Tag Archives: Kitchener

New memorial to honour men lost on HMS Hampshire

The Orkney Heritage Society is raising funds to restore the Kitchener Memorial tower in Birsay, Orkney, which was erected in 1926, and to add a commemorative wall to the hundreds of crewmen who died aboard HMS Hampshire in 1916.
HMS Hampshire, a Royal Navy cruiser, was carrying Lord Kitchener on a diplomatic mission to Russia when it hit German mines off the coast of Birsay during gale-force conditions. Only 12 men survived the sinking, and the Orkney Heritage Society wants to ensure that those who lost their lives alongside the War Minister are remembered on the memorial.
There is some disagreement over exactly how many men were lost when the HMS Hampshire sank but it is currently believed to be about 735. The exact number may never be known. Local men lost included Ldg Stoker Fred Bean 24 mentioned on St Laurence war memorial, Ldg Telegraphist John Victor Bear 22 from Queen Bertha Road and Harry Maxted from St Peters. Lord Kitchener himself was also a local man as in 1911 he had bought Broome Park near Canterbury and was there on leave when he was called on to form Britain’s army in August 1914.
The memorial is due to be unveiled on the centenary of the sinking on the June 5th 2016.