Harry Auguste KELLER [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Harry Auguste KELLER [????- ]

Harry Auguste

Harry Auguste (also spelled August) Keller was the Swiss Consul in Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation.


I think this entry could possibly be Andre Keller, married to my great aunt Ethel.  Both were in Stanley.  Spelling of his surname varies on different records/documents from Koella (original spelling) to Keller to Kella.  He was born in Switzerland in 1885 and passed away in Australia in 1946, if it is the same person.

Hope this is of help,  Judy Bercene


Hi Judy,

Thanks for your message. Here's the section of Harry Ching's diary for 1 Sep 1943 that mentions Keller:

To Foreign Office for new passes. Fears not realised. Eurasian not nationality but we use it. Mavis Xavier unsettles by saying some people altered Eurasian to British and will get Red Cross relief plus chance at repat. To Red Cross to enquire. Reception cold when I say have Eurasian pass. Suggest I see Keller since Swiss are looking after British interests. Keller says British evac in offing but no info of Australian.

So the Swiss nationality is a match. However Harry Ching was not in Stanley, so if Andre Keller was in Stanley at this time, I don't think it will be the same person.

Please do you know when Andre Keller was interned?

Regards, David

Hello David,

I was of the understanding from family members that Andre and Ethel Keller were in Stanley, but probably not.  Instead somewhere else in Hong Kong.  Their days in Hong Kong were never spoken about so very little is known about this time.  Not sure if I can be of much help.  I am researching Ethel and Andre.

Kind regards,  Judy


Hi Judy:

Andre (Master Mariner) and Ethel Kella were in Stanley Camp and were in Block 5 Room 4. I'm mot sure whether they came in with most others in Jan 1942.  I will check this out. Best rgds,  Philip Cracknell

Hi Philip,

It would be great if you could find that out.

Kind regards, Judy

Barbara Anslow writes that Ethel & Andre Kella arrived in Stanley Camp in early 1942 (see http://gwulo.com/node/15443), so could not be the "Keller" that Harry Ching reported meeting in his diary.

Regards, David

I am not sure if related to Capt Andre Kella (aka Keller) but according to HK Govt Gazette of 17 Jan 1941: It is hearby notified that Mr Harry A. Keller Honary Consul for Switzerland at Hong Kongresumed charge of the Swiss Consulate on 9th Jan 1941

Best rgds,  Philip Cracknell

Thanks Philip, that confirms he is a different person from Andre Kella.

I found another mention in the London Gazette from January 1940, menioning the approval of his appointment as Swiss Consul for Hong Kong:


Regards, David

Philip, as far as I know Harry Keller and Andre Kella are not related.

Thanks to David for finding out from the original entry of Keller????  they are 2 different people.

Kind regards, Judy Bercene