Cookson, 02 09 1911 3

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2 September 1911

(full text transcription)

"DEAR MOTHER, I'M SHOT" "When my dear little boy was hit he stood up, looked around, and then fell down. 'Oh God,' he cried, in such a piteous voice. 'Mother, dear mother, I'm shot!'

The recollection of the pitiful tragedy caused the old woman to break into a fit of traffic sobbing. It was with a choking voice that she proceeded:-

"I could not get to the poor child for some time. He was lying on the floor, bleeding from a great bullet wound in his little back. . . . . The murdering police! They had killed him!. . . . When I got to him I turned him over. He was all blood. . . . I found the hole. . . . . It was terrible. . . . His life blood was pouring out of it, and his poor little white face was turned up, the eyes looking into mine as though imploring help. . . . Oh, my God, forgive those who did this thing! . . . I tore off part of my apron and tried to stop up the hole in his back with it. . . . I wanted to go out for help, but Dan Kelly would not let me. 'You can't go,' he said, 'we're turning the prisoners out now.'

"So I could only go back to my dying boy and cry over him.

There was no help . . . " 'What can we do?' the Kellys said.

" 'Go! Go out! You cowards! Go out and play on the green! Go out and fight like men. If you want to fight! Or run away, like curs if you are afraid' Go out of here! Do you want to see all my family murdered? Oh, you cowardly wretches.!"

"But I couldn't move them. They wouldn't go. They were getting very sober and very sad by this. The police were all round the house, scores of them, and it seemed as if they couldn't escape. And there was my innocent boy, dying on the floor, to warn them what would happen to bloodthirsty men like themselves.

"My daughter and I dragged my wounded son into the kitchen between us. Two or three got hold of him and took him out and started to carry him to Reardon's where we might get help. But the police stopped them, and said if they didn't go back they'd blowholes in them.

"I was frantic with anguish and anxiety-the anxiety to do something for my dying boy. I called out to the police to let us go. They refused. I said to them, 'Get up, you wretches, and die in the road yourselves! Don't lie down there in hiding! Stand up like men!

"All this time the bullets were flying about thick. But I never got hit. I wouldn't have cared if I had. I was mad with grief. I had had a daughter killed only a few months before, and now it seemed that all my children were to be massacred. . . . I was mad.

"The police hated me. The Kellys believed I used to 'plant' police in my house. It was a foolish lie-there was no room. You couldn't hide a cat in it.

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