In 1902 the Wynnum Shire Council was created becoming the Town of Wynnum in 1913 and was amalgamated in the Greater Brisbane Council in 1925. The area has gradually developed as a series of dormitory suburbs of Brisbane, with the local industries of fishing, boating and other activities associated with the Port of Brisbane. The district is conveniently linked to the city, and its cool sea breezes, bay views, and friendly “country town” atmosphere are highly valued by its residents and visitors.
The site now occupied by Kitchener Park was an un-named park until residents of Wynnum requested that it be called Kitchener Park in 1926. Named for Lord Kitchener, a renowned British field marshal and statesman, who reviewed troops from Fort Lytton at Wynnum during his tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1910. On 3 January 1910 at a position near the corner of Berrima Street and Tingal Road, Lord Kitchener, mounted on a borrowed horse, took the salute as 3,000 mounted and dismounted volunteers and regular troops marched past on their way back to Lytton Fort. Many of the Lighthorsemen in the march past had served under General Kitchener during the Boer War in South Africa. A memorial cairn near the site of the march past and Kitchener Park are the only Queensland public memorials of his tour of Australia.
In 1937 land adjoining Kitchener Park which had previously accommodated the Wynnum Sanitary site and pound yard was handed over to the Parks Department. The buildings were removed to the sanitary depot at Lota.
A number of community groups and sporting organisations have associations with the Park. Croquet was first played in Wynnum at the home of Mrs Sands in Tingal Road. The Wynnum Croquet Club was formed in 1925 with Lady Mayoress Mrs J. Greene as patroness and took up a lease in part of Kitchener Park. Wynnum-Manly District Rugby League Football Club began a lease of a portion of the Park in 1953 and continue to use the playing fields. Balmoral/ Wynnum District Cricket Club leased a portion of the fields during the 1960s. The Wynnum District Lawn Tennis Association commenced a lease of a portion of the Park in 1964 and continue to use the playing fields. Wynnum Golf Club began a lease of the west side of the Park in 1971 and continue to use the area as a practice fairway.
Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916), First Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, was a renowned British field marshal and statesman. During the First World War, Kitchener became the symbol of the British war effort when he appeared on a recruiting poster. The poster was a menacing picture of Kitchener with his distinctive walrus moustache and steely gaze pointing towards the viewer urging them to join the army. This powerful image brought over 1 million British men to Kitchener’s “New Armies”. Sadly, many of this second wave of young recruits were killed in gruesome battles, such as that of the Somme.
Commissioned in 1871 in the Royal Engineers of the British Imperial Forces, he soon applied for duty in Palestine, Cyprus and Egypt. He took part (1884-85) in the unsuccessful attempt to relieve Charles George Gordon at Khartoum. In 1896 as commander in chief of the Egyptian army he began the reconquest of Sudan. A series of victories culminated in the battle of Omdurman and the reoccupation of Khartoum. Because of this accomplishment, he acquired the nickname of “Kitchener of Khartoum” or “K of K” for short. He was made governor of Sudan in 1898.
In 1899 he was appointed chief of staff to Lord Roberts in the South African War. Enhancing his already fearsome reputation, Kitchener finally secured Boer submission in 1902 although much criticised for his use of concentration camps for civilians and his systematic denudation of the farm lands. In 1902, he was created viscount and sent to India as commander in chief of British forces. Kitchener was made field marshal in 1909, served as consul general in Egypt 1911-14 and made early in 1914.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Kitchener was recalled to England as secretary of state for war. Believing that the war would last a number of years, he planned and carried out a vast expansion of the army. Kitchener’s autocratic ways strained his relations with the cabinet and other colleagues. His role in the failed Gallipoli campaign and his support for continuing various operations in the face of bitter opposition led to his being eased from power. He offered to resign but his colleagues feared the effect of this on the British public, who held him in high esteem. In 1916 on a mission to Russia he was drowned when his ship, HMS Hampshire, hit a German mine and sank off the Orkney Islands.