The Kitchener Memorial tower in Birsay, Orkney was erected in 1926. (Photo courtesy of Kitchener Memorial Project)

New Orkney memorial to honour Lord Kitchener and men lost on HMS Hampshire

Posted on centenarynews.com on 08 April 2015
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The Orkney Heritage Society is leading a project to restore the Kitchener Memorial tower in Birsay, Orkney, and to add a commemorative wall to hundreds of crewmen who died aboard HMS Hampshire in 1916.

The current memorial, which was raised by the people of Orkney in memory of Lord Kitchener, Britain's War Minister, was erected in 1926.

The Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial Project aims to restore the original monument as well as build a commemorative wall next to it. The wall will have the names of the men who lost their lives engraved on inlaid granite.

The group is trying to raise funds and seek grants to complete the project, which is estimated to cost £200,000.

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.

The society says it was long believed that 643 men died but research for the project has identified the names of 736 lost. 

The memorial is due be unveiled around the centenary of the sinking on the June 5th 2016.

To donate to the project please visit the Orkney Heritage Society’s JustGiving page.

Keep up with the project updates on the Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial Project blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.

Photo courtesy of Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Memorial Project

Posted by: Éadaoin Hegarty, Centenary News