Class of 1911
Lance Corporal Herbert Johansen (HJ) Appel was another young, brilliant Aquinian who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country on the battlefields of Europe.
He was the only son of Mr and Mrs Jens Appel of Subiaco. Herbert was remarkable in the way he charmed all who knew him, teachers and students alike. He studied at CBC Perth for seven years and made his mark academically when he topped the list in the West Australian and South Australian Junior examinations and passed the senior examinations with two distinctions.
Herbert was College Prefect for three consecutive years from 1909 and won the Durack Medal, received by the Dux of the College, in 1911. He was also a candidate for the Rhodes’ Scholarship.
As an athlete, Herbert shone in both football and cricket. He was a member of the 1st XVIII Football and 1st XI Cricket 1909 premiership teams. He distinguished himself by making the highest score of the season with 138 against Hale and had the record of the greatest hit of a cricket ball at the College, hitting from the turf wicket and sending the ball to the roof! Nearly hitting the tower. He played for Subiaco Football Club during 1910 and 1911.
On leaving, he sat the Government Surveyor’s Examination and his name “figured first”. Herbert was a third year university engineering cadet aged 23 when he was called up to join the war effort in August 1915. He served in France for two years as a Lance Corporal with the 6th Field Company Australian Engineers.
Although wounded in May 1918, he remained on duty until another wound in action took its toll. He tragically died on that very same day – 19th September 1917, aged 26. Herbert had served at Poperinghe “Pops” and was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Flanders in Belgium for soldiers who had been wounded near Ypres and who later died in the large Allied casualty clearing stations in that area.