The Age (2)
One of the biggest news days; full text of the articles
A summary of the articles below
Barricading the Windows , Innocent Victim , Arrival of More Police , , Ned Kelly Captured , Ned Kelly’s Statement , Release of the Prisoners , Mr Stanistreet’s Statement, The End of the Gang , Ordered to the hotel , Robert Gibbons , Mr Steele , Senior Constable Kelly’s Statement, Canon not Required , Murder of Arron Sherritt – Authorities informed , Train leaves Spencer St Station , Dr Ryan Sent , Electic light , Congratulation , In Time for the £8000 , Aaron Sherritt inquest , Mrs Barry
full text of the article
Immediately on the receipt of the news by Captain Standish on Sunday night that the Kellys had at last broken cover, and committed another diabolical outrage near Beechworth, he ordered a special train once to start from Spencer Street. He was induced to do so because of the fact that Sub inspector O'Connor had, with his black trackers, been withdrawn from the Kelly country. They were on the eve of their departure for Queensland , and were staying at Essendon. Captain Standish ordered the special train to convey the blacks to the scene of the outrage, so that they might there pick up the tracks of the dreaded gang; but no one at that time imagined that the expedition would have such a speedy and sensational termination; that, in fact, it would end in the annihilation of the band in a manner that must strike terror into the hearts of all sympathizers and men inclined to imitate the doings of the gang. When the news arrived at the station that a special train was required, all the engines were cold, and it was not till a quarter past ten o'clock that a start, was made; and the small party of press gentlemen, who in good spirits took their seats in the carriage, little thought that the journey they were undertaking was of such a perilous nature. Only one gentleman was armed. At Essendon Inspector O'Connor and his five black trackers were picked up, together with Mrs O'Connor and her sister, Miss Smith. [Those ladies intended to proceed to Beechworth and remain there whilst we went in pursuit of the gang.] The men were evidently in excellent spirits at the prospect of an encounter. The train proceeded rapidly on its way. At Craigieburn it ran through a gate, which carried away the brake of the engine, and necessitated a stoppage of about twenty minutes. After that, fair progress was made to Benalla, where Superintendent Hare, who was in waiting with eight men and seventeen horses, joined the party. Mr Chas C Rawlings also became one of the number. The night was a splendid one, the moon shining with unusual brightness, whilst the sharp frosty air caused the slightest noise in the forest beyond to be distinctly heard. It was thought that the Kellys or some of their friends might place an obstruction on the line, and in order that danger in this direction should be avoided as much as possible, it was determined to lash one of the police to the front of the engine, so that he might there keep a good look out. At the last moment this plan was abandoned, and it is a merciful intervention of Providence that it was so. Time certainly was lost by the change of tactics, but the loss was gain. There was a spare engine in the station, and it was determined to use this as a pilot. [The pilot was arranged for early in the afternoon.] Accordingly, it started about half a mile ahead of the special [only 100 yards], which it was intended to run through to Beechworth. Glenrowan is the next station to Benalla, being about fourteen miles distant.
Barricading the Windows
However, when within a mile and a quarter of Glenrowan, just opposite Playford's and De Soir's paddocks, the special came to a sudden halt. Danger signals from the pilot engine were the cause, and in a very few seconds the pilot came back with an intimation that a man, in a state of great excitement, had stopped the engine, and had stated that Glenrowan was stuck up by the Kellys, who had torn up the lines just beyond the station in order to destroy the party which they knew would pass along the line in the special. The news and the stated intentions of the gang had not a cheering effect, but the police displayed an eagerness for action. The members of the press barricaded their windows with the cushions upon which they had previously sat, and in response to the request which some of the number made, the lights in the train were extinguished. It was then ten minutes to three o'clock , and Superintendent Hare was not long in determining what to do. The man who gave the information disappeared in the forest as soon as he had imparted his news, and his story was accepted with caution; but it was soon made apparent that he had saved the lives of those in the train, which to a certainty would, along with the pilot engine, have been hurled into a deep gully just below the Glenrowan Station, and behind a curve in the line which would have prevented the conductors from seeing the pilot go over the embankment where the rails had been torn up. Mr Hare, with one or two of the police, proceeded in the pilot engine to the railway station, closely followed by the special. On arriving at the station the horses were quickly got out of the trucks by the men, whilst Mr Hare, with one or two men and Mr Rawlings, proceeded towards the Glenrowan Hotel to seek information. Mr Rawlings, when he left Benalla, jocularly made a boast that they would bring back the remains of the outlaws. He little thought at that time that his prediction would prove to be absolutely correct.
The township of Glenrowan consists of about half a dozen houses, inclusive of two bush hotels, Jones's Glenrowan Hotel being about 200 yards from the station, on the west side of the line, whilst M'Donald's Hotel is about the same distance on the other side of the line. In an instant the men on the platform were convinced, by the report of a shot fired from Jones's Hotel, that they were in the presence of the desperate outlaws. [This is an error; no shot was fired until we were within sixteen yards of the hotel.] The next few minutes were productive of painful excitement. The police abandoned the horses and rushed to their arms. The black trackers sprang forward with their leader, and soon took up a good position in front of the house. Mr Hare could be plainly seen by the light of the moon. He walked towards the hotel, and when within about twenty-five yards of the verandah, the tall figure of a man came round the corner, and fired. The shot took effect on Mr Hare's wrist. Senior constable Kelly and Rawlings were close to him, and the former promptly returned the fire, which was taken up by Hare, although wounded, and Mr Rawlings followed his example.
Sup Hare corrected this version of events See text in [ ](FH)
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