In the late 19th Century, Kitchener had great successes in the Egyptian Army, which gave him great fame back in Britain. During the Second Boer War, Kitchener served under Lord Roberts. Then he led and reformed the Indian Army. When World War One started, Kitchener became Secretary of State for War. He offered good advice and recruited the New Army, which was the source of the famous poster, but he began to have difficulties and was blamed for many things.
When Russia invited him to visit and talk about production of artillery shells, the government saw it as a good excuse to get him out of the way for a while.