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Side of KellyGang
This page contains content from people who supported the KellyGang.
The Story of the Kelly Gang 1906.jpg

Importance of Cleary

A sympathizer. Links to the KellyGang., Early Years , First run in with the law , Fitzpatrick Incident , Gold Mining , Stringybark Creek Murders , Escape North , Euroa Robbery , Mass arrest of sympathizers ,Jerilderie Robbery , Later in 1879 , Early in 1880 , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , Ned Kelly's Trial , Royal Commission , Later years , Family ,


brothers ?.. sis ters ?... wife ?... parents ?... uncles ?... aunts ?...

Links to the KellyGang

Where we Lived

One of Sup Hare's police spies gave him the following directions to our place. "If you could cross over to the 15 mile convenient near the Glenrowan station, and thus evade Greta, you could cross on to the road leading between Wangaratta and Tom Smith's; and when you get as far as John Patterson's, 200 yards in the direction of Tom Smith's, there is a lane running due east; go up it through the first cross road right on over the hill, and Cleary's is on your left, just as you come into a piece of open ground. It is a chock and log fence. His house is at the side of the fence towards the east end; you will find it as I say, right against the east end of Wattle Hill."

Photograph Euroa Robbery Did I help at Faithful's Creek Jerilderie Robbery Did I help the boys look after the town Later in 1879 while Hare and Standish were in charge The police got really stirred up over a report of a visit by the KellyGang which they got on the morning of the 24/5/1879 to the following effect: "that a party of four men had been seen crossing through some country on two occasions by a farmer, and that they were going in the direction of Cleary's house. ...I feel certain that they were the outlaws. .. I did not know them by their personal appearance, but from their manner I think they must be the outlaws."

Insp. O'Connor apparently got all hot and bothered because Com Standish withheld this information from him. Sup Hare tried to explain what happened between those police. Of course we never knew this side of the story until the Royal Commission. Hare said on the evening of 26/5/1879, 'Captain Standish and Mr. O'Connor were dining at Mr.O'Leary's; I was at the hotel at Benalla, where we all lived. The letters were handed to me about eight o'clock. I opened them all. I used to open all Captain Standish's public letters and any letters giving information.'

That letter arrived on Saturday the 24th of May. Directly I received it I thought the information very important, and I sent over to Captain Standish to tell him that I wanted him at once. He came over within about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour. He said to me, "Now I think this is good information, and you start away first thing in the morning; you had better arrange about getting your men ready at seven or eight o'clock." I went over to the barracks and I saw my men, and said, "I want to turn out tomorrow at seven o'clock." I told them to get packhorses and everything ready, and gave them no further information Mr. O'Connor returned about, I think, an hour or an hour and a half afterwards, and he said, "What is the news?" I nodded my head to him as if to say, "Ask Captain Standish;" and he turned round and repeated the question, "What is the news?" Captain Standish had previously told me not to say a word about it; and I said, "Not even to Mr. O'Connor?" He said, "No, I want this to be kept perfectly quiet." Mr. O'Connor got very much annoyed, and he said to me, "What is the meaning of this?" Up to that time I think he had pretty well known all the information we had received. Nothing had been kept from him as far as I know, and as far as I am concerned I had not a thought in my mind unknown to him. I told him everything. I did not tell him, however, in this case; as Captain Standish had bound me to secrecy, I told him nothing.

I got up at six o'clock next morning, and started with my usual party; and Mr. O'Connor lent me one of his boys named Moses, whom he generally lent me when I went out. We started away about seven o'clock from Benalla, and instead of going in the direction of the place we were going to, we took the opposite direction, following the advice of my informant, as given in that memo. I have read. The direct course would hare been through Greta and straight to the house, instead of that I went in another direction, as if going over the Warby Ranges. When I got on the road that runs at right angles to the road we were going, that is from Glenrowan to the station owned by Mr. Newcomen, some of my men saw a man they recognised as one of the greatest sympathizers of the KellyGang, a man named Nolan. I was at the head of the party. We were going through settled country between fences, we had not gone into the mountains. One of the men cantered on to where I was riding and said, "Mr. Hare, we have just passed that fellow Nolan." I said, "All right." This was on the Sunday. I said, "That is all right, he cannot do us any harm, because we are going in the opposite direction we intend to go to search tomorrow." We continued in the direction of Wangaratta, leaving the place we were going to search entirely to our right. We went over the Warby Ranges to a camping place that I knew there, and when we got on the Wangaratta side of the Warby Ranges we turned up to the right to a camp that I had used before. I must go back a little. I did not know the country well there, nor did any of my men, so I telegraphed to Sergeant Steele at Wangaratta, on the Sunday, to send a constable named Dixon out who knew the country there, and tell him to meet me at a certain spot. Dixon met me at that spot."(RC1285) see also (RC5861)(RC16135)

They camped in the Warby Ranges that night and started off to visit us. Sup Hare continues his story,'Dixon led the way, as he was acquainted with that part of the country. We passed through Glenrowan, and we went down exactly as directed by my informant how to go. We got to the railway about an hour before daylight, and saw the hut, and it was exactly as described in the letter.'

Hare then sat on a log in front of my house with his men around him. He told the senior-constable, "You take three men to the back of the house, and I will keep three here; take which men you like. When you see me move from my position, you move from yours, so we will approach the house; you keep the back, and I the front."

Just at grey dawn and I could see some distance, Hare jumped up and told his men to follow him. He came to my house and knocked at the door. I called out, "Who is there?" He said, "All right; open the door." I jumped up and opened the door. Hare said, "Have you any strangers in the house? I said "Yes." He said, "Who are they?" I said very quickly, after hesitating for a moment, "A man by the name of Nolan."

Hare rushed into my house and called to his men at the back to come up, and they searched the house thoroughly. Hare saw Nolan, and said, "Hullo, Nolan, what brought you here?" He knew him. He had bought a horse a few days before from him for the Government. Nolan said he thought the outlaws were going to steal it, so he sold it. Hare asked Nolan why he had come to my place. Nolan said, "I came to warn the people of the district about a funeral that was going to take place." Hare asked where the funeral was and Nolan said, "Out in that direction; the other side of Glenrowan."

Hare got Moses, the aboriginal tracker, to take a circuit round my place, to see if he could find any tracks, and the police remained and searched the straw-shed and every place where there was a cellar or anything of the kind, and they could find no traces whatever of the KellyGang. We were all on such friendly terms, I never asked what the police were looking for, I said, "What brought you here? I suppose this blackfellow tracked me here, and you have come up on my tracks." One of the policemen answered, "Yes, they are wonders these Queensland blacks." I said, "Do you mean to say that they can track in the dark ?" This chap said, "Oh, it matters not what tracking they do, they can track you wherever they like," He then told us some stories about the wonderful skills of the trackersl. Then the police searched all round my place again to see if there were any tracks. There had been very heavy rains three days previously, and any tracks at all would be noticed as plainly as possible. They took a circuit round my place before then returned to their camp where they had stayed that day. They stayed there all that day and night; next day went into Benalla. (RC1285) see also (RC1317)

Glenrowan Siege 28/6/1880 Was I there ready to help the boys Early Life After

What happened to Cleary's family