Coin a conspiracy

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THE controversy over the proposed £2 Kitchener World War One centenary coin (your report, 15 January) belongs with the general uncomfortable feeling about this politically led commemoration in its entirety.

When it was originally that announced that the start of the Great War would be commemorated, there was much disquiet about this departure from the Remembrance Day tradition, which marks the end of the same war, not its beginning.

Now we have a controversial personage from that war to further intensify the situation.

Lord Kitchener was himself such a figure of controversy at the time of the Great War that yet another controversy pertains to his death in the sinking of HMS Hampshire near Orkney in 1916.

A conspiracy theory persists that the disaster itself was the result of political engineering – more so than the official verdict of a German mine – in order to rid the government of the day of a perceived threat to its supremacy.

Some local folklore tells of nasty events attending the aftermath of the sinking of the boat, from which only 12 survivors emerged out of more than 600 aboard.

The very fact that the ship carrying Kitchener, on a mission to Russia, went out into the teeth of an Atlantic gale is one of several sources of conspiracy suspicions.

The £2 centenary coin now adds to the dubious jumble.

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive