Centenary of the Visit of Lord KitchenerPrint Page Print this page

Lord Kitchener : 21-October-2011
Lord Kitchener : 21-October-2011

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The cairn commemorates the centenary of the visit of Lord Kitchener to Seymour in January 1910. Lord Kitchener visited Seymour as part of his review of Australia's military capabilities. Lord Kitchener was Commander-in-Chief of the British Army at the time of his visit. 

At the invitation of Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, Kitchener visited Australia in 1909 to inspect the existing state of defence preparedness of the Commonwealth, and advise on the best means of providing Australia with a land defence. Kitchener’s report, submitted in February 1910, recommended the introduction of compulsory military training which was immediately adopted, as was the establishment of the Military College, Duntroon.

It has been definitely decided that Seymour will be the site of the Kitchener camp. The troops which will make the strongest muster at the camp will be the Light Horse. This being so, the suitability of the chosen area for cavalry operations has necessarily had to be considered in selecting the site, and an additional factor is that Seymour is practically in the centre of the Light Horse districts. The country round Seymour is also suitable for artillery manoeurves, and there is no available area in the vicinity of Melbourne where these could be so well carried out. As it is considered that Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener will desire to see the troops on the move, the reason for choosing such a district as Seymour is apparent. The eight days to be devoted to the camp will be mainly occupied in moving the troops over a considerable area, and in carrying out certain tactical operations. Many of the sites recommended have been inspected by officers of the head quarter staff, and all that now remains is that the exact situation for the main camp should be selected, Major Luscombe will visit Seymour on Saturday to inspect the surround country, and select the most suitable places. The intention will be directed to sites closer to the town. 
Yea Chronicle (Yea, Vic), 9 December 1909.

A casual visitor to Seymour on Thursday last felt an unwanted air of excitement pervading the town. The streets were gay with bunting, the usually quiet roads were filled with crowds of sight-seers of all ages, from grey-haired grandfathers to tiny toddlers with bright, shiny faces, all clad in holiday attire. A long stream of motors and cabs labelled "Direct to the Camp" stood outside the railway station, the entrance to which was carefully guarded by mounted police, while on the platform a few khaki representatives paraded, just to give a spice of military air to the proceedings. The interest of all alike was centred on the arrival of the "special" from Melbourne with Great Britain's illustrious soldier, Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener. The arrival of the train was the signal for a mild rush towards the north end, and the great man dressed in ordinary attire, stepped out in that quietly unostentatious way so characteristic of him. The people had come to see a soldier—they only saw a man. Colonel Wallack acted as escort to the waiting motor, and accompanied by the Minister of Defence and Mr. Harper, M.P., a tour was made of the town, a halt being called at the arch erected by the citizens, bearing the inscription "Welcome, Lord Kitchener, to Seymour."  An address of welcome was presented by the president of the Shire (Cr. McCormack), and the voices of the children rang out lustily in "God Save the King." A few words from His Excellency, a cheer from the surrounding crowds, and a cloud of genuine dust swallowed up the central figure as he proceeded "direct to the camp"!
Table Talk (Melbourne), 20 January 1910.






Address:ANZAC Avenue, J.W. Elliott Reserve, Seymour, 3660
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.025733
Long: 145.136892
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:13-January-1910
Actual Event End Date:13-January-2010


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:January-2010
Front Inscription

Centenary of the Visit of Lord Kitchener

This cairn commemorates the Centenary of the visit to Seymour by Lord Kitchener on 13th January 1910.  

A welcome arch was erected near this spot.

More than 4000 troops and 2000 horses assembled at the Seymour Racecourse for the occasion.

Seymour was later chosen as a major training centre for World War 1.

Erected by Seymour and District Historical Society Inc. January 2010

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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