The Argus at KellyGang 2712/1878

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It is now over two months since the police camp in the Wombat Ranges was attacked by the Kelly gang of bushrangers, and the three policeman murdered. Not only have the four murderers successfully evaded a large number of police who were sent immediately in pursuit, but they have in the interim committed a daring outrage at Euroa.

The township of Euroa is on the north-eastern line of railway, about 100 miles north by east of Melbourne, and is within the district infested by the outlawed gang and their friends. It possesses a branch of the National Bank, but although it is well-known that the gang had determined on sticking up and robbing some bank, this township was left without any protection beyond the presence of a solitary constable. On Monday, the 9th of December, whilst the police were all looking for the murderers in the ranges many miles away, the latter quietly descended on a pastoral station called Faithfull’s Creek, owned by Mr Younghusband, and situated about three miles further up the railway line than Euroa. The ruffians were fully armed with guns and revolvers, and rode four splendid horses. They bailed up all the male employés on the station, as also a number of railway labourers, farmers, and others, who called at or were seen passing the homestead, and locked them up in the storeroom.

Amongst the callers was a hawker, from whose cart the outlaws provided themselves with a new outfit. The gang held possession of the station for nearly two days, and kept 22 able-bodied men prisoners for 24 hours. During Monday night two of them kept watch whilst the other two went to sleep. Early next morning they destroyed the telegraph lines, smashing eight of the iron poles on which they were fixed, and twisting the wires into an extricable mass, so that they might not be easily repaired. In the afternoon a line repairer was sent down from Benalla to see what was wrong with the wires, and he also was made a prisoner of. Preparations were then made for sticking up the bank at Euroa. This was the principal object of the gang, and they had merely seized on Younghusband’s station as a vantage ground from which they could conveniently and suddenly descend upon the bank.

Before starting Ned Kelly, the leader, took a cheque from the desk of Mr Macauley, the overseer, and said he wanted it as a means of gaining an entry into the bank. One of the gang named Byrne was left as a sentry over the prisoners, and one of the latter was taken out of the store and kept covered with Byrne’s rifle. Kelly intimated that if any of the party made a disturbance, or attempted to escape, this hostage would be shot. The other three ruffians then left, Ned Kelly driving a springcart he had taken from one of the prisoners, Dan Kelly in the hawker’s cart, which was driven by the hawker’s boy; and the third man, whose name proves to be Stephen Hart, accompanying them on horseback.


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