Islanders came together this week to remember Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, whose recent sudden death was a cause of great shock. In a memorial service held at the Town Church, mourners gave thanks for the soldier and statesmen who had played such a pivotal role in the war to date. There is also talk of creating something permanent to commemorate the Field Marshal’s life and achievements.
Kitchener was travelling on a diplomatic mission to Russia when his ship, the cruiser HMS Hampshire, went down on 5 June soon after leaving port. The exact cause of the sinking, which resulted in the loss of almost all hands, is not fully clear at this time, although reports of an explosion and fire suggests enemy action was involved.
While Kitchener’s death is a blow for everyone in Jersey, a number of local families have been directly affected by the tragedy. Seven Jersey sailors – William Amy, Francis Foney, Alick Humphrey, Clement Mallet, Edward Rogers, Alfred Smith and Archibald Watts – were lost with the ship, which ironically participated in the immense North Sea naval battle a few days earlier without suffering any damage or casualties.
A/D1/W10 contains correspondence between the Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund and the Lieutenant Governor on Jersey’s contribution to a scheme designed to commemorate the late Field Marshal.