Henry Herbert Kitchener, the 3rd Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, Vice President of The Western Front Association almost since its inception, died on 16 December 2011.
Henry Herbert Kitchener was born on 24 February 1919 to Henry Franklin Kitchener, Viscount Broome (1878-1928) who was the son of Henry Elliott Chevallier Kitchener, 2nd Earl Kitchener (1846-1937). When his grandfather died in 1937, Henry Herbert inherited the title. (Henry Herbert's grandfather, Henry Elliott Chevallier, was the older brother of "K of K", the wartime secretary of state for War who became the 2nd Earl on the death of the Field Marshal in 1916.)
As the holder of what may have been the most famous imperial title of the 20th century, Henry Kitchener always tried to defend the reputation of his great-uncle, who, since drowning on HMS Hampshire in 1916 aged 66, has been accused of butchering the Dervishes at Omdurman and inventing the concentration camp.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the 3rd Earl
...Sometimes popped up in the newspapers when questioned on such matters as hereditary peerages. In 1990, for example, when Viscount Rothermere won libel damages over suggestions that he was too aristocratic to get on with his fellow newspaper magnate Lord Matthews, Kitchener opined that Lord Matthews, a mere life peer, failed to pass muster as an aristocrat. "A life peerage can make one an aristocrat only to a certain extent," he declared.
Henry Herbert Kitchener was a Page of Honour at the coronation of King George VI and during the Second World War was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals, serving in the UK and in Sicily. He retired in the rank of major.
As qualified physicist, after the war he worked for ICI's and, from 1959, was president of the Organic Food Society. Before his retirement from ICI he rarely attended the House of Lords, but was a staunch defender of hereditary peers
The 3rd Earl was unmarried, and latterly lived near Chichester with his widowed sister, Lady Kenya, who is 88.
His niece, Emma Joy Kitchener, is a lady-in-waiting to Princess Michael of Kent and is the wife Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey) who changed his name to Kitchener-Fellowes in 1998 in honour of his wife's relationship to Lord Kitchener of Khartoum.
With his death, the title Earl Kitchener lapses.
It is understood that there will be a memorial service in the spring.
Earl Kitchener was the last of the ‘original' Vice Presidents of the Western Front Association and his passing marks the last of the invitations to this role made by the WFA's founder John Giles. John's vision in asking Lt-General Sir John Glubb to be the WFA's first patron and John Terraine to be the first President enabled the WFA to thrive in its early years.
The other original Vice Presidents (who were all announced at the WFA's AGM in September 1982) were
- HRH Prince Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria (who died in 1996 and was the son of Rupprecht , Crown Prince of Bavaria)
- George (Dawyck) Haig, 2nd Earl Haig (who died in 2009)
- John Toland (who died in 2004)
Appreciation submitted by David Tattersfield, Development Trustee