Royal Commission report day 21 page 22

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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

7864 Were you with me?— No.

7865 How can you come to that conclusion?— What conclusion?

7866 That my place was not a good place to cover the house?— Because the level of this drain was far lower than the embankment, even with the men standing.

7867 Do you mean that the surface of the ground was much higher than the bottom of the drain?— Yes.

7868 Of course it was; it would not be a drain unless it was. But do you mean to say it was over my head and I could not fire?— Not quite over your head.

7869 Can you state how high it was?— It was a sloping embankment; I believe the highest part would be very near seven feet—over your head probably—but you could see the top of the verandah I looking over.

7870 By the Commission— Where do you refer to—the drain nearest the railway line?— Yes; running parallel with that.

7871 Within the fence or without?— Within the railway reserve.

7872 In point of fact, the drain running nearest to the culvert towards the station house?— Yes.

7873 By Mr. O'Connor — Did you go into that drain afterwards?— I did.

7874 How many days after?— Two or three days afterwards.

7875 And you think it was seven feet?— To the highest part of it.

7876 By the Commission— Is that from the lowest part of the drain to the surface of the ground seven feet?— Yes.

7877 But there were sides of the drain where it -would not have been so deep from the surface — where the men could stand?— Yes, but that was some distance up, nearer the railway station.

7878 But from the culvert there, and up and down there at that drain, there are places on both sides where a man could stand without going into the lowest possIsle portion of it?— There may be.

7879 By Mr. O'Connor — The Commission saw the position, and it is after many months' floods, and it was much shallower at that time than it is at the present time. ( to the witness)—If you could fire from the drain, and if you could see to the level of the ground of the house, would it be a good place?— Certainly it would have been a very good place.

7880 By the Commission— For what?— For guarding the front of the house and preventing the outlaws getting away.

7881 Would not the fence be an obstruction?— Not much; I believe that portion of the fence is wire pretty well.

7882 The top rail is not?— That is not much to prevent the shot from the low level.

7883 Would not that rail come in the line of fire from the position indicated?— It depends upon where you stand, certainly several bullets went through it.

7884 By Mr. O'Connor— It is only about six inches wide—how long after the firing commenced was it that Mr. Sadleir arrived on the ground?— I cannot say. I did not see him.

7885 I mean on that day?— I heard and saw in the papers the different times that different parties arrived.

7886 1 mean on that day; did any of the men tell you Mr.Sadleir had arrived at such a time?— They must have. I understood he came there with the Benalla party.

7887 What time would that be?— As soon as daylight, half-past seven or eight o'clock .

7888 Can you form an opinion as to how long elapsed before they arrived after Mr. Hare left?— No, I cannot.

7889 Did you see Mr. Hare, after he was wounded, sit down on a log?— No, I did not.

7890 If he had done so would you have been bound to see him?— I think I would have seen him, I heard his voice but I did not pay much heed. He was not very far away from where I was; he may have sat down.

7891 Did any man tell you during the morning that Mr. Hare had gone down to Benalla?— Yes, I heard that.

7892 What man—can you form any idea?— No.

7893 Was it before Mr. Sadleir arrived?— Yes, I think so.

7894 By Mr. Nicolson—Do you remember coming up to Benalla first?— Yes.

7895 Had you long joined the force then?— Not very long; I had been three years and a half in the service at that time.

7896 Which was the first search party you went out with?— Under Senior-Constable Flood, in the direction of Greta.

7897 Was that the one with me?— Yes.

7898 You mentioned just now about the camping?— I have done so.

7899 Do you recollect the first time we camped at a place named Rushall?— I did not know the name.

7900 That place by Ryan's Creek?— No.

7901 Do you remember the first night we camped?— Yes.

7902 Was it not near the creek?— Yes.

7903 Near some ferns?— Yes.

7904 Do you remember where the men slept?— I know where I slept, it was in the ferns.

7905 How far off from where we had our tea?— Perhaps 120 yards.....

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