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Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.

Importance of the Garrison Artillery

By 1870 the British imperial troops had left Victoria and the colony saw little need to replace them with a large force. As a result in the 1870s the defence of Victoria was largely staffed with a voluntary defence force. However there was a permanent artillery garrison. There was a continuing threat of invasion during this period. The French were thinking of making a move on the New Hebridies from their base in New Caledonia. The Germans, recently united under the King of Prussia, were becoming entrenched in Somoa and making eyes towards New Guinea. But while the Russians had no base in the area they were seen as a real threat. The Garrison Artillery had the task of protecting Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne from attack. They were commanded by Colonel Anderson

Role of the Garrison Artillery in the story of the KellyGang

After the Euroa robbery in December 1878 the Government decided that parties of 7 soldiers from the Garrison Artillery should be used to protect the towns in the area that had banks. They were initially sent to Avenel, Chiltern, Euroa, Seymour, Violet Town, Wangaratta, and Wodonga. Later they were sent to Beechworth and Shepparton.

Standish did not support this policy. (RC15859) See also (Argus13/12/78) (Argus13/12/78) (Argus14/12/78) (Argus14/12/78) (SMH19/12/78) (Argus13/10/79)

The men take their breechloader rifles with, them and they are also armed with revolvers which have been borrowed from the navy.(Argus16/12/78)

Captains Bull and Stubbs were incharge of the men (Argus16/12/78)

12 solders from the artillery were stationed in Beechworth in early 1879 under Sergeant O'Neill. (OMA 7/1/1879)

The artillery was withdrawn from most centres in about July 1879 (RC 2nd ReportXII), about 21 members (RC915)

They were finally withdrawn at the beginning of 1880. (RC2473)


During theafternoon Colonel Anderson received information from Captain Standish that in order to dislodge the two remaining members of the KellyGang without endangering any further life, hotel would have to be blown down, and as the best means for accomplishing that object, a small cannon would probably be required.(Argus29/6/1880)

Col Anderson arranged for the supply of a twelve pound Armstrong gun.

A special train was soon in readiness, and at twenty minutes past two it departed, carrying the formidable looking weapon, a detachment of the Garrison Artillery under Lieutenant Nicholson, and Col Anderson. The gun travelled no further north than Seymour (Age29/6/80)(FH) See also (Argus25/1/1934)

places and sites where the KellyGang found fame and fortune and where their friends indulged in horse stealing and tried to make a life against the challenges of the squatters and banks. Let the KellyGang show you the places where they found safety from the law in the bush.