Kitching, Frank W.

Frank W. Kitching (6 April 1839 – 16 November 1917) was a nontheatrical member of The Lambs who respected his friends and actors so much that it led him to launch the Lambs Memorial Relief Fund, which is still supporting worthy causes 100 years later as the Lambs’ Foundation.

Kitching was born in 1839 in Southbridge, Massachusetts, the son of immigrants from England. He was a veteran of the Civil War, serving as a private in Company A, 1st Regiment, Connecticut Heavy Artillery Regiment. He was captured by the Confederates and spent two years as a prisoner of war.

He later founded a wool brokerage firm and traveled the world.

A modest nontheatrical member, he was elected to The Lambs in 1897. Kitching launched the Lambs Memorial Relief Fund in 1916, as a way to assist worthy members of the club in temporary financial distress. Kitching gave a gift of 100 shares of Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad stock. Other loyal members contributed, such as Edwin Burke, John Golden, William S. Hart, Robert L. Hague, and David Warfield. In November 1943 the Memorial Relief Fund was superceded by the The Lambs’ Relief Foundation, Inc. In 1960 it was renamed the Lambs’ Foundation.

Kitching died 16 November 1917, one week after the U.S. entered World War One. He was 78 years old. He is interred with his wife, Grace Kitching, in Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx. For his generosity, Kitching was named one of the original six Immortal Lambs in 1933.