Herbert James Graham Kell, the son of a civil engineer, joined Christ College with older brother, Fergus Aenas, and younger brother, Philip Arthur Graham. All three brothers were involved in athletics, with Herbert receiving his only mention in The Breconian by gaining second place in the Under 15 High Jump in the annual athletic sports of 1889.
Master Mariner Herbert James Graham Kell
School House 1888-1890
26th June 1918
After leaving school both Herbert and Philip became apprentices in the Merchant Navy. In 1892 Herbert signed an apprenticeship to the shipping firm of Wright, Graham and Company of Glasgow, later gaining his certificates as Second Mate (1895) and then First Mate (1899) and Master (1901) before being entered into The Captains Registers at Lloyds. In 1909 he emigrated to Australia where he joined the shipping firm of Huddart Parker & Co of Melbourne, Australia. Kell served as Second and chief Officer, and then as Master on many Huddart Parker vessels.
By early 1915 was the Captain of the SS ‘Wimmera’, a passenger ship of 3022 tons mainly used on the trans-Tasman Sea run between Australia and New Zealand. On the morning of 25th June 1918, the ‘Wimmera’ left Auckland bound for Sydney. On board were 76 passengers and 75 crew. At 5.15am on the 26th June, she hit a mine laid by the German commerce raider ‘Wolf’.
In accordance with maritime tradition, Herbert Kell went down with his ship after ensuring that passengers and crew took to the lifeboats. Six of the eight lifeboats survived their launching and eventually landed at various locations over the next 48 hours. Master Mariner H J G Kell died in the sinking, along with the Chief officer, the Chief steward and 23 others.
His younger brother, Philip Arthur Graham Kell, also died at sea and was the first Old Breconian to be killed in the First World War. Master Mariner Herbert James Graham Kell is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London, and on the Christ College War Memorial.
Geography field trips continue to be rolled back out and earlier this month saw the first Year 9 trip since before the pandemic. 47 pupils collected data at the foot of Hay Bluff, investigating the impact of tourism in the National Park. Naturally they then…Read on
Mountain biking is a key part of our Second Curriculum activities with pupils taking full advantage of what our fantastic location has to offer. The range of mountain biking courses and excursions continue to expand and this week saw our most advanced riders heading to…Read on
Three entrepreneurial students at Christ College Brecon have embarked on a business venture to test their commerce skills and launched a brand-new mobile catering trike. Lower Sixth pupils Lottie Cross, Fern Cumine and Fran Lauenburg debuted the novel catering tricycle at this year’s school Sports…Read on
On Saturday 7th May we were delighted to showcase the Art and photography work of our year 7, 8 and 9 pupils in an exhibition in the Powell gallery, followed by a prize giving. We are privileged to have local artist Laura Dennis as our…Read on
Christ College Brecon launched its ambitious 2041 Mountain Challenge on Saturday , where intrepid individuals were invited to push themselves to their limits and take on one of three different hiking routes around the Brecon Beacons. Sponsored by Sam Hawking Property Lawyers, the routes…Read on