Royal Commission report day 21 page 19

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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

7775 We have it in evidence the constables were moving about all day?— Yes, that was when the firing ceased, and sometimes there would be an odd shot here and there.

7776 Was it only after one o'clock they were moving about?— They were moving about before that, pretty early in the day, after clear day and the sun had got up. It was s very cold day and they got moving about, not recklessly.

7777 Were they not in danger from moving about?— Well, the men were moving straight behind the trees, and they would not be; if they went to another position they would.

7778 I understood, from the evidence, that they did move from one position to another?— I saw constables Dwyer and Montiford going round.

7779 Did you take any steps to communicate with the other side at all?— I sang out.

7780 Could they hear you from your position?— Well, we could hear them from our position.

7781 By Mr. O'Connor— You were on that watch party, with Mr. Hare in command, at Mrs. Byrne's house?— Yes.

7782 How many men were in the party?— The first was divided into two parties, I think, six in one and four in the other.

7783 Did they watch together?— Not for some time.

7784 They did eventually?— They did eventually.

7785 That is counting the officer, Mr. Hare?— I did not count him.

7786 That would be eleven, then?— Yes.

7787 You rode out to this place where you watched?— No, I did not.

7788 The party?— I do not know how they went.

7789 How did you go?— I went out to a certain point, driven out in a buggy by Detective Ward in the dusk of evening, and walked the rest of the way with our swags.

7790 How did you get away from there when you gave up watching?— There was one conveyance sent out for us—some rode and some drove.

7791 Do you know whether there were any horses anywhere about there—police horses?— I never saw any.

7792 You never heard of any police horses being put in Sherritt's paddock at that time?— I heard of it.

7793 With the Government breed on them?— There were a good number of police horses without the Government brand on them.

7794 Can you not recollect if there was one with the police brand on?— I never saw them

7795 Did you never hear it stated by Aaron Sherritt that Mrs. Byrne had discovered the party upon the first day or the second day by seeing those horses in Aaron Sherritt's paddock subsequently?— I could not say that I did. He made many statements to me and he was so much in the habit of telling lies that I paid very little heed to him in that way.

7796 Will you give your opinion to the Commission that if such a thing was done as police horses, bearing the Government brand, being put into Aaron Sherritt's paddock whether it would be a wise thing to do with the police watching there?— No, I do not think it would be a wise thing; you can easily say that afterwards, that it was not a wise thing.

7797 Do you know what distance this paddock was from where you were?— About a mile and a half or a mile, I should think.

7798 Subsequent to this you were with Mr. Hare on most of his search parties?— Yes.

7799 You notice in Mr. Hare's evidence he states that it was the great hardships, that he never slept in a tent; and the men, I think he said, never slept in a tent; will you explain to the Commission how you did sleep, and what in?

The Commission — What is Mr. O'Connor's object in asking these questions? I think it is exceedingly unfair, and he ought to confine his questions to his own particular experience.

Mr. O'Connor — I consider Mr. Hare has tried to get all the glory and honor, and my object is to show he was not the only one. I want to show that we underwent the same hardships as he did.

7800 By Mr O'Connor (to the witness)— Upon arriving at Glenrowan you were, I believe, on the engine, were you not?— Yes.

7801 I believe you stated Mr. Hare left you there or you accompanied him down to Mr. Stanistreet’s, the railway station master's?— Yes.

7802 Were you close to him when he had the conversation with Mrs. Stanistreet?— I was within hearing of him.

7803 Was Mr. Rawlins with him at that time?— Yes.

7804 Did you see Mr. Hare give Rawlins his revolver?— Mr. Rawlins had one. I saw one in hishand.

7805 Did you accompany him back to the platform again?— I did.

7806 What did Mr. Hare do when you arrived at the platform again?— He ordered the horses to be taken out again....

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