The Argus at KellyGang 13/4/1929
NED KELLY'S GRAVE DISCOVERY IN OLD GAOL.
SCHOOLBOYS SEIZE BONES
Extraordinary scenes were witnessed in the yard of the old Melbourne gaol yesterday when a crowd of boys from the neighbouring Working Men's College scrambled with workmen for portions of a skeleton supposed to be that of the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly, who was hanged and buried in the gaol on November 11, 1880.
The portion of the old gaol now being demolished includes the bluestone wall on the north side. Excavations are being made with a view to taking out the wall and otherwise preparing the ground for the erection of an engineering school for the Working Men's College. Some time ago it was rumoured that the grave of Kelly would be found in this section, and a number of the pupils of the college manifested a morbid interest in the work.
When the steam shovel was lifting earth and stones last week Mr H Lee, of Lee and Dunn, the contractors for the building, had his attention directed to the name "E. Kelly" carved in a stone in the wall, together with the imprint of a broad arrow. The excavation work was continued with the steam shovel, and the workmen kept a lookout for the coffin. At a depth of 5 ft. or 6ft. beneath the original gaol yard the coffin was unearthed at noon yesterday. The edge of the shovel ripped off the lid of the coffin, which was made of redgum, and a skeleton was revealed.
As soon as this gruesome discovery was made a crowd of boys who had been standing around expectantly while eating their luncheons rushed forward and seized the bones. The workmen intervened, but in the scramble portions of the skeleton were carried off, including even the teeth. The grave and coffin were still powdered with quicklime. After nearly 50 years the skeleton remained intact when it was unearthed.
Mr Lee intends to hand the skull to the police for the medical school at the University. As it was found that the crowd was increasing it was decided to close the works for the day. Another coffin was seen protruding through the broken earth near the same spot. Arrangements have been made for the disinterment of this and such others as may be discovered with due respect for decency.
Ned Kelly and his gang, including his brother Dan and Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, after committing many crimes, including the "hold up" of the bank at Euroa, were brought to bay in the hotel at Glenrowan. Wearing a metal head covering and an iron breastplate as a protection against bullets, Ned Kelly emerged from the hotel into the bush, and he was shot in the legs. He was brought to Melbourne , where he was tried and executed. His three companions were shot in the hotel.
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