Royal Commission report day 24 page 12
The Royal Commission evidence for 1/6/1881
(see also introduction to day 24)
Const James Dwyer giving evidence
9442 Where was he?— He was round at the Benalla side too.
9443 Did you speak to him?— I believe I did. There are so many I could not particularize them all; and going back to Mr. Sadleir, I said “The men are short of ammunition, tell me where it is till I take it up to them.” Mr. Sadleir said, “I do not know where it is, or whether there is any at the station. Every man that came with me brought a hundred rounds, and I do not know whether there is any at the station.” Mr. O'Connor said then, “Then send for it.” Mr. Sadleir then took out his memo. book and scribbled a telegram on it for me to take to the railway station, and send it to Benalla for ammunition.
9444 Where was Mr. Sadleir and Mr. O'Connor at this time?— In the trench. I met Mr. Sadleir out of the trench; he was standing in a very dangerous position. The bullets were whizzing round him, and his bravery at that time cheered me. My feelings towards him were that of a brother, and I would follow him to the mouth of the outlaw's gun at the time.
9445 Where was he standing?— He was out on the open.
9446 Was he outside the railway fence?— He was near the fence leading up to Mother Jones's house, but still partly in the trench, partly covered like.
9447 What time would that be that you got back to Mr. Sadleir and Mr. O'Connor?— It was before he gave me this paper.—
9448 What time was it that you were at the stockyard–half-past six?— I cannot mistake, because I looked at my watch.
9449 What time was it then?— Twenty-five minutes to seven. He gave me the paper, and I left, and went up to the railway station. Approaching the railway station, Mr. McWhirter and Mr. Allen came forward and said, “What is it, Dwyer?” seeing me with this paper in my hand. I said, “It is only a telegram for more ammunition.” I then asked where was the station master, as I wanted to send this telegram. Mr. Stanistreet came forward, and I gave him this paper, and he sent it forward to Benalla.
9450 Was there any ammunition at the station?— No. Mr. McWhirter said, “Why, Dwyer, one of the outlaws is out in the bush, and the men are firing at him.” I looked up, seeing where they were, and saw Ned Kelly at the time. He had on a grey top-coat. He said, “Fire away, you b–s, you cannot kill me; I am encased in armour.”
9451 You heard that?— Yes; and said, “Come out, boys, and we will lick the lot of them,” beckoning to the other two outlaws, “Come out, and whip the lot of them; Oh, you b–s, we will put the daylight through you.” I ran away from the reporters. Allen had hold of me by the right arm, keeping me back, saying, “Do not, Dwyer, you may be shot;” and tearing myself away from him, I fell on my right side; he had such a grip of me; and the first man I met was Constable Bracken, behind a tree, after crossing the railway fence. He said, pointing with his finger, “There is Ned Kelly.” I said, “Why not rush him; I am told he has armour on, you cannot kill him.” I heard the police on my left say, “Certainly, boys, let us rush him,” and on looking I saw Senior-Constable Kelly. I was then rushing up to rush Ned Kelly, and when about twenty yards I fired one barrel. At this time Ned Kelly was crossing a dry creek towards the log where he fell.
9452 What did you fire with?— My shot gun. Ned Kelly was then walking towards the dry creek coming down, and he turned round to fire at me, covering me. I was looking down at my gun to pull back the empty cartridge, I heard some one call out, “Look out, Dwyer, he has you covered.”
9453 Who was it?— I did not know who it was at the time. I heard afterwards it was Mr. Rawlins–he told me so. While he was firing, Sergeant Steele fired at him.
9454 Did you see Sergeant Steele? I did, and Ned Kelly dropped down. He was near the dead tree, and dropped down on his haunches like this–[indicating the same], and when Sergeant Steele was running up, Ned Kelly at this tried to shoot him with his revolver, and Sergeant Steele grasped it and turned it over.
9455 Did you see that?— Yes, we were running up. Senior-Constable Kelly, Bracken, and I were running up at the time. Sergeant Steele was the first and us three after; Sergeant Steele was at his head.....
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