Royal Commission report day 22 page 3

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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

7984 Had they come from another direction?— They had come from another direction; they were further up the King.

7985 Then you were unsuccessful upon that occasion?— Yes.

7986 Will you pass over it a little more quickly, because we have got pretty well all this before from other witnesses?— We started next day in the Wombat, and arrived about ten o'clock that night at Mansfield. We stopped all the next day, and on Sunday, that would be the 3rd November, Sergeant Steele received a telegram, I believe from Mr. Sadleir, to return at once to Benalla there was a man stuck up by the outlaws on the Murray flats. We returned to Benalla that night. We met Wild Wright and his brother (the dummy), and, I believe, a daughter of Tom Lloyd's, on the road riding on horseback. Sergeant Steele and a party of men left that night in a special train, I believe, for Beechworth. I remained at Benalla for a few days with three or four men. At the same time, Senior-Constable Strahan and Shoebridge and two constables also came in from the ranges. We were ordered—there was a special train got ready, and Mr. Nicolson, Captain Standish, and five of us went to Beechworth.

7987 What was the date of that?— It would be about the 7th of November 1878 At Beechworth Mr. Sadleir met us on the platform—that was before daylight.

7988 Where did you go eventually?— We went to Sebastopol , Sherritt's hut, and were unsuccessful, and I was instructed by Mr. Sadleir to return to Wangaratta.

7989 Have you seen the printed accounts of those things given by the other constables that have been examined?— I have read the papers.

7990 Do you agree with them?— I do.

7991 On that visit—was that the first time you saw Aaron Sherritt?— That was the first time I saw him.

7992 Under what circumstances did you see him?— I saw him near the back of Mrs. Byrne's house speaking to Mr. Sadleir.

7993 Did you see Captain Standish speak to him?— I did, and Mr. Nicolson.

7994 Did you hear any overtures made by either of those officers to Sherritt?— I did not,

7995 Were you in a position to hear an, overtures if they had made them?— I was about ten or twelve yards away, I think.

7996 Did you hear Captain Standish ask Sherritt at that time?— I saw them, that the, were speaking, but I never heard a word that passed between them.

7997 You were too far away to hear?— Yes.

7998 Did you notice any other members of the force nearer than yourself to Captain Standish?— I did not

7999 Did you see Ward nearer?— I did not see Ward there at all.

By Mr. Nicolson — I stated that Ward was there, but I find I made a mistake. Sergeant Steele.

8000 By the Commission— Was he nearer to them than you?— I do not think so.

8001 Were any constables near?— No. I walked away into the bush a bit.

8002 What is your opinion as to the faithfulness of the discharge of the duties that Sherritt was appointed to carry out?— I do not know anything at all about Sherritt. I saw him only two or three times.

8003 You were not one of the cave party?— No.

8004 You were not in the house when Sherritt was shot?— No; I was not there at all.

8005 You went out constantly with search parties?— No. On the 10th of May 1879 I was sent to take temporary charge of Hedi station in the Black Range .

8006 Do you remember a report coming in that Brook Smith and party were close upon the Kellys?— I heard it. I was not there. I was in Wangaratta at the time.

8007 Do you remember what information came in?— I heard that they were on some tracks.

8008 Did you hear any statements made in reference to the efficiency of Brook Smith in that attempt?— I did not. I never heard anything, There were horses—some of the police horses—found. I was there when Detective Ward and, I think, Senior-constable Johnson and some other constables brought in some of the police horses that were found in the Warby Ranges .....

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