Rewriting history

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DR JOHN Cameron writes that Kaiser Wilhelm II “was hardly blameless” for the outbreak of the First World War (Letters, 
14 June). While this is true, neither were all the other European politicians and generals. I think in particular of General Horatio Herbert, the Lord Kitchener, the British Army’s main recruiting agent at the beginning of the war.

In 1900, Kitchener had been appointed Chief of Staff of British armed forces in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State during the Boer War. In order to defeat the ferocious Boer commandos, Kitchener arrested their wives and children and their black servants and placed them in 31 concentration camps placed throughout the country. Almost 61,000 died during incarceration. This was well noted by even more evil men in Europe over the next half century.

The British armed forces were in no sense the “good guys” of the First World War and for Westminster to present it in this way is a travesty of both history and of truth.

Alan Clayton

Strachur, Argyll