Royal Commission report day 22 page 6

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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

8064 You say Mr. Hare was in front and one or two constables?— Yes, and we were behind him.

8065 How far behind?— Four or five yards—it might be ten yards.

8066 Just describe the way Mr. Hare went?— They were making straight for the house.

8067 Did you see them go through this little wicket-gate here—[ pointing to the map]?— No.

8068 Did you go through?— I went through the other gate down to the railway lines straight, and up to that gate, I and Mr. Rawlings and some other man.

8069 You were near the station master's house?— Yes; the next time I saw Mr. Hare was when the shots commenced to fire.

8070 How far were you from him?— Seven or eight yards.

8071 In what position?— I can show you upon the map.

8072 Were you towards Benalla from him?— No, on his right, towards the railway station.

8073 Were you outside the railway fence then?— I was, certainly.

8074 More in front of the house?— More in front of the house. I was above the corner, west of the railway—west—in a line with the front of the house, because they fell back to the west.

8075 How far was Mr. Hare from you when he was shot?— Six or seven yards.

8076 Who were there beside you when he was shot?— There was Constable Gascoigne, Arthur, Phillips, and some of the black trackers.

8077 Were the black trackers?— Some of them were there.

8078 Were they outside the fence?— Yes, they were there—[pointing to the map].

8079 What black trackers?— Hero, I think, was one of them.

8080 Were you here when Barry was giving his evidence yesterday?— Not the first part.

8081 If Barry swears that Hero was one of the men, do you think he would be right?— I think so; I saw him with Barry afterwards.

8082 Whom else did you see beside those men?— Mr. Rawlings was close to me, near to Mr. Hare.

8083 Were those men far from Mr. Hare when he was shot?— Five or six yards to the left of him, at the first volley.

8084 On either side of him?— Yes.

8085 Who fired the first shot, do you remember?— I remember it was the outlaws.

8086 What was your impression when you saw Mr. Hare and the other constables and yourself— what was the impression that they intended to do at that time, if they had not been met with that volley from the hotel?— They were rushing straight for the house.

8087 And the first volley that was fired?— Came from the house. I saw one man appear on the outside, and said, “Come on, you dogs; you cannot hurt us.”

8088 Was that Ned Kelly?— I could not say. Mr. Hare said, “I am shot.” I saw him sticking the gun, after he was shot, between his legs, and re-loading it and firing it out of his hand, like that— [describing same].

8089 You are quite sure of that?— I am quite sure of it.

8090 You are sure he shot?— I am as sure as that I am sitting upon this chair.

8091 You swear that?— I swear it.

8092 Did you see Mr. O'Connor there at that time?— I did not.

8093 When did you see him first?— I heard Mr. Hare. He turned back to me and said, “Kelly, surround the house, for God’s sake, do not let them escape,” and he sang out “O'Connor,” and Mr. O'Connor answered.

8094 What did he say?— He said, “Come on, O'Connor, the beggars have shot me—bring your boys with you; surround the house.”

8095 Did you see Mr. O'Connor at that time?— I did not see Mr. O'Connor at that time.

8096 Where do you suppose he replied from—you say you heard his voice answering?— He was to the right of us, inside the railway fence.

8097 What time did you see Mr. O'Connor first after that?— I will come to that presently. Mr Hare went back to the railway station, and he came back in a few minutes and said, “Stop firing.” There was a tremendous fog of smoke then from the firing.

8098 “Cease firing” or “Stop firing”?— “Stop firing.”

8099 What reason did he assign?— We heard some women crying out in the house.....

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