Royal Commission report Appendix 15

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Story of the KellyGang - the Royal Commission evidence

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The Royal Commission Appendix 15


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[[../../people/peD_G/faulkinerAPmc.html|Report of Constable Falkiner]]


Benalla Police Station, 5/7/80 .


I respectfully report to the Superintendent that on the 11th June Superintendent Hare spoke to Constable Canny and I, and directed us to take a trip in the bush, and see if we could not get some information. Superintendent Hare told us that we could go where we thought best, and when we found it convenient to send him a few lines, and giving me his private address.

We came to the conclusion that it would be best to carry no firearms, and if anything urgent was to turn up, to come to the nearest telegraph office and speak to him (Superintendent Hare). Constable Canny and I left here on the morning of the 12/6/80 , and on the 16/6/80 we reached Cotton Tree. On that day I wrote to Superintendent Hare telling him that I had been informed, on good authority, that the Kellys had been seen coming home of late, giving the names of the persons who had seen them, and the direction they were coming from, and that they were getting provisions from a Chinese store, but could not name the place just then; also some other good information, but nothing that would point to their exact whereabouts. On the 22nd I wrote again to Superintendent Hare telling him that we thought it best to return, as we had got all the information we could, and that we intended to see if the above report was correct that the gang were getting provisions from a Chinese store. On the 24th we arrived at the Black Dog Creek, and went to see this Chinaman, Ah Yang; he knew Canny, and took me to be Canny's brother, and spoke very freely. After speaking to him for a time, I asked him if he was not frightened of the Kellys, and he said no, that they were too far away, and that they were fifty miles away; that they were at the Buckland Flat, and were getting provisions at a Chinese store at that place, that they came down off the ranges two at a time, and tied their horses outside, and got plenty of grog and provisions, and carried them away. This they did frequently, and telling the Chinaman, if he told the police, they would shoot him, and then burn him; he also said that they had plenty of money, and always paid.

The Chinaman said he was too frightened to tell the police, as the police were too frightened to go up there to them; and, if he told the police, they would kill him. As this information was so good, we thought we would get Superintendent Hare to see him.

We then rode to Wangaratta, and on the morning of the 25th I sent a telegram to Superintendent Hare stating that Canny and I would be home that evening, and wished to see him. On our arrival here we saw Mr. Hare, and gave him the above information. He said it was the best information he had received.

On the morning of the 26th Superintendent Hare called me into his office, and told me that I would have to proceed to this place again, and get the name of the Chinaman who was keeping the store, and the Chinaman who gave the information—to find out when be was there last.

I left Benalla on the morning of the 26th, and saw the Chinaman on the 27th; and he informed me that he had been there in May last, and the names of the Chinamen keeping the store are Pong Luke and Chat Ving. On the morning of the 28th, as I was returning to Benalla, I was told that the gang were captured at Glenrowan, a distance of four miles from their own home,

I also beg to state that in my first letter to Mr. Hare I stated that the Kellys had been seen coming home of late, which proves my information to be correct, as they were captured within four miles of their own home. Also the information I received from the Chinaman that they had horses for carrying their provisions which since their capture has been proved beyond a doubt.

I regret to say that my being on this special duty prevented me from taking any part in the final destruction of the gang, as the superintendent is, of course, aware.

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