I desire to pause here to pay just tribute to the memory of that man who organized the army which will yet win victory for Britain and for the allied nations; I mean Lord Kitchener.
To his standing as a great soldier, as the virtual head of the British army at the time; to his military ability, to his indomitable will, which had been tested on so many occasions, the people of the United Kingdom and the whole Empire looked in the day of trial, and they did not look in vain.
(Robert Borden, Debates, 22 Jan 1917, 27)
On 5 June 1916, while transporting British War Minister, Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, on a diplomatic mission to Russia, the HMS Hampshire struck a German mine near the Orkney Islands. Earl Kitchener and his staff drowned in the violent sea along with 643 crew and passengers. One day later, the 244th Battalion was authorized from Montreal under the command of Frederick Mackenzie McRobie. Sir Sam Hughes dubbed the new unit Kitchener’s Own and called on recruits to avenge the War Minister’s death.