Vernon George Waldegrave Kell was born in Great Yarmouth, England back in 1873 to Waldegrave and Georgiana. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, commissioned into the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1894. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1896.
He fought in the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. He could speak German, Italian, French and Polish. Stationed in Tientsin on the intelligence staff, he was also the foreign correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, being promoted to captain in 1901. In 1909, he was selected by the War Office and the Admiralty to head the newly formed Secret Service Bureau. Working during WWI he was dealing with the Indian seditionist movement in Europe.
What you may not know about Sir Vernon George Waldegrave Kell is that he was the founder and first Director of the British Security Service, otherwise known a MI5. He was known as K. to date he is the longest-serving head of any British government department during the 20th century.
He died in 1942, he was 68.
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