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Vernon Kell (1873-1942)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Vernon Kell (1873-1942)

Description: Vernon Kell (Sir Vernon George Waldgrave Kell; AKA (Code Name "K"); November 21, 1873-March 27, 1942), British major-general and first director of MI5, British Counter-Intelligence. Kell, who graduated from Sandhurst (Royal Military Academy), fought in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, later serving in Russia and China. A master linguist, he spoke and wrote a dozen languages. In 1902, Kell was assigned to the German desk at the British War Office, creating comprehensive files on German agents in England. He was promoted in 1907 to the Committee on Imperial Defense. In 1909, two years after the creation of Great Britain's Secret Service, Kell became head of the newly created MO5, British Counter-Intelligence (renamed MI5 in 1916). To learn techniques, procedures and establish operations, Kell quickly linked himself to Mansfield Cumming (Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming; April 1, 1859-June 14, 1923), director of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6); Basil Thomson (Sir Basil Home Thomson; April 21, 1861-March 26, 1939) of the Metropolitan Police; Reginald “Blinker” Hall (Sir William Reginald Hall; June 28, 1870-October 22, 1943) of Naval Intelligence, and Patrick Quinn, chief of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch, which would make all official arrests for MI5 since Kell’s MI5 had no powers of arrest. Kell instituted postal censorship in MI5 and through such inspection learned of a widespread German spy ring, which he smashed just before the beginning of WWI, MI5 identifying all German spies in England. During that war (1914-1918), Kell was extremely effective in tracking down more German spies, but, at the beginning of WWII, Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill; November 30, 1874-January 24, 1865), believed Kell's methods were outmoded and he had ineffectively dealt with a more sophisticated German Intelligence (Abwehr), and he fired Kell, who went into retirement.

Category: Intelligence

Keywords: Vernon Kell, Boxer Rebellion, Committee on Imperial Defense, MO5, MI5, British Counter-Intelligence, MI6, British Secret Service, Secret Intelligence Service, SIS, Basil Thomson, Metropolitan Police, Mansfield Cumming, Reginald Hall, Patrick Quinn, British Naval Intelligence, Special Branch of Scotland Yard, German spies, spying, espionage, agents, German Intelligence, Winston Churchill, Abwehr, Great Britain, United Kingdom, England, Germany

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 1650 x 2246 (3.71 MPixels) (1.36)

Print Size: 14.0 x 19.0 cm; 5.5 x 7.5 inches

File Size: 10.64 MB (11,153,504 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000004440

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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