The Argus at KellyGang 13/12/1878 (7)

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Sgt Kennedy

I then fired at Kennedy, who fell wounded at the foot of the tree where his body was afterwards found. The other two men, Hart and Byrne who were coming up to us, seeing that the sergeant was secured, turned and went in pursuit of M'Intyre, who had escaped on Kennedy's horse. The sergeant never moved from the spot where he fell, but complained of the pain he felt from the bullet wound. I should say we were with him nearly two hours trying to get what information we could out of him. He always endeavoured to turn the conversation in the direction of his domestic affairs, his home, his wife and family, and very frequently of the little one he had recently buried in the Mansfield Cemetery, to whom he seemed very much attached, evidently knowing he would soon be by its side. I could not help feeling very much touched at his pitiable condition, and after a little I said, "Well, Kennedy, I am sorry that I shot you. Here take my gun and shoot me."

Kennedy replied, "No, I forgive you, and may God forgive you too." He then wrote as much on some slips in his note book as his fast failing strength would allow him. After he had written what he could with his pencil he handed the paper to me, and asked if I would give it to his wife. I took the paper, and promised that when I had a safe opportunity I would do so. The sergeant then appeared to be suffering very much and in great agony. I could not look upon him so, and did not wish to leave him alone to linger out in such pain, so I suddenly, without letting him see what I intended, put the muzzle of my gun to within a few inches of Kennedy’s breast. When he saw that I was going to shoot him he begged of me to leave him alive saying, "Let me alone to live, if I can for the sake of my poor wife and family. You surely have shed blood enough." I fired, and he died instantly, without another groan. We then took his cloak and covered it over his body, and left him to be buried by those who might find him I did not put oil in an ear as reported, it must have been eaten away




Sir,-Your facetious contemporary Punch had a capital cartoon last week entitled "Rough upon Kelly," and though that worthy's last exploit at Euroa has called forth a fresh burst of public indignation, I submit that it is hardly fair to vent all one's indignation upon him and his gang and not think of other culprits who are still at large-and for our sins occupying the highest places in the state.

For what is the "oligarchy" now in office doing but "bailing up the colony? At all their out-of door proceedings we stand agast and helpless, just as the party did at Mr Younghusband's. As the Pastoral Times in your quotation puts it, "the losses inflicted on Victoria by the struggles of the Berry Ministry to maintain its position are enormous. They affect every class and condition, and yet there does not seem public spirit enough to organise an efficient Opposition."-Yours, &.,




Sir -On October 20 I suggested the employment of Local Garrison Corps to protect the small townships whilst the regular Police were hunting after the Kelly gang. Though no particular notice was then given to my suggestion, subsequent and very recent events show it would have been much wiser to adopt than ignore it. Surely when Parliament thought it proper and important enough to pass a special act to facilitate the destruction rather than the capture of four men, it would not have been out of place to utilise the services of at least some portion   of our Local Garrison Corps. The sticking up of the Euroa bank is a striking instance of Ministerial incompetence.

We now discover the whole time of the Ministry is devoted to Nelson festivities and embassies to England , continuous brakes, &c.

Truly, they travel in old historic company. Even Nero fiddled while Rome was burning. Why should Mr Berry not eclipse Nero ? -

Yours &.c .


Extract from Hansard, Session 1878, page

1,560, October 30, l878

Murders by Bushrangers

"Mr Gaunson (who to put himself in order moved the adjournment of the House asked the Chief Secretary what steps would be taken towards mitigating the great calamity which had fallen on the families of the police constables who had been murdered by bushrangers ? He also de- sired to call attention to the fact that a state of things now prevailed in the Mansfield district which could hardly be realised by people m Melbourne. He would suggest that the men of the Garrison Corps should be sworn in as special constables, and sent up to protect the small townships which at present were left unprotected, owing to the police being absent, scouring the country for the bushrangers.

He considered that the reward offered for the apprehension of Kelly and his co-murderers was inadequate, and that it should be increased to £500 or £1,000 per head, and that a pardon should be granted to any accomplice not actually concerned in the murders who would turn Queen's evidence "


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