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Remembered Today:

Kitchener.


Tony Lund
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I couldn’t help noticing that little A4 posters of Kitchener have appeared all over Huddersfield town centre. The words “Wants You” have been replaced with “Stick your gum here.”

Wasn’t Kitchener killed in action at sea? Should we class him as a politician and fair game? Or a serving soldier and consequently a war casualty? He is registered with the CWGC.

Field Marshal, The Right Honourable Horatio Herbert Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, Aged 65 years, Died 5th June 1916, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, Viscount Kitchener, Viscount Broome and Baron Denton. Secretary of State for War. Col. Cmdt. Royal Engineers, Col. Irish Guards. Son of the late Lt-Col. Henry Horatio and Frances Kitchener.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Cemetery: Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton

If that was a picture of a man from a local war memorial it would obviously not be allowed, so; is Kitchener fair game?

I think the moment he became a Minister he became a politician, but he is CWGC registered, no doubt about that.

Tony.

Kitchener.

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Field Marshals are for life: believe me, Kitchener was a pre-eminent soldier and organiser. He was most reluctant to accept his war post, but, printed across his huge heart must have been "DUTY". What a man!

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When Kitchener accepted his ministerial appointment, he became a political figure and I think this is how we should see him.

It was noticeable that in records of some disagreements of the Dardanelles campaign, Kitchener had a voice at the table, whereas Fisher, First Sea Lord, felt unable to speak unless asked, because he was there as Churchill's (First Lord) adviser only.

When his ship was sunk in 1916, he was not on active service. He was on his way to Russia on what was essentially a political/diplomatic mission.

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What you have to remember is that the recruiting poster with Kitchener is actually seen as one of the iconic images of 20th Century Britain.

If you asked most people to put a name to the face they probably wouldn't be able to, but they would recognise the image.

It's a bit like the Che Guevara poster on the student wall, looks good haven't a clue about the man.

Not everyone feels the same about the Great War as us and would have no problem in turning a famous graphic to other uses.

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The Huddersfield Examiner have just published a brief letter from me with a very similar question to the one I originally posted. They have put it under the heading, “Some memorial!” Presumably because I mentioned that Kitchener’s name appears on a memorial to war dead at Southampton. I am curious to see if there is any reaction, maybe Kirklees Council will switch to Uncle Sam instead!

Tony.

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I am sure the great man would violently oppose the dropping of gum on the floor (and probably be quite amused that his physog has gained a kind of dubious immortality)

Kitchener I have to say has always been one of my heroes

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When his ship was sunk in 1916, he was not on active service.

This is not correct.

As a Field Marshal he was always on active service. He could not do anything about it. It came with the rank. FMs never retired.

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Two quickies:

Just to be a pedant (like a pendant, only not as pretty) as we have several FMs still alive (Bramall, Stanier, Vincent, Inge, couple I've forgotten plus the Royals) should we say 'FMs never RETIRE..' (only to agree that Kitchener, all ends up, WAS on active service on the Hampshire)

Second; there's a parallel in the Royal Navy: Sir Eric Geddes, a civil servant, made First Lord of the Admiralty by Lloyd George in 1918 and appointed Admiral. He was the man who sacked Jellicoe. Oh, and slashed the army in the early 20s (The 'Geddes Axe') Don't know if he ever wore uniform - haven't seen a pic of him in it.

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When Kitchener accepted his ministerial appointment, he became a political figure and I think this is how we should see him.

When his ship was sunk in 1916, he was not on active service. He was on his way to Russia on what was essentially a political/diplomatic mission.

He was then, carrying out a task entrusted to him by the government, i.e. on active service.

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The three highest service ranks of Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Air Force are permanent ranks for life.

The holders never retire and are always in service - at least nominaly.

For this reason you will find two 90+ year olds in the CWGC war grave list including one member of the Royal Family and AoF Keyes (of WW1 fame) who died during WW2 of natural causes.

As they died 'in service' by virtue of their rank during the qualifying period, they qualify for CWGC listing.

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Terry,

It has never occurred to me before but seeing as we went the other day to see Robertsons grave, and a merry dance we had, would he as a Field Marshall have CWGC status?

If he did would they be responsible only for CWGC grave/headstone maintance and not a family one as we obviously saw?

regards

Arm

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Is there anything anywhere that says a serving officer, lets say Kitchener, can not serve in a political position?

Could he be ,as he obviously was, an officer of his majesty and a secretery of state, or is their some constitutional law etc that says an army officer can not serve?

regards

Arm

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This is not correct.

As a Field Marshal he was always on active service. He could not do anything about it. It came with the rank. FMs never retired.

Active service does not mean military service. He may have technically been a serving soldier, but he had no military appointment. He was serving in a civilian appointment as a minister of the crown.

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Could he be ,as he obviously was, an officer of his majesty and a secretery of state, or is their some constitutional law etc that says an army officer can not serve?

There is as far as membership of the House of commons is concerned, which no doubt can trace its origin in part to the Self Denying Ordnance of the English Civil War period, which none the less never seems to have applied to Cromwell.

Kitchener was, of course, a member of the House of Lords, where it does not seem to apply.

The point is though that he could not hold a military appointment and a ministerial appointment at the same time, so in military terms he was on the inactive list.

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There is as far as membership of the House of commons is concerned, which no doubt can trace its origin in part to the Self Denying Ordnance of the English Civil War period, which none the less never seems to have applied to Cromwell.

Isn`t that how Michael Heseltine got out of the Welsh Guards? Phil B

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Arm

He would only get war grave status if he died within the qualifying period.

Of course it does, stupid man take his name.

But then if he had died in 1940 during WW2 would he have been entitled? or am i being stupid again?

The way I read it is that as a FM is always classed as active , then so long as they die during a war, even if not on active service they would qualify.

regards

Arm

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Arm

"Stupid" - Who said that!??

Firstly 'war grave status' only applies to WW1 & WW2 for official CWGC purposes. They are not charged with caring for the men of other wars.

Secondly, the qualifying casualty had to die within one of the two qualifying periods whilst in service during the same qualifying period. (or of resulting wounds/illness after discharge). Therefore a man who was wounded whilst in service during WW1 (04.08.14 - 31.08.21) but who died of those wounds during WW2 (03.09.39 - 31.12.47) would not qualify.

However a FM etc was always in service and so if a WW1 FM who had, in reality, stopped having any military duties died during WW2 he would qualify as a WW2 casualty - such was the situation with Keyes.

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The Duke of Wellington was a Field Marshal and served as Prime Minister

Lord Alexander was a Field Marshal and was Minister of Defence in Churchill's peacetime Cabinet, he did, however, refrain from comment on what he saw as "political" matters, but that was a self imposed rule

Lord Roberts, another FM and ex CinC India annoyed the pre-war Liberal Government with his campaigning against Home Rule and for National Service. They toyed with the idea of taking his baton, but could n't find a suitable regulation.

I believe only the Kaiser and Emperor Franz Joseph have ever been sacked from being Field Marshals

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  • 3 months later...
The Huddersfield Examiner have just published a brief letter from me with a very similar question to the one I originally posted. They have put it under the heading, “Some memorial!” Presumably because I mentioned that Kitchener’s name appears on a memorial to war dead at Southampton. I am curious to see if there is any reaction, maybe Kirklees Council will switch to Uncle Sam instead!

Tony.

Apologies to Kitchener fans for forgetting to update this, but shortly after the letter asking the same question that is asked in this thread appeared in the local paper the Kitchener gum boards were exchanged for other boards worded “Wanted. Stick our gun here” etc.

Tony.

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Mates

This Kitchener thing has three essential parts:

1. Kitchener the Field Marshal;

2. Kitchener the Minister for War; and,

3. Kitchener the advertising icon.

The little A4 posters of Kitchener with the words “Wants You” being replaced by “Stick your gum here” around the Huddersfield town centre falls into the third category.

There is no difference in satirising one advertisement as to another regardless who the star of the commercial is at the time. Once a person consents to allow their image to be used for advertising purposes, that image belongs to the public at large to be disposed of as seen fit. The image owner has no further rights to the privacy of that image as they have traded off that right in the future for a payment or benefit in the present. That is why if advertisers for cricket or football games include a crowd shot that clearly identifies a person who has not given consent to their image for use in this circumstance, the organisation promoting such a promo can have it pulled or offer compensation. Since Kitchener accepted consideration for having his face appear on Army recruiting posters that festooned Britain and the empire, he has no right to ownership of that image. The 50 year rule has elapsed so the image is in the public domain and is available for whatever public purpose anyone wishes to employ that image. Kitchener knew that when he made that allowance and thus any appeals to Kitchener’s perceived wishes about the end use are misconceived. This was his will when he knowingly and willingly assigned the rights to his image to the public in 1914.

That is the legal right.

Now for the ethics. As far as I remember, ethics is a county near Thuthex. There is nothing unethical or illegal about employing the image in this manner.

Taste? Well that is in the eye of the beholder. Folks who hold a sentimental attachment to Kitchener will find it offensive while others who might be less sentimental might find it a clever irony. This is a “horses for courses” issue where there is no ability to publicly define “good taste” without interfering with someone else’s right to their own concept of “good taste”. That doesn’t mean that an opinion is estopped, it just means that we need to be tolerant of the diversity of views.

Cheers

Bill

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Mates

Just thought I would add to my previous comments.

It would appear that any cause that the government stuck their name to used the face of Kitchener. Here is the wowser cause seeking to use Kitchener - with a head and shoulders shot - and also bring in his sister to sell the wowser message.

post-7100-1140437799.jpg

I am not so sure anyone can be precious about how his mug is used in advertising - it would appear that he was happy to be dragooned into flogging any cause.

And now for another drop of the demon drink.

Cheers

Bill

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Gentlemen ... soldiers at that level are politicians ... pure and simple ... I think K was a prime example of that ... Duty as a soldier led him to a Political post ... as a FM, he was always a soldier ...

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Gentlemen ... soldiers at that level are politicians ... pure and simple ... I think K was a prime example of that ... Duty as a soldier led him to a Political post ... as a FM, he was always a soldier ...

You've hit the nail on the head, Andy. In a democracy, the most senior military figures will have to work closely with the government. They will become ipso facto politicians. Trouble is, politicians will start fancying themselves to be generals.

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