Lord Kitchener's Visit
Website of the Royal New South Wales Lancers Lancer Barracks and Museum
A bill providing for compulsory military training in peace time (referred to as universal training) was introduced to Parliament by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin in 1909. It was a measure with broad parliamentary support, having been adopted by the Opposition Labor Party at its 1908 conference. At the invitation of Deakin, Field Marshal Viscount Kitchener of Great Britain visited Australia in 1909 to inspect the existing state of defence preparedness of the young 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. A public version of Kitchener’s report was published as 'Defence of Australia: Memorandum’, it can be inspected at the National Archives of Australia.
As part of his visit Lord Kitchener, inspected the Army training site at Holsworthy New South Wales and declared that the area suited a permanent military training area. The militia units of New South Wales assembled at Holsworthy to show his lordship their skills. The Museum's collection includes a series of photos of that visit. They are assembled here as a slide show for those interested in the period.
The Museum acknowledges the work of Museum volunteer Ray Williams in digitising the Museum's photograph collection.
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