Royal Commission report day 22 page 12

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The Royal Commission evidence for 18/5/1881

(full text transcription)

(see also introduction to day 22)

SConst Kelly giving evidence

8250 Had he his armour on at that time?— He had. —

8251 Was his helmet off at that time you threw him upon Steele?— No, it was not. We took the armour off and searched him. I searched him, and Dr. Nicholson and I took the armour to the railway station, and Sergeant Steele and some other men took him.

8252 How was the armour fastened on?— With bolts and nuts.

8253 Was it fastened over the shoulder?— With straps.

8254 What sort of straps?— About two inches wide.

8255 Made of what?— Leather.

8256 And buckled?— And buckled.

8257 Leather or green hide?— Leather, regular straps.

8258 Were there any saddle straps about it?— I do not think there were.

8259 Did you see Dr. Nicholson examine him?— I did.

8260 What wounds had he?— Several wounds.

8261 Can you describe them?— Wounds in his arm and all along his thighs.

8262 Which of those were fresh in your opinion?— The ones on the legs seemed fresh.

8263 You say that you found the rifle covered with blood?— Yes; and he told me himself, in the presence of Phillips, that he got shot in the hand and the foot in the first volley fired by Mr. Hare's party.

8264 Then he was shot in the hand?— Yes, in the elbow.

8265 And that it was a pellet; he would have been shot by the shot gun?— I could not say.

8266 1 ask you if he was shot at the first fire, and if a pellet made that wound, he would have been shot by a shot gun that belonged to the first party that came up there?— Yes; he told me that he walked into the hotel, and asked Joe Byrne to follow him out, and that he went out at the back and Byrne did not follow. He said, “If Byrne came out to load my rifle I would be able to pick any of you off at 600 yards.”

8267 Did he allude to the rifle?— To his own rifle.

8268 Did he allude to the revolvers, rifle, or another rifle?— The revolving rifle. He had no other rifle. He told me that was his own.

8269 Did you have to carry him down to the railway station?— No; I took his arm; I and Dr. Nicholson.

8270 He walked?— They took him between them.

8271 Was not there danger in going along with him?— There was a bullet dropped between Dr. Nicholson and me when we were taking the armour off, fired from the back.

8272 I understood, in the evidence that you gave, that you stated that you had been recommended to the Customs Department as a suitable man to discharge customs duties?— Yes.

8273 Did you join the Customs Department upon the recommendation of your officer?— I did.

8274 Where were you sent for customs duty?— Up to Hamilton .

8275 In the Western district?— In the Western district.

8276 When you heard of the death of Kennedy—?— He was not shot at that time.

8277 When you heard of the death of your comrades, did you volunteer to leave the Customs Department and go back to that district?— I was not in the Customs Department then. I was on leave here, in Melbourne .

8278 Did you volunteer to go back to the district?— Yes; I threw up my leave, and went back to Benalla. I was then stationed at Wood's Point.

8279 After you left the Customs Department, had you joined the North-Eastern district prior to your volunteering to go there before your time of leave expired?— No; I was sent back to the station at Wood's Point after leaving the Customs.

8280 You were on leave of absence at the time of the murders?— I was on leave of absence at the time of the murders.

8281 And you were asked to go back and not take out your leave?— No; I went back voluntarily.

8282 Did you go to Hedi?— Not at that time; we went through Hedi.

8283 Where did you go to?— The King River.....

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