The Argus (8)

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The Argus


... part of the KellyGang story

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‘I was going down to meet the special train with some of my mates, and intended to rake it with shot; but it arrived before I expected, and I then returned to the hotel. I expected the train would go on, and I had the rails pulled up so that these – black trackers might be settled. I do not say what brought me to Glenrowan, but it seems much. Anyhow I could have got away last night, for I got into the bush with my grey mare, and lay there all night. But I wanted to see the thing end. In the first volley the police fired I was wounded on the left foot; soon afterwards I was shot through the left arm. I got these wounds in front of the house. I do not care what people say about Sergeant Kennedy’s death. I have made my statements of the affair, and id the public don’t believe me I can’t help it; but I am satisfied it is not true that Scanlon was shot kneeling. He never got off his horse. I fired three or four shots from the front of Jones’s hotel but who I was firing at I do not know. I simply fired where I saw police. I escaped to the bush, and remained there overnight. I could have shot several constables if I liked. Two passed close to me. I could have shot them before they could shoot. I was a good distance away at one time, but came back. Why don’t the police use bullets instead of duck-shot? I have got one charge of duck shot in my leg. One policeman who was firing at me was a splendid shot, but I do not know his name. I daresay I would have done well to have ridden away on my grey mare. The bullets that struck my armour felt like blows from a man's fist. I wanted to fire into the carriages, but the police started on us too quickly. I expected the police to come.’ Inspector Sadleir. –‘You wanted then to kill the people on the train? Kelly.- ‘Yes, of course I did; God help them, but they would have got shot all the same. Would they not have tried to kill me?’


When the first attack subsided, the outlaws were heard calling, ‘Come on, you --; the – police can’t do us any harm.’ The armour in which each member of the gang was clad was of a most substantial character. It was made of Iron a quarter of an inch thick, and consisted of a long breast plate, shoulder plates, back guard, and helmet. The helmet resembled a nail can without a crown, and with a long slit at the elevation of the eyes to look through. All these articles are believed to have been made by two men, one living near Greta, and the other near Oxley. The iron was procured by the larceny of ploughshares, and larcenies of this kind having been rather frequent of late in the Kelly district the police had begun to suspect that the gang were preparing for action. Ned Kelly’s armour alone weighed 97lb., a considerable weight to carry on horseback. There are five bullet marks on the helmet, three on the breast plate, nine on the back plate, and one on the shoulder plate. His wounds, so far as at present known are:-Two on the right arm, several on the right leg, one on the left foot, one on right hand, and two near the groin


Mr John Stanistreet, station-master at Glenrowan, states—"About three o'clock on Sunday morning a knock came to my door, at the gatehouse, within 100 yards of the station, on the Melbourne side. I jumped out of bed, and thinking it was some one wishing to get through the gates in a hurry, I proceeded to dress, and getting half my clothes on I went to the door. Just as I arrived at the door it was burst in. Previous to that there was some impertinent talk outside to get me to open , which caused me to dress quickly. When the door was burst in I asked, 'Wh o are you: what is that for?' or 'Who are you?' The answer was, 'I am Ned Kelly.' I then saw a man, clad in an overcoat, standing in the doorway who walked in with me to my bedroom . He pushed me into my bedroom, . Mrs Stanistreet where my wife and some of and the children were in bed. There were two girls and one infant besides my wife. Ned Kelly Then he said to me, 'You have to come with me and take up the rails.' I replied, 'Wait ,' said I, ' until I dress ; .' He said, 'Yes,' and I completed my dress ing and followed him out of the house o On the railway line . I found there were seven or eight men standing at the gate looking over which crosses the line near to Mrs. Jones's hotel, the Glenrowan Inn. Ned Kelly, speaking to me , He said, 'You direct those men how to raise some of the rails, as we expect a special train very soon.' I objected, saying, 'I know nothing about lifting rails off the line . T ; the only persons who understand it are the repairers; they live outside and on along the line.' Ned Kelly then went on alone into Reardon the plate layer's house which stands . Reardon lives outside the line on the Greta side, about a quarter of a mile along the line southward. away. I and the other men were left in charge of Steve Hart . was present, and Ned Kelly left us in his charge. When Kelly went on to Reardon’s house; away Steve Hart gave me a prod with his rifle gun in the side, and said, saying, 'You get the tools out that are necessary to raise those-rails.' I said, 'I have not the key of the chest;' and He said, ' We’ll Break break the lock.' And got He told one of the men to do so . They took all the tools out of the chest, which lay in a back shed or toolhouse between the station and the crossing., Soon afterwards Ned and two of the repairers, and on arriving at the station he got one of the men to do it. This was in the little back shed used as a store-room, between the station and the gatehouse. The tools were thrown out, and in the meantime Reardon Sullivan arrived. , the line-repairers, arrived with Ned accompanied by these two men, Kelly. These two men and Ned proceeded down the line towards Wangaratta to lift the rails. We stood with were still under Steve Hart in the cold at the hut for about , and we remained where we were over two hours . At last , and then Ned Kelly and the repairer s returned. Ned then inquired about the signalling o n the line – f trains, as to how I stopped a train with the signal lights lamps. I said told him, "White white is right, red is wrong, and green is gen erally tly, come along." He then said, 'There is a special train coming; you give no signals.' Then s Speaking to Hart he said, 'Watch his countenance, and if he gives any signal, shoot him.' He then marched us into my house residence, and left us there under the charge of Steve Hart. Subsequently other persons There were prisoners and lodged in my home to the re then number of about 17. They were the seventeen altogether, other persons subsequently being placed in my house also. There were present Reardon 's family, the Ryan family, Tom Cameron (son of the gatekeeper on the other line ) , Sullivan, linerepairer, and others whom I do not remember. We were locked up all day on Sunday, and but we were only allowed out under surveillance. The women were permitted to go to Jones's Hotel about five o'clock dark. All the men but myself , and shortly afterwards all the men but me and my family went away to the hotel soon afterwards. . Steve Hart remained with us all night stopped the gatehouse. During the night Dan Kelly relieved Hart, and he was afterwards relieved by Byrne . Just before the special train arrived this morning I was ordered by Hart, who was on and off duty throughout the night, to follow him over to Jones’s, and not to signal the train. I went into the back kitchen, and found there Mrs Jones , with her daughter, about 14, and two younger children. There was also a man there named Neil McKean. By this time the train had arrived, and firing was going on furiously , and we all took shelter about . I did not see Ned Kelly in the room. I with others stood in the chimney. The house is a mere shell of a structure . The gang disappeared from me when the firing commenced . A bullet passed right through the kitchen, and grazed the temple of I did not hear any remark passed by any of the gang, and they disappeared. A ball passed through the hut, and grazed Miss Jane Jones , aged 14, daughter if the landlord. fourteen years of age, on the forehead. She exclaimed The girl said, 'I'm ‘Im shot,' and as turned to me. I saw the r head bleeding, blood and told her it was nothing serious. Poor Mrs Jones The mother commenced to cry bitterly. , and soon afterwards I left the kitchen, and went into the back-yard , and passed . I then saw three of the gang there standing behind the chimney. They were standing together at the kitchen chimney. I cannot say whether there are three or four of them . had their rifles in their hands. One of them said, I don't know which, 'If you go out you'll be shot.' I walked straight to my down the path towards the house. The firing was then going on all round me, but I was uninjured. Of course I was ne of the police very nearly shot me, but I said 'Station-master' when he challenged as I passed through . me. I omitted forgot to state mention that during Sunday afternoon night Steve Hart demanded my revolver from me, and I had to give it up.’ and received my revolver.


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