The Alexandra and Yea Standard, Gobur, Thornton and Acheron Express at KellyGang 21/12/1878

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(full text transcription)


We are indebted to our Melbourne contemporaries for the following:-

BENALLA, Monday.(see)

Everything has been very quiet to-day, and for a wonder there have been very few rumours afloat. A large and well-armed search party left here last evening, but the direction they intended taking was, of course, kept secret. To-day two parties came in to Benalla after being out in the ranges for several days. The weather has been fright-fully hot of late, especially in the bush, where there is no circulation of air, and, the close, oppressive heat has had great effect both on men and horses. Many of the latter are completely knocked up, with their exertions. One of these parties searched the ranges as far as Mount Separation, which is about 20+ miles to the rear of Euroa. At only one place did they come upon anything bearing the slightest resemblance to the trail of the gang. At on old deserted hut traces were found, of a party having encamped there within the last three weeks, and the reason it is thought that this was the Kellys was the fact that on the trunks of many of the trees surrounding the hut were the marks of bullets, as if some target practice had taken place.

An apparently trivial circumstances occurred in this township on Saturday, but as every trifle has to be carefully attended to in this affair, the matter is now being inquired into. A small selector living near Merton, which is close to, the home of the Kellys, and who is also known to be an acquaintance of the family, was in here on Saturday afternoon drinking in some of the hotels. At one place he spent 15s all of which was paid in sixpences. It was also noticed at other places that he was well supplied with small silver. No notice was taken of the occurrence at first, and it was only when some person happened to remember that about £20 worth of sixpences was stolen, from the National Bank at Euroa that it was deemed advisable to notify the matter to the police authorities. By that time the man had left the township, but a full inquiry will be made.

The criminal sessions commence here on Thursday, when the principal case in the list is the trial of the man Walter Lynch. who was committed for trial from Mansfield on the charge of having sent a threatening letter signed. "E and D Kelly" Mr Monk, of the sawmills, near Mansfield. The police authorities here recently made an application to have the venue changed to Melbourne, and it has been semi-officially notified this evening that the application has been acceded to, and that the case will be tried in Melbourne. At all events, it is not intended to proceed with the case here at the coming session, but an application will be made to the judge for a postponement until the next assizes.

Hare has just returned from Avenel, where he was met by Sub-inspector Baber, who is stationed at Kilmore. This officer reported that on Saturday afternoon a charcoal-burner came into Broadford' and informed the police there that he had seen four men sitting on a log with guns in their hands. This was about four miles from Broadford, in the direction of the ranges. As soon as this man noticed the gang, he concealed himself behind a fence, in order that they should not perceive him, and made the best of his way to Broadford. The police-constable there, knowing that Inspector Baber was in the neighbourhood of Yea, at once sent a message for him. Upon his arrival in Broadford he organised a party, and taking the man who had given the information with them, proceeded to the spot. This was found to be a retired place in a bend of Sunday Creek, and a very, likely place for the gang to take a rest in, as it is very seldom visited. The logs on which the four met were sitting were pointed out by the charcoal- burner, but although a careful search was made until late last night no trace of any men or horses could be found. Inspector Baber has been instructed to make a further and more extended search to-morrow.


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