Herald (39)

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The Herald


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I did not run for Lonigan’s revolver when he fell, because I did not think of it. Kennedy’s horse came towards me before I got on to it. It was said in the papers that it was cowardly of me to take the horses, and I felt it keenly. The horse was restive and came towards me. No horse would stand still between two men firing at each other. A very short time elapsed between Kennedy rolling off his horse and my jumping on. I cannot measure the time accurately.  I might have been a moment. Scanlan’s horse was 60 yards away. I never expected to escape but I determined to make the attempt.  When I saw Scanlan I made up my mind and to expect any mercy. I am sure that Scanlan did not fire. At Benalla I saw Byrne’s body tied up to the lockup door and photographed. I think the photographer tied it up. I saw several rings on Byrnes’s fingers. I cannot identify them as Scanlan’s rings. I have heard constables who knew Scanlan well say that they were Scanlan’s rings. Scanlan was not a married man. I don’t know whether he had any relatives in this colony.

At this stage an adjournment was made for lunch.


A correspondent of the Benalla Standard writes as follows on this subject:- “the press and the public seem to be in doubt how Martin Cherry to his death at Glenrowan. I was one that at the house at the time, and I will endeavour to show how it occurred. When the police arrived at Glenrowan they commenced to fire into the dwelling from all directions. The bullets came thick and fast like showers of hail. Each of us endeavoured to protect ourselves as well as we could, some under beds, others on the floor. I took refuge among some bags of grain. I could occasionally hear bullets strike and burry themselves in the bags of grain behind which I was sheltered. As the bullets continued to pour in among us I heard some person cry out, “For God’s sake, come here, I am shot.” I recognised Martin Cherry’s voice. I immediately ran to his assistance, and I found him bleeding from a wound he had received in the groin. I pulled a sheet from off a bed and did my best to stop the bleeding by tying the sheet over the wound. I had scarcely completed the rough dressing when a bullet grazed the back of my head so, finding I was in extreme danger of being shot myself, I lifted a mattress off a bed and placed it over Cherry to protect him as much as possible from further danger, and then rushed back to my previous place of shelter, where I remained until about 10 o’clock in the morning, when the police gave me permission to leave the house. I wish to state that Martin Cherry was lying on the floor when the shot struck him that caused his death, and the shot was fired from outside the house. Ned Kelly was not in the house at the time, and had not been for some hours previous to Cherry being shot, which statement can be confirmed by all who were in the house at the time. In conclusion, I wish to observe that some members of the police force have visited me since the Glenrowan tragedy, and have implied by indirect threats to keep my mouth shut respecting how Cherry came by his death. But thinking best to let the public know the truth is my only excuse for trespassing on your space.”


Shortly after the conflict between the police and the Kelly gang at Glenrowan, considerable attention was given to the question, “Who shot Martin Cherry?” That the unfortunate man met his death in the hotel there was no manner of doubt, but an effort was made to show that he was not killed by the police, but was shot by Ned Kelly because he refused to hold aside the window curtain to enable Kelly to shoot at the police. At the time we pointed out the utter importability that Cherry met his death in the way described, and adhered to the belief that the unfortunate man was accidentally shot by the police. In another portion of to-day’s issue we publish a letter from a correspondent to the Benalla Standard, which sets the matter at rest, by showing most undoubtedly that the shot which proved fatal to Cherry was fired from outside the house. This coupled with some statements made at Kelly’s trial, that the police, knowing that there were a number of innocent people in the hotel, continued pouring bullets into it, shows most conclusively the necessity for an immediate and searching inquiry into the Glenrowan affair.


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