Ovens and Murray Advertiser at KellyGang 24/7/1880 (9)

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“I immediately hastened back to the station with Mr Rawlins, who told me he was thoroughly acquainted with the country, and would gladly render me all the assistance he could. He told me he was unarmed, and asked me if I had any spare arms. I told him ‘No,’ but I would give him my revolver and stick to the double-barrelled gun myself. On reaching the station I told the men what I had been informed by the stationmaster’s wife, and to lose no time in getting the horses out of the train and saddling them. Whilst the men were so engaged, Constable Bracken on the platform in a very excited state. He said, ‘Mr Hare, I have just escaped from Jones’s Hotel, where the Kellys have a large number of prisoners confined. For God’s sake, go as quickly as possible, otherwise they will escape.’ I called on the men to follow me with their arms as quickly as they could. Many of them were holding horses. I told them to let go the horses, as the Kellys were in the house, and follow me running off towards Jones’s hotel. Some six or seven men followed me, amongst them some of the black trackers, but I cannot say who any of them were.When approaching the hotel the place was quite silent and dark, and when within 20 yards of the verandah I saw a flash of fire, but could not distinguish any figures. three persons also commenced firing from the verandah, which was in total darkness—the moonbeams at the back of the house caused our men to be plainly seen—a continuous fire being kept up on both sides. I was struck by the first shot, and my left arm dropped helpless beside me. The firing was continued on both sides with great determination for about five minutes, when it ceased from the verandah, and screams of men, Women, and children, came from the inside of the house. I at once called on my men to cease firing, which they did.When the firing commenced I called upon my men to be steady, and I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the men on this occasion, as they stood with firmness, receiving volley after volley from the verandah, and replying to it. The men were all on my right, and the fire seemed to come in a line, as if the men were on parade. I kept using my gun with my right hand, and think I fired six shots. I had greatly difficulty in loading, having but the use of one arm. I had to put the stock of the gun between my legs in order to reload.

I cannot remember any of the men who were with me during the firing except Senior-constable Kelly. I told him I was badly wounded, and directed him to take all the men and surround Jones’s Hotel, and prevent the escape of the outlaws, and saw this was being done. During the firing there were shouts from the outlaws calling on us to fire away—we could do them no harm.

“Feeling that I was losing large quantities of blood, I returned towards the railway platform. On my way thither I saw Mr O’Connor running up a drain with some of his boys. As I passed him I called out to him I was hit.Senior-constable Kelly called out to me to send some more ammunition at once from the train.I did so directly I arrived at the platform, and Mr Rawlins volunteered to take the ammunition round, and distribute it amongst the men, which he did. There were a number of gentlemen of the press on the platform when I arrived there, and they very kindly took a handkerchief, and bound up my arm. I then returned to the front, intending to go round the men posted, but after visiting two or three of them I felt myself getting very weak and faint from loss of blood. When I again reached the platform I was staggering, and the gentlemen of the press assisted me into a railway carriage. I intended to run down to Benalla to have my arm dressed, and to return immediately it was done. After getting into the carriage I was given a little sherry, which rallied me considerably, but the blood was still flowing from my arm. I started an engine away to inform Mr Sadleir of what had occurred, requesting him to come as soon as possible with every available man on the station, and bring up a supply of ammunition, and shortly after that I followed on another engine to Benalla. Owing to my great loss of blood, I had great difficulty in keeping myself from fainting on my way down. We reached Benalla in about 10 minutes. On my arrival there I asked the stationmaster to telegraph to Wangaratta and direct Sergeant Steele to bring every available man he had on the station by the pilot engine, which was waiting for me there, to Glenrowan, as we had the Kellys surrounded in a house; but to be careful not to let the engine come within a mile and a half of Glenrowan, as the rails had been torn up. I then started off to the Benalla telegraph-office, which was about a mile and a quarter distant from the station. Being afraid to walk that distance by myself, feeling so faint, I asked a Mr Lewis, school inspector from Wangaratta, whom I met, to accompany me, which he did.


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