Kilmore Free Press at KellyGang 1/7/1880
CAPTURE OF THE KELLY GANG
As the daily newspaper reports are too lengthy for our columns, and most of the the personal narratives being merely reiteration, we will content ourselves with giving as brief a synopsis as possible of the circumstances surrounding the capture of the leader of the outlaws, and the death of Steve Hart Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly.
On Saturday evening the gang called at the hut of one Skerrit, near Glenrowan, a man at one time associated with the outlaws, but who was recently acting in concert with the police. They had previously arrested a German named Weekes, made him go to the door of Skerrit's hut and call him out. The moment Skerrit made his appearance Joe Byrne shot him dead, and four policemen who were in the hut at the time were ordered to surrender. This the policemen refused to do and the outlaws kept them prisoners in the hut until next morning when one of the constables cleared away as quickly as possible to give information.
The next heard of the outlaws is that they turned up at the small township of Glenrowan on the North Eastern line, and here gathered all the available residents into Mrs Jones' public house, they having previously pulled up the rails beyond Glenrowan. On Sunday night at 10 o'clock a special train left Melbourne, containing Lieutenant Connor and his blacktrackers, arriving at Benalla at half-past one on Monday morning, and were joined there by Superintendent Hare and seven men. Before reaching Glenrowan intelligence was received that the gang were there.
The remainder is told in the words of the Daily Telegraph reporter :— "When we arrived at the Glenrowan Railway station the party at once set about preparing for a journey into the uninviting scrub, where it was thought the outlaws would take refuge on hearing the train approach, and Lieutenant O'Connor and Superintendent Hare held a hurried consultation as to what was best to be done under the unsatisfactory and uncertain circumstances, under which they found themselves placed, the troopers and trackers meanwhile getting out the horses and baggage. While this was going on a hurried step was heard coming up the gravel walk from the direction of Mrs Jones's hotel, and three or four men stood forward and challenged the intruders with the usual military, " Who goes there ?" but before a reply could be spoken, a man almost beside himself in alarm, burst into their midst and gasped, " hey're here " — meaning, of course, the Kelly's. A scene of indescribable confusion then took place — the troopers, who had laid their rifles aside to get out the luggage, rushing to and fro to recover possession of the weapons, thinking that the out-laws were upon them.
This only lasted for so many seconds as it took Constable Bracken to explain that the gang were at Mrs Jones's, 200 yards away, and from where, indeed, he had pluckily escaped. Everything was let go by the board in an instant, and the troopers and black trackers literally flew to arms and gallantly followed Superintendent Hare and Lieutenant O'Connor to within twenty or thirty paces of the hotel, when the gang who appeared to be on the verandah waiting their appearance, opened a heavy fire on them. The fire was immediately returned with interest from the men who instantly got under cover, and kept up such a rattling hail of shot and ball, that the inmates shrieked in alarm. But not so the blood-thirsty assassin who led the gang.
Ned Kelly stood in the verandah, in the shade, and deliberately fired five shots from his revolving rifle into the front line of the assistants, where superintendent Hare had posted himself, and as that officer lifted his hand to take a second shot at the braggart, a ball passed through his wrist, and he was compelled to return to the station. A warm fire was still kept up by the police party in ambush, which caused a terrifying uproar in the beseiged hotel, but the replies gradually died away, and Superintendent Hare returned to the front with the view of taking advantage of the occasion to post his men around the house to prevent escape. He became very weak, however, from loss of blood, and it was found necessary to send an engine back with him to Benalla to ensure immediate and proper treatment.
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