The Argus at KellyGang2/11/1878 (3)

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BENALLA, Friday, 11 pm

The report given by Neil Christian Peter, of Bungowanah, has been ascertained to be incorrect, but four men somewhat like the Kellys were seen in another part of the same district on Wednesday by two farmers named Munger and Margarey, one of whom brought intelligence yesterday to Barnawartha police station, whence it has been forwarded hither by post to-day. It is stated by George Munger that he was stopped by four men on the banks of a lagoon near the Murray . They were armed, and they demanded provisions. They threatened to throw him into the river if he did not get what they wanted. He was detained for three hours, and warned not to make any report before Sunday. Two of Margarey’s sons, who happened to be on their way to the lagoon, were stopped, and turned back. One of the four men appeared to be wounded, and lay on the grass all the time the party stayed. '


This is consistent with the mode of Kennedy’s death at the fatal camp. If he ran away immediately after McIntyre, he would have time before he was overtaken to draw his revolver and fire at least one shot. The bullet marks on the trees would show that several shots were fired at him besides those that hit him. Munger was confident that the four men were Kelly’s party. The report reached here just before Superintendent Nicolson started by the 8 o’clock train for Wodonga to-night. The facts on which this despatch is founded did not reach me in very clear order, but the story has probability. The weather is very wet, and much against the men in the ranges. McIntyre has been moved from Mansfield on account of the state of his health and nerves, which are still considerably shaken. The Mansfield telegraph line is repaired.



An inquiry on the body of Sergeant Kennedy has just been held at Mansfield . Constable McIntyre corroborated his previous statements. He believed Kennedy had surrendered, but he heard shots fired while he was escaping. Henry Sparrow deposed to finding the body about half a mile from camp, near a tree that had bullet marks in it. The spot was an open space of about 10 yards, and the tree was between Kennedy and the camp. Constable Orr said there were no signs of a scuffle. Other witnesses corroborated this. Dr Reynolds deposed that he had no doubt that death took place on the same day as the deaths of the other constables. There was a large wound in the centre of the sternum, caused, it was supposed, by a charge of shot fired at a very short range. It passed completely through the body, coming out of the back. It was believed to be a shot wound from its size, and the appearance of the rent through the clothes. There was also another wound, directly under the right arm, which was probably given when Kennedy held up his arms. Upon escaping, and on seeing that the murderers would show no mercy, he had fallen. The gang, then coming up, had put the muzzle of a gun close to his breast and shot him through the body, which was in an awful state.

Father Scanlan has arrived to be present at the burial. About 200 attended Kennedy’s funeral, which was headed by Father Scanlan, the Bishop of Melbourne, and the Rev Mr Sandiford, Church of England clergyman. Mrs Moorhouse performed the gracious act of placing a wreath of flowers on the coffin. The service was conducted by Father Scanlan. All business places were closed. The wire has been interrupted since 11 o’clock , and is supposed to have been cut by some of Kelly’s confederates. Four troopers left here at daylight this morning. No news has arrived from any search party. It has been raining heavily all day.


Benalla Ensign '


The residents of Benalla have been interested by the constant arrival of bodies of police to join in the pursuit, strengthen the protection at the smaller townships, which, it was thought, might be stuck up, and to patrol the Murray . The authorities adopted the plan of securing all the mounted men who had ever been stationed in the north-eastern district, and as a consequence they have got together a body of men well acquainted with the district, and at a great advantage over members of the force unaccustomed to the bush. Benalla contributed its quota. From Sandhurst , Kyneton, and the Western District as far as Balmoral, men were brought, and after a brief stay to rest themselves and horses, were told off for duty in the district by Superintendent Nicholson, who is in charge in the place of Mr Sadleir. We had a look at one body of these men at the station, dressed in common dress, and certainly they are a class of men in every way to be relied on for dangerous service. The men were all roughly dressed, but well armed, although not so well mounted. The horses, as a rule, are not the best for active service, and there seems good reason for the complaint that country troopers have to put up with inferior animals, whilst the best horses are kept in and around Melbourne for show. The men had not been practiced with firearms, and were ill-acquainted with the arms they had too use, which appears to us to be a serious defect in the service; but they were eager to mount and be off.

Amongst them was Trooper Flood, whom Ned Kelly has sworn to “roast” if he catches him. The reason for the outlaw’s hostility to this constable appears to be that Flood, whilst stationed at Greta, kept a strict surveillance over him and his friends. Sergeant Steele, of Wangaratta, is another of the force on whom Kelly has a determined “down.” Steele was mainly instrumental in bringing the Baumgarten or “Greta Mob” to justice, and revenge has been sworn by Kelly. This criminal appears to be a man of most vindictive and bloodthirsty character. His threats of murder have been so numerous that it would be hard to recount them. When crossed by the officers of justice, or by any one, in fact, it was his invariable custom to threaten what in bushranging parlance is called “colonial law.” He is said to have stated before the late Beechworth Assizes that he would wait to see if his mother was convicted. If she were not he would give himself up to answer the charge of horsestealing preferred against him, whilst if she were he would shoot every man concerned in bringing about the conviction. Mrs Kelly was convicted, and Kelly appears to be taking his revenge on the force. As showing the nature of the murderer, we may mention that he has also threatened to do for Mr McCarthy O’Leary, barrister of Benalla, the only reason apparently being that Mr Oleary ordered him out of his office on one occasion when the fellow was talking about giving colonial law to certain members of the police force.  

The police murders are still at large, and there does not seem to be any certainty yet as to where they are. Our special reporter telegraphs from Benalla to the effect that the report of the miscreants having stuck up a man named Christian in the Chiltern district has been found to be incorrect, but that more trustworthy info rmation has been received of their having been seen in another part of the same district, where they compelled a farmer named George Munger to furnish them with provisions. Two sons of another farmer named Margery, state that they saw the four men in the same locality, and that one of them was lying on the grass as if he were wounded. An interesting account of the proceedings in the Mansfield and Benalla districts, and a telegram despatched at a later hour by our special reporter, a report of the inquest on Sergeant Kennedy’s body, and other particulars, will be found elsewhere. The funeral of Kennedy took place yesterday afternoon, and the service was conducted by Father Scanlan. Bishop Moorhouse was present, and Mrs Moorhouse placed a wreath of flowers on the coffin.


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