MEMORY LANE: Lord Kitchener visited Belton Park army camp 100 years ago

Lord Kitchener at Belton Park.
Lord Kitchener at Belton Park.

The Grantham Journal was given exclusive access to photograph Lord Kitchener on his visit to inspect the army camp at Belton Park in October 1914.

The Secretary of War gave just one day’s notice of his inspection and arrived in Grantham on a special train from London.

Lord Kitchener at Belton Park.

Lord Kitchener at Belton Park.

Lord Kitchener proceeded to Belton where for several hours he inspected the field manoeuvres and camp drills carried out by the recruits of his New Army in command of Major-General F. Hammersley.

His Lordship was cordially received by the populace as he was driven to Belton, and his inspection was followed with great interest by thousands of spectators in the Park.

After visiting the lines of several battalions in the temporary camp, Lord Kitchener overlooked some of the permanent barrack rooms.

His inspection included a trek up to Belmont Tower where a large contingent of men were taking part in a mock battle that lasted the whole morning.

His Lordship then inspected the miniature rifle ranges and saw the spot dedicated for a new field hospital.

He returned to Belton House for lunch at 2pm where he was received at the south entrance by Earl and Countess Brownlow.

Following lunch, Lord Kitchener’s party were shown around the mansion.

Prior to His Lordship’s departure at 3.30pm, the Journal’s photographer was granted permission to take an exclusive shot of the party in the Belton House courtyard (above). Pictured from the left are Lord and Lady Brownlow, Lord Kitchener, Major-General Hammersley (11th Division), Major Duncan (11th Division) and Brigadier-General Gubbins (11th Division). Standing at the rear are Captain Aitken (ADC to General Hammersley) and Colonel Fitzgerald (military secretary to Lord Kitchener).

The smaller photo shows the Secretary of War and General Hammersley inspecting the troops. Major Duncan is on the extreme left.