Thomas Herbert Kelly

Metal Merchant

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman City of Sydney 1906 1919

Family background

Thomas Herbert Kelly was born in Sydney on 17 May 1875, the second son of Irish-born Thomas Hussey Kelly and his wife Mary Ann, née Dick. On 29 August 1903 at Christ Church, Hawthorn, Melbourne, he married a widow and actress Ethel Knight Moore, née Mollison. He died on 12 May 1948 and was cremated with Anglican rites. He was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.

Occupation & interests

Bertie Kelly was educated at Sydney Grammar School and in England at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford (B.A., 1898). In 1901 he became Managing Director of the family company, Sydney Smelting Co., and Chairman of the Australian Alum Company. He joined the Australian Field Artillery in 1905, was commissioned in 1907, promoted to Captain the following year and appointed Major in 1910. He commanded the AIS (NSW) from 1913-19, being promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1914. He was chairman of the Perpetual Trustee Company and a director of Tooth & Co and the Bank of New South Wales. Kelly was an accomplished musician and played violin with the Sydney Amateur Orchestral Society. He belonged to the Australian and Royal Sydney Gold clubs and was a committee member of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. He lived in the Kelly family home, Glenyarrah at Double Bay (later aquired by John Spencer Brunton and Gladswood) until 1913, before building a house at Darling Point where he entertained visiting musicians.

Community activity

Bertie Kelly helped establish Koala Park at Pennant Hills. He was a committee member of the Royal Philharmonic Society of Sydney. He was a member of the Dante Alighieri Art and Literary Society. After his death, his wife presented his library of musical reference books to the University of Sydney.

Local government service

Kelly was elected Alderman for Bourke Ward on 15 February 1906, on the resignation of Alexander Gerald Ralston. Kelly resigned on 20 May 1919. He was a member of the Finance Committee, 1907-18, the Electric Lighting Committee, 1907-13, and the Fruit and Vegetable Markets Committee in 1907. He was a member of the Queen Victoria Market Building Special Committee, 1910-11 and the Works Committee, 1914-18.


Martha Rutledge, ‘Kelly, Thomas Herbert (1875–1948)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 4 January 2013.

City of Sydney Archives: Aldermen’s Files; Photos: CRS 54/253; and 54/283.

Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW: Gladswood House, Double Bay, SPF/390

Russell, Eric 1980, Woollahra: a history in pictures, John Ferguson and Woollahra Municipal Council

Who’s Who in Australia 1938



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