Royal Commission report day 18 page 22

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The Royal Commission evidence for 11/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 18)

'Constable Alfred John Faulkiner' giving evidence

5853 Had you not reason to believe that you met the four men that were seen?— Yes.

5854 That they were not the outlaws?— Yes.

5855 You say you started with the escort with Ned Kelly?— Yes,

5856 Were you the only man?— No.

5857 Were you in charge?— No. I thought you were, from what you said.

The Chairman . —He distinctly said he was one of the men, and he was talking to him, and they were at different times.

Mr. Sadleir . —His words were, that he was went for to escort Ned Kelly.

5857A By the Commission (to the witness.)—Directed to?— Directed to.

5858 By Mr. Sadleir. —You say you were out with every party but one with Mr. Hare?— Yes.

5859 I have, before the Commission called a work of that sort going out in search parties fooling —I ask you to state what object those parties started with; give one case where you kind any information that the Kellys were in front of us?— I think I gave that in my statement. We had no information before we started, only our own opinion, except the officers did.

5860 I ask what you know; you never knew of any information before you started from the barracks?— Sometimes after we got fourteen or fifteen miles away Mr. Hare, if he had any information, I have known him to call us together and tell it.

5861 Give us what he told you at any time?— Once, I remember, they were supposed to be in Cleary's place.

5862 I know that was the fact; now was there any other occasion when you had information?— Not that I can remember well; there might have been.

5863 You have described your manner of working with Mr. Hare—take the working of the Warby ranges—you would work across so as to leave a very small space between each man?— Yes.

5864 When you got to the top, clear of all timber, how many other hills could you see?— Well, I could not say; you would have a good view.

5865 Would you not see a hundred—perhaps fifty?— Perhaps so.

5866 Did you try all those ranges?— All that were supposed to be in the Warby ranges.

5867 What was to prevent their being on the Strathbogie; you were without information?— There was nothing to prevent it.

5868 You saw a fire on the top of the hill?— Yes.

5869 Is that a likely place for the Kellys to be found?— I would not say it was a likely place for them to light a fire.

5870 Are you not aware that this fire and these tracks were left by Mr. Newcomen's men, searching for sheep?— I was not.

5871 Are you aware that was stated by Mr. Newcomen?— I was not.

5872 By the Commission. —Which would you sooner do, if you were shore again, to work hard like that with Mr. Hare or remain in Benalla, as Mr. Sadleir suggests?— I would rather remain in Benalla.

5873 That is a queer expression. Do you mean for the sake of you own ease, or do you consider if you ever were an officer in charge of a responsible party, and you became a senior constable, and were in charge of eight or ten men in a district, and in a district where you would be responsible for seeking the men in your district, would you, if there were outlaws in your district now, from your experience, keep them on the move and try to secure them, or would you stay at your head quarters, and try to get them by secret means?— I would go out.

5874 Then you would not stay in Benalla?— No.

5875 If it was simply a question of your own ease, would you be rather under Mr. Nicolson and remain in Benalla, or be out with Mr. Hare searching the bush?— I would rather remain in Benalla.

5876 If you had a desire to catch the Kellys?— I would rather go out for these reasons. I think that we had as good a chance of seeing the Kellys as the people who were getting paid for bringing in the information that they had seen them.

5877 By Mr. Sadleir. —How many people did you hear were bringing reports?— I could not say. It was mostly all reported to the officers.

5878 By the Commission. —Did Jack Sherritt tell you he met Byrne at a certain place near Wangaratta?— He did at some place.

5879 In open daylight?— Yes.

5880 By appointment?— I cannot say that.

5881 Did he tell you he did meet him?— He did.....

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