by cruiser to Alexandria. He was due to leave on Friday but decided to use the telephone in the Post Office at Barham to get the latest news from London. He was told it was unadvisable to go on holiday anywhere but Switzerland and that all Ministers had been told to return to their posts immediately.
   A few weeks ago Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, pointed out to Prime Minister Asquith the impossibility of his continuing to hold the seals of the Secretary of State for War as well as his supreme office, and advised that he should consider the appointment of Lord Kitchener to the former post. Mr Churchill said "I could see by Mr Asquith's reception of my remarks that his mind was already moving, along the same path".

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Lord Kitchener visits Shorncliffe Camp - 1914
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2014, 19:58:27 »
The Times - Monday, September 21, 1914

Lord Kitchener today paid a visit to Shorncliffe camp, where 17,000 of the men who have responded to his call are receiving their training. Accompanied by the Commandant Major-General Spons, the Secretary for War went round the camp and watched the men as they went through their usual routine drill. There was no formal inspection.
During his stay of two hours Lord Kitchener witnessed the drill of the Norfolk, Suffolk, Northampton, and Essex Regiments, the 3rd Hussars, and the Field Artillery, and he also inspected the rifle range. The men at Shorncliffe are still raw material, but they are making progress. One company gave Lord Kitchener an amusing example of their keenness, for when called upon to advance at the double, in open order, they did so with such enthusiasm that some of them would probably have knocked him down if he had not hurriedly moved out of their way.

 

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