Ovens and Murray Advertiser at KellyGang 24/7/1880 (10)

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“On the way we called at Dr Nicholson’s—this was about half-past 4 a.m. I told the doctor I was shot by the Kellys, and I wished him to dress my arm, as the blood was still flowing freely. I told him I could not wait to have it done then, but to follow me to the telegraph-office, as I wished him to return to Glenrowan with me, and to lose no time about it. I then started off with Mr Lewis, leaving Dr Nicholson to dress. On reaching the telegraph-office I could barely stagger in. I found the office open, and dictated a telegram to the stationmaster sent a telegram to the police at Beechworth and Violet Town, directing them to proceed with all available force to Glenrowan, as the Kellys were surrounded in a house, and as I did not know how much assistance might be required to secure them.I then laid down on a mattress, and Mr Sadleir came into the office. I told him what had occurred, and to hasten back as quickly as possible, and I would follow him. His reply was—‘Don’t be such a fool. You are a regular glutton. You have one bullet through you now, and I suppose you want more.’ He then left the office, and hastened away. Just then Dr Nicholson entered. He examined my wound, and told me I had sustained a very bad fracture of the wrist, and that it would be madness for me to return. He procured an impromptu splint and lint and, with the assistance of Mr Lewis and Mr Saxe (telegraph-master), dressed the wound. During the dressing I fainted. How long I remained in that state I do not know, but when I came to myself both the doctor and Mr Lewis had gone, and Mr Saxe gave me some strong spirits, and with his assistance, and that of one of his clerks, I walked to my lodgings about a quarter of a mile away. I was unable to proceed, and was confined to bad all day, suffering great pain.

“At about 3 o’clock Doctor Ryan arrived from Melbourne, and dressed my hand, and Doctor Nicholson, returning just then, assisted in the operation.

“In conclusion, I wish to place on record the very great assistance rendered to me by Mr Sadleir from the time I arrived at Benalla up to the eventful day. He spared neither time nor trouble, and I would desire strongly to urge upon you the necessity of suitably acknowledge his services.

“Whilst mentioning the assistance rendered to me by Mr Sadleir, I would also desire to place on record my high appreciation of the conduct and services of the police force, both of Queensland and Victoria, who by their steadiness and courage seconded my efforts and contributed to the successful termination of the duties they were especially called upon to perform.

“I would also bring under your notice the great services rendered by Mr Saxe, telegraph-master at Benalla. The police in the district found him always ready to assist them at any moment, day or night (Sunday inclusive), and he complied with everything he was asked to do most readily and cheerfully. I would therefore urge upon you the desirability of bringing his conduct under the notice of the Hon, the Postmaster-General, with a view to his promotion in the service, as you are well aware from your own personal knowledge of the many services rendered to us, by him.

“With regard to the reward offered for the apprehension of the offenders, both by this Government and that of New South Wales, I trust that a board will be appointed to decide to whom it is to be paid, and that the constables and trackers who were engaged at the destruction of the gang will be allowed to partake of a portion, especially those who accompanied me from Benalla. I need hardly say that I decline to participate in any of the rewards already offered for the capture of these outlaws.

“I cannot bring my report to a close without strongly drawing the attention of the Government to the praiseworthy and plucky conduct of Mr Curnow, who in my opinion was mainly instrumental in saving the lives of the whole party, in giving the information of the lines being destroyed and of the Kellys being at Glenrowan.

Bracken showed great presence of mind, and deserves much credit for his conduct on the occasion, and I think he has a claim to a good share of the reward.


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