Lord Kitchener of British Indian Army, 1909 Print
Old 1909 print of the Commander in chief of the British Indian Army Lord Kitchener. This print is a page from the 1909 newspaper The Sphere. Shows Lord Kitchener leaving Simla after his retirement in 1909. Horatio Herbert Kitchener was at the peak of his military successes. That was before he became the Commander-In-Chief of the British Indian Army in 1902.
His brilliant strategies in Egypt, Sudan, and South Africa were legendary. Defeating the Mahdist in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. And won the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1902. Becoming a war hero and gaining cult-like status. He did not go unrewarded for his accomplishments. Many citations, titles, and cash awards were bestowed upon him.
Certain quarters would have wanted him to take charge of the entire British Empire’s military. Although this was a bit of wishful thinking. At this juncture, Viceroy Lord Curzon pushed for his posting to India as the Commander-In-Chief. Since the Viceroys’ military advisers were inept in organizational skills or strategies.
To add to the problems there were cases of racial disharmony between Indian and European soldiers. All this displayed weakness and instability in the military. Although Kitchener during his posting changed the entire structure of the Indian army. By reorganizing and redistribution. He abolished the Commander-In-Chief posts of the three separate armies of the Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras Presidencies. And unified all of them under a single head.
Many other conducive changes took place under his 9 year tenure. So much so that it became more organized and well planned. However, there was trouble brewing between Viceroy Curzon and the C-In-C. The British Prime Minister’s office had to intervene in Kitchener’s favour. Which led to Curzon’s resignation as the Viceroy of India at that time. Click on the photo for better view.
See older post Vintage Book – History of The Bombay Army 1938
Did you know- Kitchener’s picture was also depicted in the famous WWI recruitment poster “Your Country Needs You.”