The Argus at KellyGang 12/12/1878
RE-APPEARANCE OF THE BUSHRANGERS
THE OUTRAGE AT EUROA
The telegram which we published yesterday with regard to the re-appearance of the Kelly gang of outlaws at Euroa has been fully confirmed. The particulars to hand show not only that the offenders have performed a daring exploit, but also that they feel themselves masters of the situation. That they have outwitted the police is obvious, and until some explanation is given, the public cannot fail to hold the opinion that an outrage has been perpetrated which ought to have been prevented. It was stated in the press more than once that the gang would in all probability stick up and rob some bank, and thus good warning was given to the authorities, yet here we have the township of Euroa situated in the bushranging district and possessim branch of the National Bank, left without protection, with the exception of a solitary policeman.
There are about 100 members of the police force exclusively engaged in hunting the gang. But notwithstanding the number in the field, the outlaws seem to have had little difficulty in evading them, and whilst the bulk of them were sent into the ranges and away towards the Murray, the outlaws coolly disported themselves at Euroa and insulted the whole country through the utter contempt they displayed for the law. The township of Euroa is situated on the Seven Creeks, county of Delatite, and is about 100 miles north by east of Melbourne. It is on the north-eastern line of railway and stands on the main road to Beechworth. From Greta and Mansfield it is about 35 or 40 miles, and only about 25 from Benalla which has been made one of the centres of the police operations. Some eight or ten miles further up the line is Violet Town and at this place it was publicly reported on Monday that the Kellys were in the neighbourhood.
It now appears that on that morning the telegraph wires were cut seven miles on one side of Euroa and three miles on the other simultaneously and at one of these places about 100ft of the wire was removed with the object no doubt on delaying its repair. About the same time the bushrangers stuck up Mr Younghusband's station at Faithfull's Creek some 3½ miles from Euroa. Mr Younghusband was absent, but the overseer and all the station hands were secured. A number of farmers, labourers, and navvies whom the outlaws met were also bailed up, and detained at the station until there was a company of terrified prisoners there to the number of 20 or more. When the railway officials discovered that the telegraph line was out of order, they sent a line repairer to find out the fault and set it right, and it was arranged that a train should stop near Euroa to pick him up in the evening. During the day this man found himself in the vicinity of Mr Younghusband's station, and called there without having any suspicion of who were in possession. He of course walked right into the hands of the gang, and was numbered with the other prisoners. The object of the offenders in sticking up the station was evidently to obtain vantage ground for making their raid on the bank.
Full accounts of their descent on the bank will be found below. The amount of money stolen was about £1,890 of which £1,500 was in bank notes, £300 in gold, and £90 in silver. The affair appears to have been conducted in the orthodox bushranging fashion, and there is little doubt that if the bank officials had made any resistance, they would have been instantly shot down by the desperadoes.
Important corroborative evidence with regard to the murder near Mansfield has been obtained from these second outings. Constable M'Intyre's statement that there were four offenders is now put beyond question, and Edward Kelly admitted to Mr Robert Scott, the manager of the Euroa Bank, that it was he who shot Constable Lonigan. Kelly also stated to one of his prisoners at Younghusband's station that he had Sergeant Kennedy's watch, and Mr Scott saw a gold watch in his possession that corresponded in appearance to Sergeant Kennedy's one. The two hitherto unknown outlaw's turn out to be Stephen Hart and a man named Byrne. The authorities in town suppose that the former is a man who is charged with stealing four horses in the King River district, and who was seen with them in company with another man named Robert Ellis, alias Whitnell, on the 2nd September at Wallan Wallan, when they tried to dispose of the animals. Ellis was arrested for the theft, but the case fell though, and he was discharged. The man Hart in this case, however, is called "Jack" in the police reports and not "Stephen." It was Edward and Daniel Kelly and Stephen Hart who stuck up the bank and Byrne who remained in charge of the prisoners at the station.
The first official information received by the authorities in town was the following telegram from Detective Ward -'
Euroa, Dec 11, 4.15am
"Two thousand pounds taken by the Kellys from the National Bank. The gang had all the hands on Younghusband's station bailed up from Monday afternoon until half past 8 o clock on Tuesday night when they left, going in the direction of Strathbogie. There are now eight men and a black tracker at Euroa.
Our telegram yesterday morning stated that the gang, on leaving the station, were supposed to have gone in the direction of Violet Town, but the black tracker referred to by Detective Ward, on following their trail, found that they had doubled round. Hence the belief that they have sought shelter in the Strathbogie Ranges . These ranges lie about halfway between Euroa and Mansfield. Detective Ward also sent the following particulars yesterday as to what was stolen from the bank -
Benalla, Dec 11 2 pm
"Re Kelly Gang of Outlaws -They stuck up Euroa Bank yesterday afternoon, and robbed it of £418 in £1 notes, £335 in £5 notes, £680 in £10 notes, £100 in bank notes mixed, £311 in gold, £98 0s 6d in silver, 31oz of smelted gold, two revolvers, five bags of cartridges, and one silver watch. The money is not identifiable. Inspecting superintendent Nicolson and party of police are in pursuit. The direction they have taken is not positively known, but they said they were going to Murchison -M E WARD, Detective."
From this it will be seen that the total robbery in notes and specie was £1,942, exclusive of the smelted gold. In addition to concentrating the police in the Euroa dis trict, Captain Standish caused a number of guns and ammunition to be forwarded by an early train for the use of any residents in the township or neighbourhood who might volunteer their services. The concentration of the police was greatly facilitated by the Railway department, by whom special trains were run.
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