Royal Commission report day 21 page 15

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The Royal Commission evidence for 17/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 21)

Const Barry giving evidence

7774.7642 Would you try to ascertain the description of the horses they were riding?— I would look upon that as the principal thing.

7774.7643 Are you a native of the country?— No.

7774.7644 If you were asking for a description of horses, would it not be one of the first questions you would ask, “Are the horses I am trying to find shed or unshed”?— Yes; and I believe they were gazetted I as riding shod horses.

7774.7645 You were asked why you believed the horses were shod. Were you at Euroa after the bank robbery?— Yes.

7774.7646 Were you at Faithfull's Creek?— Yes.

7774.7647 Did you hear then some of the horses of the outlaws were shod?— Yes.

7774.7648 Did you see the tracks from Faithfull's Creek?— No.

7774.7649 Then, as a matter of fact, it was impressed on your mind that the Kellys were riding shod horses all through?— Yes, certainly, from the country they were in.

7774.7650 That night you were watching on the bank of the river, when the bundle of hay was found there, and you were asked if you were asleep, were you charged with being asleep?— No.

7774.7651 Were you asleep?— No.

Mr. Sadleir — I did not mean you to infer that. He was perfectly wide awake—he was the most wide-awake man of the party.

7774.7652 By Mr. Hare— When you said this morning that you thought that Sherritt had lost interest in his work, when was that?— In the month of December.

7774.7653 Was that at the cave party?— Yes, the second cave party, after he got married.

7774.7654 Have you any idea how many shots the outlaws fired at the first engagement that morning— it has been called a volley—how many shots do you think came from the verandah that morning, from the outlaws, as near as you can recollect—was it 10, 50, or 100?— They kept firing for about five minutes; I could not reckon the shots.

7774.7655 Approximately, how many would you say—what is your idea—have you never thought of it?— No, it never crossed my mind.

7774.7656 How many do you think—did the four men fire a shot each?— They must have fired over 40 or 50 shots, I am certain.

7774.7657 How many shots do you think we fired—the police—both the trackers and the white police, as near as you can think?— Twice that, at least.

7774.7658 Before they left the ground?— Twice that number at least.

7774.7659 Did our firing cease when the outlaws stopped firing?— Yes; that was one reason; the other was Constable Gascoigne singing out there were females in the house.

7774.7660 Did you hear me call out “Cease firing” at all?— I did.

7774.7661 By the Commission— Was that before or after you heard the constable sing out?— After I heard the constable.

7774.7662 By Mr. Hare — Did I move from my position until the firing had ceased and the outlaws gone inside?— You remained giving orders until the firing ceased and for some time afterwards—a short time afterwards, I know.

7774.7663 Did I move from the position I took up in the first instance until the firing ceased?— You went back, after you were hit, among the timber.

7774.7664 Was that before the firing ceased, before the outlaws retreated into the house?— The firing had not ceased, I think, when you retreated.

7774.7665 Where to?— About ten yards towards the timber.

7774.7666 Towards Benalla?— Pretty well straight back.

7774.7667 Towards the gate, then?— Not exactly that, a little to the left of the gate.

7774.7668 You say I continued giving orders from there?— Yes.

7774.7669 To whom?— As I said before, you said, “O'Connor, get your boys and get round the house.”

7774.7670 Did you see Mr. O'Connor?— No.

7774.7671 Was he on the hotel side of the gate?— He was not.

7774.7672 You stated to the Commission that you took up your position after I told you to surround the house?— Yes.

7774.7673 Did you see Kirkham?— I heard his voice.

7774.7674 Where was he?— He was across the gate—he was one of the first men.

7774.7675 Did he go up to your side where you took up your position or the other side?— He and Gascoigne were near each other on the Benalla side of the hotel.

7774.7676 How long did he remain there?— Not very long.

7774.7677 Where did he go to?— I heard his voice saying he was going away, but any more I could not catch—very soon after the first volley had ceased firing.

7774.7678 Do you know where I went to when I left the field?— No.

7774.7679 Did you see me leave the field?— No.

7774.7680 Did you, at any time, hear me on any part of the ground?— I did not.

7774.7681 You never saw me on the field again, or heard my voice?— No, I did not.

7774.7682 You remember the cave party, at Mrs. Byrne's, under me?— Yes.

7774.7683 Do you remember whether I gave any similar orders there, with regard to firing at the people, to what I gave that morning on the engine?— Constable Arthur and I were brought up separately, and we got our orders.....

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