Royal Commission report day 22 page 4

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The Royal Commission evidence for 18/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 22)

SConst Kelly giving evidence

8009 Did you see the horses?— I did. I was with Mr. Nicolson in the stable next morning. After returning from Sebastopol , I got instructions from Mr. Sadleir to go to Whorouly and Constable Ryan from Greta would meet me there.

8010 Was the horse that was found one horse or more do you remember?— There was one chestnut —a big chestnut—that I know. I rode him myself

8011 Whose was that?— I think they had it for a pack horse—Sergeant Kennedy’s.

8012 Did he belong to the police force?— Yes.

8013 Did you observe the state he was in when he came in to the station, was he covered with marks or anything at all?— I did not notice any marks. They looked knocked up.

8014 Had he marks of perspiration over him or anything of that sort?— I do not remember.

8015 Had he been recently used?— There is no doubt he had been recently used.

8016 Why do you say “no doubt”?— Because he had the appearance of being knocked up.

8017 What was the appearance that made you think he had been recently used?— His sides were quite hollow, and he seemed to be recently worked.

8018 Would you say whether he had had a week’s spell or had he been worked within a few days before?— I do not think he had had a week’s spell.

8019 Do you think he had been worked by the outlaws or anyone else within a few days before?— I think so.

8020 Go on with your narrative?— I was about three weeks at Whorouly with Constable Ryan, watching the Whorouly bridge.

8021 What time was that?— About a week after coming down from the Woolshed in November.

8022 1878?— Yes, 1878.

8023 It will be no use following up that narrative—is there anything of importance?— No, nothing of importance.

8024 Only that you were out with search parties continually?— Yes.

8025 Do you remember the time, or about the time, when the outlaws had killed Aaron Sherritt?—

8026 Where were you then?— I was in Benalla.

8027 At the time?— Yes.

8028 What action was taken upon that?— Mr. Hare sent for me that Sunday afternoon, and said I was to bring down a horse with me to the telegraph office.

8029 Where was Mr. Hare?— In the telegraph office. He came to the door and met me, and read a telegram to me. He said, “Aaron Sherritt is shot.”

8030 What did you do then?— He told me to go over and see Mr. Stevens, the railway station master, and see if we could get a special train. I did so, and Mr. Stevens said, “Yes,” he would get one ready. I got instructions to get some provisions and get ready. I had everything ready, and gave instructions to the men that were to come. Mr. Hare gave me a list. There were Constable Barry, Canny, Gascoigne, Kirkham, Arthur, and Phillips. We went down to the train about half-past one.

8031 On Sunday?— No, this was Monday.

8032 About half-past one in the morning?— Yes.

8033 Just at midnight ?— Yes.

8034 With horses ready and everything?— And a special train from Melbourne came with Mr. O'Connor and five trackers, and four gentlemen belonging to the press, and two ladies. We got the horses in, and made a start for Glenrowan. I was in ——

8035 You say you made a start for Glenrowan?— Yes, by the train.

8036 Did you intend to stop at Glenrowan when you left Benalla?— No, we left for Beechworth.

8037 Did you really intend to stop at Glenrowan?— I do not think it; at least I never heard anything about stopping at Glenrowan. All of the five constables got into the guards’ van. There was one, Constable Kirkham, he got in with the black trackers in the carriage—a first-class carriage.

8038 He had some management of the black trackers?— He had. I was on the top step with the guard, and he had a lamp and this cleaning wadding that they have, and I kept the window clear watching the pilot engine. I mentioned in the stable before I left, to Constable Day, there is nothing surer than that the line would be pulled up, because I heard that they knew all our movements.....

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