The Melbourne Daily Telegragh (5)

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Hugh Bracken , police constable No 2228 stationed at Glenrowan, said: I have been long acquainted with this district, but I have only been on duty here for about a month or so. At 11 o’clock on Sunday night, Edward Reynolds , my next door neighbour, called out “Bracken, Bracken, you’re wanted,” but knowing his voice, and thinking that it was nothing particular, I took no notice of him. Then another voice, which was strange to me, abruptly called upon me to come out, and wondering what was the matter, I got up and opened the door. As I did so, a tall man, whose face was hidden behind what seemed to be a nail can turned upside down, stepped into the doorway, and pointing a revolver at my head, said “I am Ned Kelly; put up your hands.” I said, “You be --, you are only someone from Benalla, sent here to try my pluck.” He said, ‘Throw up your hands;” and thinking that he was only joking, I put up one hand. He appeared to lose his temper, and putting the pistol close to my face said, “Throw up both hands; we will have no -- nonsense.” I threw up both my hands, and he pushed me into the house, and followed me in. He took up my rifle and revolver, and asked me for the cartridges, but I said that I had not the key of the chest. He then took me out into the stable, and asked me if I had a good horse. When I went outside with Ned Kelly I saw Joe Byrne and Reynolds standing outside and on going into the stable they made me saddle and mount my troop horse. Byrne took reins and led the animal and Ned Kelly rode behind, with Reynolds walking at his side. Ned Kelly told me that if I tried to get away he would shot me, and we went off to Jones’s Glenrowan Inn where I found about twenty or twenty five people hustled together in the bar and sitting room. They did not appear as if placed under constraint, but were at liberty to go into any of the rooms. Steve Hart was at Stanistreet’s, the stationmaster’s but the other members of the gang loitered about, with their revolvers and rifles unslung, as if ready for use. When I went in I noticed them lock the front door, and place the key on the end of the bar counter, near the wall, and when they were not noticing, I quietly picked it up and waited my opportunity. When the train was coming the gang went into one of the back rooms as if to hold a consultation, and I put the key in the door, unnoticed by the crowd, and ran away, jumping the railway fence, and arriving on the station platform just as Superintendent Hare and party were getting under arms. I told them briefly how matters stood, and they charged for the house, while I took one of the horses that had just been saddled and rode as fast as I could to Wangaratta for reinforcements. I warned the party of the line having been broken up, and accompanied them back to the scene and joined with them in the siege that had been made.


Charles C Rawlins , living at Benalla, said I joined the special train at 1.30am , and on arriving at Glenrowan, started to the railway gates on the rush being made with Superintendent Hare and party. On getting just outside the gates, I heard a noise, and immediately afterwards there was a flash and the report of a gun fired from Jones’s inn. The black trackers dropped on the ground, and crawled to shelter in the drain, which ran along about thirty or forty yards from the inn. Several shots were rapidly exchanged, and Superintendent Hare called out, “I’m shot,” and handed me his gun. He fired three shots with his revolver, and retired to the station to have his wounds bound, and returned in a few minutes, and gave orders as to placing the party. Kelly came out on the verandah and called out, “Fire away, you -----, you can’t hurt me,: and a hot fire was kept up from the police and trackers in ambush. Superintendent Hare retired, and left Lieutenant Connor and Senior-constable Kelly in charge of the party. The remainder of Mr Rawlins’s narrative is descriptive of the action during the day, and contains nothing of special interest, beyond the fact that he went along the went along the line to warm the Beechworth train of the break.


Mrs Reardon , wife of a platelayer, working on and living near the line at Glenrowan, made several desperate efforts to escape from the inn during the thickest of the fight with the infant in her arms, calling frantically on God and the police to spare her children. On every occasion that shr got out of the house some of the men called her back again, and came out after her. This immediately drew the fire of the police on the place, and she was forced to take shelter behind trees, or by falling on the ground. Between 5 and 6 o’clock she made a final effort, and her brave womanly spirit rose to such a pitch that she ran in the direction of the station with the bullets falling all around her, and doubtless she would have met with some disaster if it had not been for the brave conduct of the railway guard Dowsett, who rushed boldly into the open when she seemed to be about to waver, and carried her to the train, where she was provided with shelter. Her husband and three children were still in the doomed inn, so her agony and painful excitement may be better imagined than expressed. In this state it was impossible for me to obtain more than a disconnected narrative from her. She said: About 3 o’clock on Sunday morning my husband was awakened by the dog barking, and got up and asked me how he had become loosened from his chain, and I told him that I had heard something like a horseman jumping the fence just previously. He got up, and on opening the door he saw Ned Kelly and another man named Sullivan , also a platelayer, standing in the doorway. Ned Kelly pushed his way in, and made us all get up and go with him to the station master’s house. There were several other persons there, and although we were allowed to go about the house as we liked, we were detained till Sunday evening, when we were marched over to the hotel. I had my three children – Michael, Catherine and William – with me, and on going over there I saw William S.Cook, William Delaney, Patrick Delaney, John Larkin, a farmer; John Delaney , William Cook, a labourer; William Mortimer, a farmer; W Signold, W Reynolds, Robert Gibbon, the two young M’Aulays, Martin Cherry, and Hugh Bracken. the policeman and a number of others whose names I do not now call to mind. '


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