Born in 1850, Kitchener joined the army and swiftly rose to Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Army. In 1898 he won lasting fame as the victor of the battle of Omdurman, where he defeated the Mahdi and his Dervish army to avenge the death of General Gordon at Khartoum in 1885. In recognition of this, he was created Baron Kitchener of Khartoum and of Aspall in the County of Suffolk (his mother was a Chevallier and had been born at Aspall Hall).
When the Boers surrendered in 1902, ending the war in Southern Africa, Kitchener was the commander of British forces, and he returned home to a tumultuous reception, with further honours and promotion to Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
When war broke out in 1914, Kitchener was appointed Secretary of State for War, and initiated a massive recruitment campaign to provide the troops needed to expand the regular army. As the military hero of the age, his image appeared on some of the most memorable recruitment posters.