Sydney Morning Herald (33)

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Day after

During the forenoon the body of Byrne was brought out of the lookup where it lay, and slung up in an erect position on the outside of the door, the object being to have it photographed by Mr Burman, of Melbourne. The features were composed in a natural way, and were easily recognized. The face was small, with retreating forehead, blue eyes, the upper lip covered with a downy moustache, and a bushy beard covering his chin, whilst his hair had been recently cut. His figure is that of a tall, lithe young fellow. The spectacle, however, was very repulsive. The hands are clenched and covered with blood, whilst blood also covered his clothes. The police soon had the body removed from the public gaze. The officers, policemen, trackers, and gentlemen who were there at the Barracks, and who were present at the encounter, were also photographed in a group.

During the day Detective Ward proceeded to Glenrowan, and on making some inquiries discovered five of the horses of the gang stabled at Macdonnell's Railway Hotel, which stands on the east side of the line opposite the scene of the fight. They had evidently been fasting ever since they had been stabled there, which of course was on the arrival of the gang two days ago. Why Mr M'Donnell did not give voluntary information to the police concerning the horses has not been explained. They were all brought to Benalla, and two of them were identified as horses which were stolen within the last fortnight from Mr Ryan's farm, on the Major Plains. One of the two was ridden by Joe Byrne when he committed the murder of Sherritt, at the Woolshed, near Beechworth, on Saturday last. A third was recognized as a packhorse belonging to Mr Fitzsimmons, of Benalla, and was stolen from his farm, near Greta, about twelve days ago. The other two have not yet been identified. Ned Kelly's grey mare has also been caught, and will be brought on to Benalla to-morrow. On one of the horses was found one of the Government saddles taken from the police horses on the occasion of the Mansfield murders. Another of the saddles, the one on Byrne's horse, is found to have been made by Mr Bullivant of Wangaratta. It may be here mentioned that the Kellys brought pack-horses with them for the purpose of carrying their armour.

There is some mystery as to what has become of sergeant Kennedy's watch. It is known that Ned Kelly wore it for a time, but the only one found on him is a small lady's lever watch, and it is supposed he has been exchanging with somebody. Two chains were attached to the latter, one gold and the other silver. All the members of the gang were comfortably clad, and they wore boots which were evidently made to order. Ned Kelly had riding boots, which showed well how he prided himself on having neat feet. When the doctor was dressing his wounds the boots had to be cut off, and it was found that Kelly wore no stockings. The gang all had the appearance of being well fed, and Byrne stated to one of their prisoners that they had always lived well, but that the want of sleep which they had often to endure was very trying.

With the view of gathering any fresh particulars obtainable concerning Monday's encounter, I revisited Glenrowan today. I found the debris of Jones hotel still smouldering, and a crowd of people fossicking among the ruins for mementoes of the gang. Two brick chimneys are all that remained standing, and the black ashes of the buildings were covered in part by the sheets of corrugated iron, which had formed the roof, the iron was pierced by innumerable bullet and slug holes, and on the chimneys were also a number of bullet marks. The wrecks of two iron bedsteads and of a sewing-machine and a few tin cans, some of which contained shot marks, were the only recognisable objects in the debris. It may not be too late to explain here that the hotel is a wooden building, of one story, and contained a front parlour and bar, and two bedrooms at the rear, and separated from the front tenement stook the kitchen, a rough, wooden structure.

The hotel stood about thirteen yards from the Railway Station, and at about the same distance from the railway line, on the west side, and on the rising ground which leads up to The Morgan's lookout, which is the nearest peak of the Warby Ranges. The station-master's house stands on the line immediately below the hotel. The only other houses in the immediate vicinity are M'Donnell's, hotel and another small private house, both of which are situated on a track running about parallel with the line at a distance of, say 150 yards on the east side. The police office, post-office, and State school of Glenrowan are about a mile south of the railway station, and the same side as Jones's hotel. On the east rise the Greta Ranges and the township of Greta. The township of Greta is only four miles away.

The place where the rails were pulled up is exactly half a mile beyond the station, and not a mile and a half as at first reported. It was chosen with diabolical fitness for bringing about the total destruction of the special train. The line takes a sudden turn down an incline, and is then carried over a gully on an embankment. There is a little creek in this gully, and to carry it under the line, a substantial culvert had been built. This culvert is situated just at the end of the sharpest part of the curve, and at the foot of the incline. It was just at this point that the rails were torn up. Had the special train continued its journey without any warning having been given, it would have been impossible for the engine driver to see the breach in the line until too late, and the inevitable result would have been that the train, with its living freight, would have rushed over the embankment into the gully beneath. If it had gone on the left side it would have had a fall of about twenty feet, and if on the right a fall of about thirty feet.


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