Royal Commission report day 19 page 7

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The Royal Commission evidence for 13/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 19)

Sgt Whelan giving evidence

6078 From the position you had taken up, had you a view of all the surrounding land between the front of the hotel and the railway line and the railway platform?— Yes, except there is a creek or gully. You could not see into that from where I was. You could see the front of the house. I had a view of the front of the house and the back, also the window that faced me, so that I had a good view of the house and any one going in the place back or front.

6079 And also you could see the railway platform?— Yes, the station-house.

6080 Who was the nearest constable stationed by you in the north?— Senior-constable Smyth Constable Hewitt, and Constable Wilson, and Constable Dwyer came round and Constable Gascoigne.

6081 How many were stationed there?— They were the next to me.

6082 They remained pretty stationary, the same as yourself?— Yes, Constable Mullane was there firing a rifle into the window.

6083 Did those constables, or most of them, remain stationary in the same positions, the same as you did, all the morning?— I think Mullane was not there first.

6084 Were there any of those constables that remained stationary, as you did, during the whole of the morning?— Yes, Smyth and Hewitt. Wilson was higher up; I think he remained; I think he was there when I went up to see Ned Kelly.

6085 Were those constables under your immediate control and command?— All the men that were junior to me in rank were under my command.

6086 Those men were junior to you?— Yes.

6087 Then they were under your control?— Yes.

6088 Did they take orders from you?— Yes. I directed firing into the window after the people got out where those shots were coming from, as I had a gun that was no good to fire into the house.

6089 What did Dwyer do—what was his object in coming round?— He brought refreshment on one occasion to some of the men from the station, and the other time he brought ammunition.

6090 Did he bring it to you?— Well, I got none from him, because I did not want ball ammunition.

6091 Did he take it to others?— I did not see him, but I heard it.

6092 Did he come to you and ask if you wanted any?— No.

6093 Did you see him go to either of those constables immediately under your control?— I saw him go up past me, round at the back of the house, and I heard he had brought some ammunition and divided it, but I did not see him divide it.

6094 During the whole of that morning, from the time you took up your position, and after daylight, did you see anything of the six black trackers under Mr. O'Connor?— No, I did not.

6095 Not one of them?— No.

6096 If they were in front of the hotel, and between it and the station-master's house, could your have seen them?— If they were on the rising ground I could have seen them.

6097 If they were in the gully you could not?— No.

6098 You would have known Mr. O'Connor, I suppose, at an equal distance to what you would know Mr. Sadleir?— Yes.

6099 You were as well acquainted with his general appearance as with Mr. Sadleir's.?— Yes; I would know either of them at a distance.

6100 Do you know of your own knowledge where Mr. O'Connor and his black trackers were from daylight up to the time you say you first saw him?— Not of my own knowledge.

6101 Where was he coming from when you first saw him at two o'clock ?— That was after I went round.

6102 Where did you first see him?— I think it was close to the station-house. I will not be positive

6103 Could any number of men be concealed in that trench without your being able to see them?— I took very little notice of the trench, because I was too busily engaged in the afternoon when this was over. I had to get the horses and baggage and bodies in. I was responsible for everything, and I had no time to go and see the place. I have never been there since, so I cannot speak as to position well.....

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