Awful news – Lord Kitchener drowned

One of the biggest shocks in the war was the tragic drowning of national hero Horatio, Lord Kitchener on 5 June 1916. We have heard from Ralph Glyn and his friends that Kitchener was not well thought of at the War Office or by politicians, but he was very popular with the general public. He was heading on a diplomatic trip to Russia when his ship was mined. 600 others were also killed. Florence and Phyllis Vansittart Neale seems to have heard the shocking news while visiting Florence’s sister-in-law Constance and the other Sisters at Clewer.


Florence Vansittart Neale
6 June 1916

Did some village visiting about women on land….

Phyllis & I to Clewer for tea, then meeting at Windsor – National Mission. Canon D. told me about Lord K. drowned – too horrible!!…

Awful news. Lord Kitchener and all his staff drowned. Struck a mine off Orkneys going to Russia!!

Lord Kitchener started for Russia in heavy storm. Ship mined. All drowned.

CSJB Annals
6 June 1916

News reached us that Lord Kitchener & his staff had been drowned on the evening of the 5th near the Orkneys. He was on his way to Russia in HMS Hampshire. The ship struck a mine.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8); Annals of the Community of St John Baptist, Clewer (D/EX1675/1/14/5)

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