Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Hero at Glenrowan wasn't Ned Kelly but Thomas Curnow.


I have to admit until a few days ago I hadn’t known there was “a local tradition of commemorating the 1880 Siege at Glenrowan, when Ned Kelly made his last stand” but this year the commemoration is going to be a fund-raising dinner for the proposed Joanne Griffiths Ned Kelly Center at Glenrowan. Its going to be called ‘The Ned Kelly Siege Dinner’.

For a hundred bucks you’re not only going to get fine (but hearty!) food and great local wine, but entertainment from singer songwriter Damian Howard, a 'Hard Quiz' “prepared by historians which will challenge the fiercest aficionados” and “a Silent Auction will give you the chance to bid for bargain holidays, art works, memorabilia and more...”  I’d be tempted to go myself if I lived nearby, and if I had a hundred bucks to spare and if I didn’t think I would be lynched if I went! But I’d be hated even more once I got the prize for winning the quiz…so I guess I’ll stay home.

But, seriously I would like to know exactly what part of Ned Kellys last stand at Glenrowan is worth a commemorative dinner, good food, wine and song?

The truth about the “Last Stand” is that it was the place where Ned Kellys true character was fully exposed and shown to be dark and as angry, ruthless and murderous as any of the other known mass killers. Ned Kellys plan was no spur of the moment brain-snap but a very deliberate and calculated scheme that was many months in the making, and which very nearly succeeded. Glenrowan was an attempt to murder up to a couple of dozen police by causing a train to derail at high speed. Ned Kelly was so determined to do this that he made four suits of bullet–proof armour, murdered a former friend, and then risked his own life, the lives of the other gang members, and the lives of more than 60 hostages as well. This was a monumentally violent and ruthless scheme that if successfully carried out would have eternally embedded the name of Ned Kelly into the annals of history’s most sickening killers,  . There wouldn’t have been one word of debate from any sane reasonable person about anything other than that Ned Kelly was a monster. Absolutely no doubt about it.

My question to the Siege commemorators is this: do you not realise that Ned Kelly is no less a monster just because he was stopped from carrying out this plan? What is it that you want to commemorate?


Maybe you are planning on commemorating the claim that Glenrowan was the place where Ned Kelly displayed the skills and strategic genius that would have made him a brilliant military man.  If so, you need to keep reading because that claim doesn’t withstand the slightest analysis.  To start with, the centrepiece of his brilliant plan was the home-made armour – it turned out to be hopelessly impractical – it was so heavy they could barely move in it, it was impossible for the gang to use their rifles while wearing it, it greatly restricted their vision and as Ned Kelly discovered to his horror, the unprotected legs left the wearer fatally vulnerable. That was the supposed great Generals first blunder. His next blunder was about poor Aaron Sherrit - everyone now accepts that Kelly was wrong about him – he didn’t betray the Gang , but the deranged Kelly gang killed him anyway, as police bait! Next, Kellys plan relied on word about Aaron Sheritts murder getting quickly to Melbourne – so what did his ‘troops’ do? After killing Sheritt they hung about his house for hours and hours taunting and threatening the policemen trapped inside, so they didn’t emerge till the next morning – blunder #3. Kellys plan relied on the railway line being ripped up – but the tools he bought were the wrong ones and he and Steve Hart couldn’t do it – dumb planning (#4) Kelly then woke up railway workers in tents nearby thinking they would be able to rip up the tracks  – they couldn’t (#5). And neither could Stanistreet, the Stationmaster they woke next (#6). Now, because his plan required secrecy, he had to make hostages of everyone in the Ann Jones Inn, but because he couldn’t keep his own boastful mouth shut Ned Kellys secret got out (#7). Outsmarted by Thomas Curnow’s flattery, the vain Ned Kelly released the brave Curnow (#8), who stopped the train by an act of bravery that’s universally acknowledged.

At this point the plan was in tatters, but at least no harm had been done, other than the cold-blooded murder of Aaron Sherritt. A wise General would have considered a hasty retreat with all his men, and lived to fight another day, but not Mr Kelly. (#9) He chose to stay and shoot it out with police, against odds that were so hopelessly impossible even Custer wouldn’t have thought about staying.

The outcome of his hateful and ill-conceived plan, fortunately, was total failure for the Kelly Gang. Not a single one of the gangs objectives was realised, but the Gang was completely destroyed -  Ned Kellys own brother and Steve Hart committed suicide, Joe Byrne was shot by police and bled to death, Ned Kelly was captured and in a few months hanged, two innocent hostages were killed, and Ann Jones livelihood was destroyed. The entire incident was a horrendous and traumatic weekend of terror and death and injury, a mesmerising horror show of drunken violence and chaos. Why on earth would anyone want to commemorate that?

And yet, despite the shameful behaviour of the Kelly Gang, there was a hero at Glenrowan, and his bravery certainly does deserve to be commemorated. One man with a conscience was brave enough to stand up against wrong, and do whatever it took to stop the murder of innocent people in a train crash : Thomas Curnow.  There can be no mistake – what Curnow did required extraordinary bravery, and he later admitted he expected to be killed in the attempt, but even his own wife’s pleas couldn’t dissuade him.

Read what he wrote a mere three weeks after the event, in his Statement to the Police:

"In overcoming Mrs Curnow’s opposition to my going for she was in a state of the utmost terror and dread, and declared that both I and all belonging to me would get shot if I persisted in going, and in securing the safety of my wife, child and sister while being away time passed, and just as I was about to start I heard the train coming in the distance. I immediately caught up the scarf, candle and matches and ran down the line to meet the train. On reaching a straight part of the line where those in the train would be able to see the danger signal for some distance, I lit the candle and held it behind the red scarf. While I was holding up the danger signal I was in great fear of being shot before those in the train would be able to see the red light, and of thus uselessly sacrificing my life."

This man is the true hero of Glenrowan, and its about time his bravery was given the recognition that it deserves. Compare his bravery, going alone and unarmed with only a candle and a scarf, with the “bravery” of Ned Kelly, armed to the teeth after weeks of target practice, enclosed in armour, protected by human shields, and a member of a gang….an extraordinary comparison!


The Commemorative Dinner shouldn’t be called the Ned Kelly siege dinner. Ned Kelly did nothing at Glenrowan that any decent and fair-minded person would ever want to commemorate. Instead it should be renamed the Thomas Curnow memorial Dinner. That would make it honourable, because when it comes to Glenrowan, Thomas Curnow is the only person and his were the only deeds that deserve commemoration.

89 comments:

  1. Dee you have become very expert on the fake Kelly Legend.

    Why would people gather to celebrate the Glenrowan disaster? This was Ned's biggest stuff-up! Dan and Steve got fried. Joe got strung up as a photo opportunity. Ned dangled.

    Don't hold your breath Dee, hoping Tom Curnow gets recognised as a hero. We recognise him. They don't.

    One can only hope locals will complain to pollies and Police about these shonks.

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  2. Horrie and Alf21 May 2018 at 00:13

    Oh dear, if I was doing the catering for this event, I would be serving them heaps of humble pie.

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  3. Like the demise of the Kelly Weekend at Beechworth, this dinner celebrating would-be mass murderer and horse mutilator Ned will be phased out soon. Even the Kelly fanatics are finding out the Legend is pure BS and are abandoning it like frantic Titanic passengers.

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    1. Really John!
      Kelly fanatics are abandoning the story?
      The legend is pure BS?
      From my observation any interest in Ned Kelly comes in waves, sometimes it’s quiet sometimes very active - much like this blog. A blog that is entirely devoted to Ned Kelly, this helps keep the legend alive - don’t you think??

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    2. The Kelly story won’t disappear, as it is very exciting Here, for example, is a ripping yarn about what happened at the start of the Glenrowan siege:

      The gang were waiting under the shadow of the verandah, and fired at the advancing police. Hare, one of the two policemen wounded in the gunfight, was shot in the left wrist but returned fire, and reloaded with one arm. The men who were still on the platform taking out horses picked up their arms and ran towards the Inn. The horses were left to scatter as they pleased. The police who had been heading for the Inn scrambled for cover, and began to shoot back, with the first police volley about 3:15am. Had not Bracken told the prisoners before his escape that their only chance of safety was to lie down as flat on the floor as possible, wholesale slaughter would have resulted at the Kelly gang’s instigation. After the gang’s first volley, they retired inside. Hare called on his men to stop firing (RC, Q.10314 McWhirter; Q.10798 Allen; Q.11213 Arthur; Q.8088-9 S/C Kelly). One of the outlaws then abused the police from inside the Inn, telling them to fire away as they could do them no harm (RC, Q.10311-4 McWhirter). The Kelly gang were utterly indifferent to the safety of their prisoners. After that challenge, reporter John McWhirter of the Age could hear the cries of women from inside the Inn. Desultory firing followed the first volley, with the police explicitly instructed by Hare to “fire high”, “as high as the height of a man above ground” (RC, Q.10328-9, 10331-3 McWhirter; Q.10729 Allen). The testimony of reporters McWhirter and Allen on these points, together with that of the civilian Charles Rawlins, overturns everything that has been popularly presented about the “reckless” firing of the police for the last 90 years.

      Can't wait for the sequel! I think it has something to do with a myth about a republic.

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    3. Anonymous you are probably right about Kelly fanatics and h Kelly legend - nothing, not any fact or logical argument based on evidence will change the minds of most of them. Theirs is a blind irrational fact-free faith thats immune to all reason. However, the interested bystander, the casual Kelly supporter, the uncommitted and the unbelievers are definitely abandoning the Kelly legend - as opposed to the true story - in droves.

      Remember the Kelly Weekend? Gone!

      Remember the worlds greatest Kelly website? A shadow of its former self.

      Have you registered the silence on the Kelly FB pages where all that happens is they react to anything thats vaguely Kelly related news , the failure of anyone at all to attempt to actually defend the Kelly legends here or on my FB pages, the silence from Wangaratta Council about Joannes big plan apart from getting rid of lots of stuff and putting in a few plants , her failure to attract any crowdfunded support, last years failure to attract funding for the Kelly movie and yet a fictional Kelly movie is being made right now, have you noticed all this?

      And your reverse psychology comment - thats been made many times before, that somehow I am keeping the Kelly Legend alive by having a blog devoted to exposing the truth about the Kelly story? I believe you are right in the sense that my efforts are informing people and arousing their interest in the true story of the Kelly Outbreak, but their interest isn't in the myth but the reality.

      But are you seriously suggesting that without this Blog the Kelly legend would have died by now? I wish!

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  4. Hello Stuart,
    I am sorry to disagree with you regarding the “reckless” firing of the police during the Glenrowan siege. An example of a not so ripping yarn. (RC, James Reardon. Q.7656-7657)

    “Did you let it be known to the police in any way that you wanted to get out? - Yes.”
    "How? - There was one tall chap - I forget his name – he put a white handkerchief out of the window, and there were three bullets went in at once. The shots went from the drain straight in the window.”

    The Royal Commission on the Police Force of Victoria: Second progress report. 1881, vol. 3, pp3-280. Had this to say about the incident:
    “The prisoners in a state of terror, arranged to hold a white handkerchief, at which several shots were immediately fired, a proceeding highly reprehensible, as the most untutored savage is supposed to respect the signal of surrender.”

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    1. Hi Anonymous, lots of people will disagree with me on that, just as they have abused the police for reckless firing for the last 90 years. But who else has pointed out the "fire high" direction? No-one that I can think of, because practically all the commentary slams the police. So yes, it was very naughty of - was it O'Connor's lot? - some of the police to shot at the white hanky. But when we take a step back, having read Gregory Blake's "Eureka: A Bloody Battle", we might pause to consider that the police were being shot at by a gang of known police killers, who were notorious rascals and who initiated a gunfight in armour instead of clearing for the bush once the train derailment plan failed. It was a battle with real bullets, not a bush picnic. The police fired high as instructed: the roof of the Inn was famously riddled with bullets. It would be silly to try and defend those who fired at the hanky, but that does not invalidate the general point, that the instruction to fire high was followed. And that is what counters the endless abuse levelled at the police by persons who have never noticed or considered that journalistic evidence. Further, the ones who shot at the hanky were told off, not left to pop at it all night...

      What is needed hare is a change of perspective, from that of the last 90 years, that the police were "trigger happy lunatics", as Molony put it, to recognising that they were ordered to fire high and did so. The RC was right to condemn the shooting as highly reprehensible, but that is not my point. The context of Reardon's reply to the question, did you let it be know that you wanted to get out, was how did the police know that? His answer was, that a chap put a hanky out the window. When you've just been shot at, what does that mean exactly? Who, what, and what's going on. Not simple under fire, I'm sure - as Greg Blake pointed out in a different context. Anyway, that was just one paragraph about Glenrowan. There will be lots of objections to the other several pages about it to look forward to!

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    2. The debate about police behaviour at Glenrowan is an argument that is long overdue. The Kelly sympathisers have almost never been challenged about their claim that the police were reckless at Glenrowan, but its time the counter-arguments were put.

      My first observation is that the quote supplied by "Anonymous" as evidence refers to THREE shots fired through a window when the white flag was waved. THREE shots is hardly proof of a police force that was out of control! It may simply mean that the police who fired those three shots were ignorant of what the flag meant, or didnt see it, or indeed that those particular police were indeed reckless.

      The instruction to aim high was the official police policy and it was obviously more or less followed - if it hadn't been followed there could easily have been dozens of casualties. The 'collateral damage' was arguably surprisingly little, given how many people were crammed not that confined space, and how fierce the battle was.

      Ultimately though the moral responsibility for everything that happened at Glenrowan lies with Ned Kelly. It was HIS plan, and his ACTIONS that placed all those innocent people in harms way. The Coroner who investigated the Lindt Cafe Siege was absolutely adamant on that point - the blame for any harm to innocent life lies entirely with the hostage taker.

      Its nauseating to think that next month Joanne Griffiths and her supporters are planning to celebrate Glenrowan and Ned Kellys last stand. I wonder if Man Sharon Monis descendants will be celebrating the anniversary of the Lindt Cafe Siege?

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    3. Hi Dee, if the police had fired low they would have killed dozens as you say. The three people who were shot inside the Inn were shot at the start of the siege, before it was realised there were civilians inside. (Remember that the fourth, George Metcalf, was shot by Kelly in the afternoon before the siege then kept prisoner.) Then they were told to fire high, and by and large did so. What has happened is that in the wake of Kenneally, people have trawled the Royal Commission evidence for every critical comment they can find about the performance of the police, and as most of them who bothered to do that are Kelly nuts, balanced analysis went out the window decades ago. When they just look through Kenneally's blinkers, they have limited side vision. They find more of what they look for, which is called confirmation bias. And the more they confirm it, the easier it is to ignore or dismiss anything contrary. Then we end up with books of heavily romanticised BS.

      I disagree with the Monis parallel. As I recall, he had, or asked for, a flag of a known political terrorist group to be displayed in the café window. The Kelly gang were never terrorists with a social or political agenda and nothing whatsoever links them with any political aims or ambitions. They were just another bushranging gang, like the Ben Hall gang, who happed to have their outbreak when peak news coverage was possible, and they got it. Such coverage was not available to the Hall gang, whose exploits were far more successful and audacious, as White's discussion and comparison in "Australian Bushranging" says. And beautifully presented in that terrific Holmes "Ben Hall" movie, which aimed for historical accuracy, unlike the universally romanticised Kelly films.

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    4. Thanks Stuart. 'Confirmation bias' must be the new term for what was called 'subjective validation' in my day at Uni! I think the new term is a better one.

      Your point about when accidental innocent deaths occurred and the timing of the instruction to aim high is an excellent one that I hadn't thought of before. However, I think Curnow would have told the police right at the start there were hostages in the Inn - perhaps that information wasn't properly passed back to the rank and file?

      Regarding the Monis parallel, I agree Monis was a politically motivated hostage taker whereas the Kelly Gang were purely criminal. But I don't see that difference having an effect on the point I wanted to make that the hostage taker is morally responsible for all the outcomes of his actions. Thats what the Coroner was adamant about in relation to Monis, and I think we should be adamant about it too, in relation to Kelly and the innocent deaths at Glenrowan.

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    5. It might be because 'confirmation bias' is pretty clear but 'subjective validation' is more of a mumble, like antidisestablishmentarianism

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    6. Its a concept which more people need to be aware of dont you think Stuart?

      I wonder if thy teach at school the difference between objectivity and subjectivity, and the probably natural tendency to notice and remember things that support our prior convictions, and not notice or dismiss things that dont. This should lead to a discussion about echo chambers, which is where most of the Kelly sympathisers are trapped.

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  5. Surely you guys are not suggesting that I and my ilk have been deluding ourselves for all these years...

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    1. I said "MOST" of the kelly sympathisers are trapped in their echo chamber, not ALL of them Mark. You seem to have escaped somehow....and escapees aren't thought well of by the inmates left behind....

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  6. Hello Stuart,
    Yes, I believe it was it O’Connor’s “naughty lot” that fired at one of the men whilst he was waving a white handkerchief. Obviously they did not follow the order to fire high.

    ”Superintendent Hare, when he took his departure from the scene, appears to have been under the impression that he left Mr O’Conner in charge of the attack.”

    Inspecter O’Conner. Another not so ripping yarn about the same “naughty lot.” During the timeJames Reardon and family first attempted to leave the inn.
    (RC, James Reardon. Q.7692-7695) Was it daylight when Mr.O’Conner spoke to you from the culvert? - No. How could you tell? - From the way he spoke. I was halfway between the verandah and the fence, and others, Ryan and his family of three, and my children were on the right just over the culvert – “Who comes there?” and Ryan said “Woman and children” What did they do then? - They went on and continued to fire. Ryan escaped through the gate? - Yes, but it was too hot for me, I went back with my wife son and child.
    (RC, Mrs Margaret Reardon Q. 10584 –10599)
    (Q0596) Do you mean to say those shots were fired at you as you came along? - I could not say who fired them, but they were fired right across our face, and I shut my eyes once with the fire and smoke. We turned back again, and we were coming to the other large gate that leads to the station – yard, and we had to return up to the hotel again.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, that would explain the Commission's remark, which we would now call blatant racism, that "the most untutored savage is supposed to respect the signal of surrender” that you quoted above. They police were not under Hare's command by that time, and as you know, there was considerable confusion as to who was in charge once he left - whether it was O'Connor, or was it Senior-Constable Kelly. O'Connor's lot, and O'Connor himself, seemed to think they they were not under S/C Kelly’s command, and indeed, Sub-Inspector O’Connor outranked S/C Kelly. By order of rank O’C was OIC. But on the ground, S/C Kelly ran the show in practice.

      With respect, you have then changed to topic from the question of firing high at the Inn, to firing at persons attempting to leave it, including by keeping low to the ground at night-time, making some of them impossible to see clearly. Was it the outlaws trying to escape? Or sneaking out behind women and children (for whom they had shown no concern whatsoever)? Was there not a man’s voice that joined in the reply of “women and children” when those trying to leave were challenged? The bit you quoted shows there was considerable gun-smoke further obscuring vision. I think there needs to be a wider understanding of context here, and anyway, this does not address the “firing high” question but is a separate issue. We are going great guns here on one paragraph of comment about Glenrowan, with much to consider.

      We also have much to look forward to when we get to what happened later, as a result of “The horses [being] left to scatter as they pleased” when the police ran from the station towards the Inn. It has something to do with them being mistaken for the horses claimed, by many from Max Brown onwards, to have been sympathisers heard galloping between Glenrowan and Greta.

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    2. Hello Stuart,
      I have been spending hours of time wading through the RC, nearly sending myself blind in the process I might add. So, maybe I have missed something? I have not yet found any reference to: Hare explicitly instructing the police to “fire high”. (RC, Q.10328-9, 10331-3 McWhirter; Q.10729 Allen) McWirther (The Age reporter) was not sure who, believed he was told the police were instructed to fire high by either S.C.Kelly or Phillips when they came back to the station for ammunition. And was not prepared swear positively that he heard that said before Sadlier arrived and took charge. (RC, Q.10729 Allen) Allen said that desultory firing was proceeding while Mr. Hare was on the platform. The last orders to have been given by Hare were to cease firing and to surround the inn. (RC, Arthur. Q.11211-11214. D.Barry. Q.7397. William Canny Q.7412-7483)

      The first mention about an order to fire high was not until after Sadlier arrived after 5am. (RC, James Dwyer; Q. 9413-9417) Mr. Sadlier then said, ”By George, if they are there, we cannot fire into it, we will only be killing innocent people” The police at this time were firing from the Benalla side. Into the house.The orders he gave were in these words: “Tell the men not to fire till they hear a whistle from me, which will be a signal to give a volley, and when they hear two whistles, it will be a signal to cease firing; and whenever they would fire, to fire about the height of a man’s head,” so that they would not kill the people inside; and if any of those civilians approach not to molest them. He said, “You will not forget that, Dwyer,” and I said, “No, sir.” I left the trench then.

      And from one of the first to arrive by the special train with Mr. Hare, from Benalla. (RC, Q. 6684. Thomas Kirkham) "What were you instructions with reference to firing high? - I think the first instructions from Mr. Sadlier were to fire high.”

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    3. Hi Anonymous, thanks for all that, I will have to go over it again, but at least we have clarified that there are two separate issues. The first is whether or not Hare told his men to fire high, and if so when. The second is whether Sadleir's instructions (after he arrived) to fire high were in practice a repeat of instructions given by Hare, rather than a first instruction by any officer to fire high.

      We have a further side issue, that Ian Jones rejects all stories of the additional police including Sadleir arriving before around 6am based on testimony for Phillips of Hare's group (Q11424), and that Dwyer said he arrived about 6.30am (Q9428). Regardless of the arrival times of these groups, they are certainly close to one another, and both after 6am, not at 5am or thereabouts. Dwyer arrived shortly after Sadleir (Q10321; 11710-11). So Dwyer was instructed by Supt Sadleir, then in charge by seniority upon his arrival, to instruct the men in what to do; plus he was there before Dwyer, who looked to him for instruction. If Dwyer said that the first order to fire high as not before he had it from Sadleir, it is because he was not there until that time, not necessarily because there was never such an order earlier.

      Kirkham's evidence shows that he recalled that the first instructions from Sadleir were to fire high, but the context there is his discussion about Sadleir sending him get provisions for the men just about daylight (Q.6673), not about events at the start of the siege. It's good to see that Sadleir was on board with firing high, but the comment does not support a [possible theory that Sadleir's instructions to fire high were the first such instructions issued during the siege.

      Rawlins at Q.11739 said of the start of the siege that it was not true that there was indiscriminate firing into the Inn after Hare's order was given to cease firing. McWhirter in context of just after first volleys talks about police becoming aware of civilians in the In and being to to fire high (Q.0329-30) and he learned that when police came for ammunition (10333).At 10335 he cannot swear that that police were told to fire high before Sadleir cam, simply because he did not hear the order, not because he did not believe what he heard at 10335. It is hearsay in law and he knew that and so cannot swear positively as fact. That is a standard response, not a rejection of the idea that police were early told to fire high, which is evidently the case from what he stated that he had heard in Q. 10328-9.

      Allen as you said talked about desultory firing at Q.10729 and did not mention firing high there. My bad. I got it from somewhere! If I can't relocate it, I'll drop it and settle for McWhirter and Rawlins.

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  7. Stuart, I’m sorry to disagree with you regarding your words:
    “The three people who were shot inside the Inn were shot at the start of the siege, before it was realised there were civilians inside.”
    (The Royal Commission on the Police Force of Victoria: Second progress report. 1881, vol. 3, pp3-280. XV Glenrowan.)
    Quote: ”Constable Bracken, in a state of excitement, appeared upon the scene and informed Mr.Hare that the outlaws were in Mrs.Jone’s hotel and had a large number of prisoners there bailed up.”

    This being prior to the first volley fired by the outlaws. Several volleys were later exchanged.
    Superintendent Hare, fired into the inn, with the knowledge that innocent people were being held inside.

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    1. Hi Anonymous, interesting point. At RC, Q.1116 O'Connor, we learn that "It was just in the middle of this getting the horses out that Constable Bracken appeared upon the platform in the most excited state. He did not, as far as I remember, address any person in particular; but he stated—'The Kellys are in Jones’ public house; for God’s sake take care or they will escape.' Mr. Hare turned round to me and said—'Come on, O’Connor, or they will be gone,' or 'they will escape,' and we started, Mr. Hare slightly in the lead." There was no in initial mention of prisoners. The RC testimony must be privileged over the 2nd Progress Report concise summary of events.

      Awareness of prisoners trapped inside - at the Kelly's gunpoint command - came a little later, when the cries of women and children were heard after the first volleys by both sides were exchanged. It was soon after that that Hare gave the order to fire high. So there is more to explore here, but the strong impression of the prime testimony is that the awareness of prisoners was not there at the start. And in response to Dee's earlier suggestion that Curnow may have told the police that when he stopped the train, no-one said that. He only informed the pilot train driver that the line was torn up by the Kellys, then ran off in a state of panic, fearing to be shot at any moment.

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    2. Hello Stuart,

      (RC, Q1503.F.A.Hare.)
      I was standing on the platform in amongst all the reporters, police and every one; and as we were all together, and a number of the horses had been taken out (say five or six of them—they were not in horse-boxes, but trucks), Constable Bracken at this time appeared. Where he came from, or how he came upon the platform, I do not know, but he said, “Mr. Hare, go quickly to Jones hotel, the outlaws are there, and I have just escaped from them; they have a number of people in the hotel.” I called up the men; I said, “Come on, men, here we have got them at last; we have got them in Jones’s hotel.”

      Who am I to believe?

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    3. Hi Anonymous, there is much that is not clear, but for my money, Bracken's words, “... go quickly to Jones hotel, the outlaws are there, … they have a number of people in the hotel,” contains no clear statement that the people there were prisoners of the outlaws. Bracken was out of breath, and Hare was taken by surprise by him rushing up with a call to action about the outlaws. Hare had only minutes previously been speaking to a hysterical Mrs Stanistreet at the stationmaster's house, getting little sense from her other than the outlaws had taken her husband away. The police did not know who might also be with the outlaws, if anyone, helping them.

      Hare then said, in response to Bracken's message, "I called up the men; I said, “Come on, men, here we have got them at last; we have got them in Jones’s hotel.” here is no sense there that he registered that the people in the hotel were prisoners. Rather, it reads just as readily as "the outlaws are there, they [the outlaws] have a number of people in the hotel", i.e. helping them. There is no clear message in that text that gives any certainty at all that Hare understood that there were prisoners held by the outlaws in the hotel. I see no necessary incompatibility between that and what O'Connor relayed. I see it as ambiguous.

      It could mean the outlaws "have a number of people [held]", or "a number of people [helping]". We have the benefit of hindsight to put our focus on the later reality that the outlaws had prisoners in the Inn. But when I try to figure out what happened, I start by working through and fitting together the events in timeline order, without prejudging anything. Just now I'm on the platform at 3:10am watching, like the journalists, as Hare returns from the stationmaster's house and Bracken runs up out of breath. I hear what he says to the men and to O'Connor. then I follow him and the first group of men as they rush 200 yards along the path between the station and the Inn. I don't know what will happen just as the journo that followed them didn't know what will happen. I don't know that there are prisoners in the Inn yet. I'm standing next to McWhirter from the Age when he hears the cries of women from the Inn after the first police volley. (How do you like my FitzSimons style of getting into the action, but the way?)

      So it is not a case of who I believe, O'Connor or Bracken or Hare, but whether the various stories are contradictory or not. Just standing on the platform and watching Bracken, Hare and O'Connor, I'm not seeing them as contradictory.

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    4. Hello Stuart,

      (RC, Rev M. Gibney, 12793)
      By the Commission.—“We have it in evidence from Mr. Hare’s official report that there was a very large number of prisoners confined at the house when they went to it at the first moment.
      Bracken, when he came down to tell about the Kelly’s, told them also that they had a very large number of people in there. He said, “Mr. Hare, I have just escaped from Jones’s
      hotel, where the Kelly’s have a large number of prisoners confined.”

      Superintendent Hare’s Report. (Published in Argus of 20th July 1880.) “Rupertswood, Sunbury, 2nd July 1880.
      “On reaching, the station I told the men what I had been informed by the stationmaster’s wife, and to lose no time in getting the horses out of the train and saddling them. Whilst the men were so engaged, Constable Bracken appeared on the platform in a very excited state. He said, ‘Mr. Hare, I have just escaped from Jones’s Hotel, where the Kellys have a large number of prisoners confined. For God’s sake go as quickly as possible, otherwise they will escape.’ I called on the men to follow me with their arms as quickly as they could. Many of them were holding horses. I told them to let go the horses, as the Kellys were in the house, and follow me, running off towards Jones’s Hotel. Some six or seven men followed me, amongst them were some of the black trackers, but I cannot say who any of them were.”

      This clears it up for me. Superintendent Hare……Does not impress me at all.

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    5. Hi Anonymous, Hare is cooked...

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    6. On the other hand, Hare didn’t learn about prisoners from Mrs Stanistreet, who implied there were 40 outlaws “out the back” of Jones’ Inn. Nowhere else says Bracken said there was prisoners, he just said the Kellys were there at the Inn. What Hare said was (RC, Q1503.F.A.Hare.) "I was standing on the platform in amongst all the reporters, police and every one; and as we were all together, and a number of the horses had been taken out (say five or six of them—they were not in horse-boxes, but trucks), Constable Bracken at this time appeared. Where he came from, or how he came upon the platform, I do not know, but he said, “Mr. Hare, go quickly to Jones hotel, the outlaws are there, and I have just escaped from them; they have a number of people in the hotel.” I called up the men; I said, “Come on, men, here we have got them at last; we have got them in Jones’s hotel.”

      That doesn’t say prisoners, it just says a number of people. Hare had previously had it implied by Mrs Stanistreet that there was a large group with the outlaws, not prisoners of the outlaws.

      Hare’s report (Argus, 20 July 1880, 6) says “I asked [Mrs Stanistreet] her where her husband was. She replied, 'They have taken him away into the bush.' She was greatly excited, and for some time could scarcely answer me. I begged her to be calm and tell me who had taken her husband away. She said, 'The Kellys.' I asked in which direction they had gone, and she pointed in the direction of Warby's ranges.”

      In the section under discussion, Hare’s report (Argus, 20 July 1880) says, “On reaching, the station I told the men what I had been informed by the stationmaster’s wife, and to lose no time in getting the horses out of the train and saddling them. Whilst the men were so engaged, Constable Bracken appeared on the platform in a very excited state. He said, ‘Mr. Hare, I have just escaped from Jones’s Hotel, where the Kellys have a large number of prisoners confined. For God’s sake go as quickly as possible, otherwise they will escape.’ I called on the men to follow me with their arms as quickly as they could. That is the report quoted by the Commission at Q.12793 Gibney.

      It is certainly possible that Hare writing his report has recalled the fact of prisoners as being what Bracken told him; he said “people” in the commission. O’Connor at Q.1116, Senior-Constable Kelly Q.8052, and Barry at Q.7635 all heard Bracken call out about the Kellys at the Inn, and not a word about prisoners. Other police were clearly ignorant of there being prisoners, as opposed to possible confederates, of the outlaws. The fact of prisoners appears to have become known in the ceasefire after the first police volley, when the cries of women were heard. Both Stanistreet and McHugh stated there were prisoners in the Inn after their respective escapes.

      I think nothing compels the idea that Hare realised there were prisoners in the Inn when leading the first rush. If any word was said about prisoners, it was only from Bracken. And others did not hear him say anything about prisoners, only about the Kellys.

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    7. Hi again Anonymous, as with most things there is a simple explanation if one keeps looking. Bracken ran to the station and said the outlaws were at Jones', and nothing more. Hare called his men to follow him to catch the Kellys. About 8 men followed him h=while the rest were still unloading horses and had not heard him. Bracken remained on the platform in an excited state. It was then, after Hare and some or all of the remaining police had joined the rush to the Inn, that Bracken told McWhirter amongst others that "he had been made a prisoner in the house, and that there were about thirty more prisoners there", RC Q.10317 McWhirter. So it was learned from Bracken, but only after the police rush to the Inn. Bracken then scarpered on horse to Wangaratta to get reinforcements and to warn any train if it came from Wang in the meantime, that the rails were up. the first the police knew of prisoners in the Inn was the screams of women heard when Hare ordered a cease fire after the first volley, when the outlaws had retired inside the Inn (and challenged the police to "fire away"). Bad, bad outlaws, very bad. Good old Hare, ordering his men to "fire high" once they realised there were women inside.

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    8. Hi Anonymous, further to the above about what Bracken said to Hare, at RC Q7365 Barry, Barry said "Before all the horses were taken out, I heard a voice, which I understood afterwards to be Bracken's, singing out 'The Kellys, the four of them, are at Mrs. Jones's, surround them, surround them.' I think he made use of Mr. Hares' name." So again, nothing about any prisoners in the Inn in what Bracken said that launched the immediate police rush to the Inn.

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    9. Hello Stuart,

      Thank you for the above info. Mr Hare's actions still do not impress me.
      Bad outlaws alright. But not so good Hare either.

      R.C. Reply to Mr. Dixon’s protest 12th October 1881.
      "19. Mr. Hare, as officer in command, should not have tolerated the presence of ladies in the special train when leaving Benalla, especially as he was aware of the report that the rails had been removed.
      20. We consider that this officer cannot be complimented upon his discretion of generalship in the conduct of operations at Glenrowan for the short time that he remained upon the scene. He knew little, apparently, of the precise situation of Glenrowan, notwithstanding that he had been for eight months in command of the district. He was informed during the journey that the Kellys had torn up the line, taken possession of the place, and imprisoned all the people there; yet, on arrival, he seems to have had no correct idea of the peculiarity of the situation. The moment he was informed by Bracken of the presence of the outlaws at the hotel he dashed away, without waiting for some of his men to collect their arms. When he reached the hut he found his onslaught resisted by the gang. He was disabled in the wrist by the first volley, and after an absence of from five to ten minutes from the platform, he returned to have his wound dressed. He left the front without transferring the command to any one. The order to surround the house given to Senior-Constable Kelly and to Inspector O'Connor cannot be regarded as transferring the command. This neglect he might have rectified when he essayed to reach the front on the second occasion, but he failed to do so. Did he propose to rush the place, and at once overpower the outlaws? If that were his intention, he should not have been deterred by a mere wound in his wrist from doing so. If he had resolved merely to surround the gang and prevent their escape, then he ran unnecessary risk in exposing himself and his men to the fire of the outlaws. If, however, he simply trusted to the chapter of accidents, without any definite idea of what was best to be done, then his management of affairs displayed a decided lack of judgment and forethought."

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    10. Hi Anonymous, that's an interesting bit from Dixon that I had totally forgotten about, and haven't probably looked at for over 2 years. A few things:

      First, I will agree with Point 19, just to be annoying. We would not be able to discuss that at uni now without spending half an hour debating whether we can say ladies or need to use gender-neutral terminology; e.g. Hare should not have permitted the presence of non-combatants other than persons from the press and railway employees and a gender-unspecified local landowner. Hir and thir could reasonably travel on the special train, but not hir or thir. In a few more years heij pilas hir non sequiter for a first class honours degree. FFS.

      Second, Dixon says Hare "was informed during the journey that the Kellys had torn up the line, taken possession of the place, and imprisoned all the people there". I know that he was told the Kellys were at Glenrowan, but can't find anything that says he was told that the gang had imprisoned people in Jones' Inn. It may be that he was told the gang had taken prisoners, which would be good to have a precise reference for too, but I can't find anything that says he had people at Jones's. The issue is it affects whether Hare allegedly knew he and the police were firing into an Inn containing prisoners in the first rush. That is the only vital point for my present purposes, and it would be good to track it down. I suspect however that we will find that Hare was not told that the Kellys had prisoners in jones' Inn, but only that they had taken Glenrowan, whatever that might mean in practice.

      The third thing just for fun is maybe Longmore should have been operationally in charge. He is obviously an expert at commanding people after just having been shot in a main artery, so he should have been sent up instead. Bloody Hare, stupid idiot. Winging about a mere wound in the wrist. Can't get good help these days, especially when under a barrage of bullets out of the darkness. And when he essayed to the front on the second occasion, he basically collapsed. Damn softie. Pass the sherry, please and I will have another cigar, thank you Jeeves.

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    11. Hi Anonymous, re Dixon's point 20, at RC Q.10222-3 Melvin responded:

      10222. Then your impression from those statements was that Kelly took charge of the whole operations when Mr. Hare left?—Yes.
      10223. Until Mr. Sadleir came?—Yes, certainly. I disagree from Mr. Carrington in thinking that there was a want of officers or want of supervision on the part of the officers.
      At Q.8776 Kelly, S/C Kelly saw himself as in charge of the white police, and O'Connor in charge of the blacks.

      So while much has been made of the "want of generalship" on the ground at Glenrowan, it is clear from the flow of events that a reasonable job was done in the circumstances by the 13 police there from the time Hare left the field after his second return to the station about 3.25am until reinforcements arrived at some point after 6am.

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  8. (RC, 2 June 1881. Charles Gascoigne, mounted constable. Q, 9677)
    “A woman came out of the hotel at the back, and a girl was holding a candle. A man then came out and, putting his hand on her shoulder, tried to pacify her. I heard her say something about her son being shot. Two men were firing from a position above me in the direction of the woman and girl; I called on them to stop firing, but they kept on. I then said, “You are cowardly black wretches (believing at the time they were trackers) to be firing on woman. I also called upon the police to stop firing into the hotel. Superintendent Hare then gave the orderer to cease firing”

    I’m not sure who the woman was but assume it was Mrs. Jones with her daughter.

    (RC, James Reardon. Q7644-7647)
    What was the effect of the shots in the house – were you frightened? - Yes, we were all frightened, and Bracken told us to lie down on the floor as flat as we could before he went away.
    He told that quietly? - Yes; he said, “You all lie down if there is any firing” and we did so. There was none hurt the first volley? - Yes; the second volley Jones’s boy was hurt.
    Was he lying down? - Yes, and he was shot on the side, and the bullet came up through his body”

    More than one volley was fired by the police. The Jones boy was shot during the second volley into the inn by the police. They continued to fire into the inn after he (Jones) was shot. Several volley’s were fired. (As per RC. 2nd Progress report)
    All the while Hare knew there were innocent prisoners inside the inn. Until the order was given to cease firing. (At Gascoigne’s instigation.) Followed by the order to fire high.
    My impression of the conduct by the police as a whole at this point is not – shall we say good?

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    1. Also relevant is that Hare was shot in the wrist in the initial shots fired by the outlaws, whose shapes could be dimly seen shadowed by the verandah, before the police had fired at all. His focus was doubtless on the fact that he and his men were being shot at in circumstances yet unclear. The timeline is certainly tricky.

      There were two volleys from both parties before Kelly's escape into the bush out the back, plus assorted other shots. As per my post just lodged, it is simply not true that Hare knew all along that there were civilian prisoners in the Inn. And, as it turns out, there were at least four sympathisers among the 62 known prisoners, of whom James Kershaw helped the gang don their armour. A very naughty boy, that Kershaw.

      My impression of the police conduct at this point is that we have still not gone broad enough to draw firm conclusions. We need to consider also the evidence of the four reporters who arrived on the special train, and more from the Commission evidence. It is a complex business, and I am not quite ready to release the full argument in print. I can assure you however that it is fully footnoted, and comes from a different angle than anything published so far. There is a limit as to how much I can do as posts on Dee's blog. I really just put the Glenrowan paragraph up as a "teaser" article to create interest in the forthcoming free book demolishing the Kelly Republic myth, which should be launched online late June or early July. Then it can be considered as a whole.

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  9. Anonymous and Stuart : I dont think anyone would argue that from the start to the finish of the outbreak, the police always made the right decisions and wouldn't have done some things differently if they had their time again. But the siege at Glenrowan was an unprecedented situation, it was dark and chaotic, and the Kelly Gang had to be stopped. It clearly took a while to work out exactly what was going on and for some sort of order and command to be established. Mistakes were made. Innocent people died.

    So, yes,the conduct of the police was not good, but it was not the intention of the police to take innocent life, despite the stupid claims of certain kelly fanatics that the police were in a frenzy of blood lust and trying to kill hostages. In fact the 'collateral damage' of two was a low number.

    I say again though, that Ned Kelly and the Gang bear all responsibility for every death and every casualty that resulted from their foolish and badly planned and executed blunders at Glenrowan.

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  10. Hi Anonymous, since you seem to be taking Glenrowan seriously, here is the draft "working" timeline I put together yesterday for the movements of the police and outlaws from the arrival of the police to the finding of Ned Kelly's rifle. I hope this is of interest:

    Bold = attested times. Quoted words are from source evidence. Other timing is estimated from descriptions.

    (I have had to mark "bold" on the three points, as Dee's blog doesn't show bold font or underline.)
    3:00am (Bold) Police special steam train arrives at Glenrowan platform; police and reports start to disembark
    3:01 Hare, Rawlins and some police discuss what to do
    3:02-3 Hare, Rawlins and three police go 100 yards to stationmaster Stanistreet’s house
    3:03-5 Hare and Rawlins speak to Mrs Stanistreet. She implies “40” outlaws in Jones’ Inn
    3:06 Hare and others quickly returned to the station, “in a few minutes” from leaving it
    3:07 Const. Bracken escapes quietly from Jones’ Inn so as not to be seen, chased or shot
    3:08 Bracken then runs to station
    3:09 Bracken runs onto platform breathless; alerts Hare re outlaws. Hare calls to men, “Quick, boys”
    3:10 Start of police rush; eight police follow Hare along unfamiliar path, 200 yards to Jones’ Inn
    3:13 Outlaws under Inn verandah shadow fire at arriving police; Hare is shot in the wrist
    The five police still on the platform grab their guns at the sound of shots and rush towards the Inn
    3:13-4 The police heading towards the Inn, still about 30 yards out, scramble for cover
    3:14 The police including the last group to rush up are scattered around seeking good positions
    3:15am BOLD First police volley
    Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”
    3:17 Gang retire inside Inn; Hare orders cease-fire
    3:18 Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to fire high
    3:18 Hare leaves bleeding from artery wound to return to station
    3:19 Hare arrives at station, “8-10 mins after leaving it”
    3:20 Hare’s wrist is bandaged by reporters and he immediately returns to the fray
    3:22-3 Hare cannot continue; tells O’Connor and S/C Kelly to surround the Inn, then goes back to station
    3:22-3 S/C Kelly starts to push his men around the Inn, “5 or 6 mins after first volley ended
    3:23-4 Hare arrives back on station platform, “all in about 5 minutes” from his previous return
    3:24 Const. Phillips hears Ned and Joe talking, “about 10 mins after the first encounter”
    3:25 Kelly walks out, shoots at police, and exchanges 3-4 shots with Gascoigne
    3:26 Second police volley begins “about 7 mins after the first” (ended)
    3:27 Kelly disappears around corner in thick smoke from second police volley
    Kelly gets away out the back behind the Inn, limping from bullet wound in foot
    3:30am BOLD S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur find Ned’s rifle and cap 100 yards from the Inn

    That has helped me sort trough what happened when. It doesn't have stuff like the Reardons partly escaping, it's just to try and nail down the police and Ned's movements.

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  11. Hi Anonymous, the reference to Allen's testimony on "fire high" was hit by the transposition bug. I typed Q.10729, which is about desultory firing, but it should have been Q.10792!. Allen was asked when he hear of the order to fire high, and he said he heard it from someone in the drain before half past three (Q.10790), and he thought it came from Hare before he left (Q. 10792; 10798). So we have another located testimony that the order to fire high came from Hare, and that it occurred "long before" Sadleir's arrival (Q.0790). Barry said he understood by "fire high", to fire at least 6 feet high, Q.7438. McWhirter heard about the order to fire high "in the first rush"Q.10331, whatever that means, and he heard it from one of the police who came to get ammo, Q.10333, so early on in the show. Barry came in Hare's party, Q.7350, and said that word was passed around to fire high although he himself heard no direct order given to fire high, and he wasn't sure what time that was, Q.7403, but he assumed it came from an officer, Q.7433. But that adds another one to the "fire high" collection.

    Hi Anonymous, The comment in the second progress report, that "The order was given to fire high, but not before one of Mrs. Jones' children and a man named Martin Cherry were wounded, the latter fatally", suggests that order was given early, as they were hit in the first exchange of fire, before Mrs Jones came out and chucked a wobbly at the police.

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    1. On "fire high", we can place it to Hare. McWhirter answers: RC Q.10329, … I know when I knew there were so many prisoners inside I made enquiries about the firing into the place, and was told the police were instructed to be careful and fire as high as the height of a man above the ground. It was described that the prisoners in the house were lying on their faces on the floor.
      10330. Do you know who gave the instructions?—I do not. I was simply told by some of the men.
      10331. About what time did you first hear of that?—About the time I heard of that was, I think, in the first rush.

      So while McWhirter seems to have heard of it later, from police who came to the station for ammunition (see following answers), the time he heard it applied to is the time of the first rush, i.e. exactly what was said previously, that after ten outlaws retired inside the Inn, Hare called cease fire, and the sounds of women crying could be heard from within the Inn, then Hare called the police to fire high.

      Just about everyone is out to lambast the police at every opportunity and so irrationally combs the Commission evidence for anything that seems to read that way. I think it is both possible and necessary to be objective and not give a toss about what one finds when investigating historical events. I don't personally care whether Ned Kelly was good, bad, or whatever the evidence shows. He is just some long-dead bushranger to me, but he is part of a significant historical event.

      What I am looking at is what moderns have said about him, and how much obvious hokey has been written about him. Lies about Fitzpatrick, BS about his last words as invented by a journalist, idiotic manipulation of source evidence to avoid the plain fact that he shot Metcalf in the face before the Glenrowan siege, and now endless crap about a totally unevidenced republican movement. That's why there is so much to investigate, because it has been so badly done in the past and yet there is so much evidence to show it's utter nonsense. Sooner or later so-called historians will be getting their facts by astral travelling.

      Even when there is solid evidence to show that the Stringybark murder site was either Bill's or CSIs, with the weight leaning to Bill's as far as I can see, we get new pet theories about other places from anyone wanting a minute in the spotlight, which don't even bother to present a case against the two sites already shown as the only possibilities, and the resultant cowardice of DWELP to put up signage at least naming those places at the only viable contenders with source links so people can read up on it for themselves. Bill has made all his evidence available publicly and it appears to hold up, so at least that should be acknowledged by signage as anyone can access it and see what they think. After all, the murder site is the only reason anyone goes there; it's quite a bit off the main road, and you can stop at similar bits of forest along the way if all you want is a picnic spot.

      And another thing, people writing oral history that is totally uncorroborated and also at odds with source evidence of the day, and expecting people to take it seriously, like the fairy story about Ned rescuing Dick Shelton from torrential flood waters when his rellie wrote the letter in the Benalla Museum that is clear he was rescued from a waterhole in the river, not a raging typhoon. Unbelievable. And Ned appears to have single-handedly built every building in north-east Victoria, even ones that weren't built till after he was hanged. Maybe that's what he meant when he said he'd come back to assist?

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    2. Oops, typo immediately above - that was meant to be "after THE outlaws retired inside the Inn", not "ten outlaws". Now if I was a "REAL" Kelly enthusiast, I could quote Dawson as saying there were ten outlaws and make him look like a real dickhead! Go for it guys, your republic cause is lost.

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    3. Hello Stuart,
      A brief reply for now. Neither of the reporters McWhirter and Allen have said conclusively that the order to fire high came from Hare. Can you direct me to any of the police who were on the ground with Hare who have said that they heard that order given by him?

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    4. Hi Anonymous, what I have is the police instructed by Hare to “fire high”, “as high as the height of a man above ground”, RC, Q.10328-33 McWhirter; Q.10729 Allen (cf. by Hare, Q.10792, 8); long before Sadleir, Q.10790. To which I added here, Cease fire at “about 10 mins perhaps - very soon after we took our positions”, Q.7376-7 Barry. Then, 3:18am, Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to fire high (= 6 feet, Q.7438 Barry). Then we have, McWhirter heard of the fire high order when police came for ammunition, RC Q.10333 McWhirter, and he places that happening “in the first rush”(Q.10331), consistent with the above.

      We know S/C Kelly passed on an instruction to fire high somewhere, and we know Sadleir instructed the police to fire high. The only issue is whether Hare told his man to fire high, which we have established that he did; and how early this happened, which affects whether he did it straight after the cries of women were heard or later. Remembering he has just had a 1.5cm slug through his artery, as Peter Fitzsimons put it. The debate is also affected by whether of not Hare knew there were prisoners in the Inn before the first police rush. I don't think so, as he thought the outlaws were out the back of Jones' Inn and headed for the Warby Ranges, hence the rush to get the horses out and addled. then Bracken appeared and said they were at the Inn, and Hare led the charge, "come on boys, we have them at last" (famous last words...)

      No-one was asked directly about the fire high time and Hare. I've searched the PDF Minutes for "fire high". but there is material on it and it can be pieced together as above. It seems fairly certain that Hare did order fire high, put it that way. What do you think?

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    5. Hello Stuart,
      Mr. Allen (The reporter) (Q,10797) said he was laying on the platform watching the proceeding when the order was given to fire high by someone in the drain at about 3.30am. (Q, 10790)
      He later becomes a little more uncertain when pressed.(Q, 10881. 10881a)

      (Q,10725, 10726, 10727, 10728) He said that it was a still quiet night, and the slightest word could have been heard a long distance off.
      Not during any heavy firing that was going on but during the desultory fire he could hear anything being said. ( Ref. also - Hare q, Kelly Q,8649, 8650)
      (Q,10797) He was laying on top of baggage on the platform watching the proceeding when he thought he heard the order given to fire high by someone in the drain at about 3.30am.
      John Kelly, T.Kirkham, Charles Gascoigne and Philips were in various locations in front of the Inn at this time. Within easy hearing distance from the drain. The last orders any of them heard given by Hare were to cease firing and to surround the inn. No mention by any of them about firing high until after Hare had left. I can find nothing to confirm it was Hare only the assumption he actually gave the order. My thoughts; Apart from Sadlier, who did and when?

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    6. Hi Anonymous, it is a rabbit hole, that’s for sure, but not a deep one. What we have is a fairly clear sequence of events. Q.10328 McWhirter: At what time were the police aware those people were in the house?—Immediately after the first volley had been fired. 10329. Would all the police be aware of that fact?—I cannot say. All the police must have known. We knew, and they were in a better position to know than we were. We certainly had the benefit of the stories of the prisoners who did make their escape, and the police at the back of the house would know at once. I know when I knew there were so many prisoners inside I made enquiries about the firing into the place, and was told the police were instructed to be careful and fire as high as the height of a man above the ground. It was described that the prisoners in the house were lying on their faces on the floor. 10330. Do you know who gave the instructions?—I do not. I was simply told by some of the men. 10331. About what time did you first bear of that?—About the time I heard of that was, I think, in the first rush.

      So first, this solves the other question we were discussing, which is when the police first became aware that there were prisoners in the Inn, which was “immediately after the first volley had been fired”. Next, we learn that he had made enquiries and found that the police were instructed to fire high, and that while his enquiries were retrospective, he placed the time of his hearing of “fire high” about the time of the first rush, in other words, under the leadership of Hare. That is beyond doubt.

      Separately and somewhat later Allen heard the “fire high“ order from the drain man about and before 3.30am, Q10790. Allen’s, testimony does not at all show that the first fire high order was not given until 3.30, but that he heard it called by someone at 3.30. He was under the impression that Hare gave that order before he left, Q.10792, and again at Q.10798. Once more, at Q.10881a we find, “I want you to be particular about this. You stated before you did not think there were any orders, and if they had been given you would have heard them?—I could not be positive about that. I remember the order being given to cease firing and the order to fire high, but by whom or when, to half an hour, I cannot say”. Hare was in command. There is no doubt whatsoever that Hare ordered the police to fire high; we have it from two journos in the vicinity at the time.

      The issue of whether everything could be heard on a still night following the desultory fire as per Q.10728 is subjective, as we see in Q10881a that you also referenced. It depends what else Allen was doing or talking to while watching, and what or who he was watching. In summary, both McWhirter and Allen gave clear statements that they understood that Hare gave the fire high order. And this happened long before Sadleir turned up, Q.10795. It is true that we don’t have one of the police being asked and testifying about the time of the fire high order, but we do have two accounts that award it to Hare. Good old Hare! Now if only someone had bothered to apply this level of analysis to the extraordinarily silly idea of a Kelly-led republic of north-eastern Victoria a long time ago where there is no evidence from anyone whatsoever!

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    7. Hi Anonymous, if we have a look at the final Version 5 Glenrowan timeline that I just out up now, we can see what happened. (Not that it isn't the same in Version 4 as far as this point goes, but I wanted to put the final revision up.)

      Allen placed the instruction to fire high that he heard called by the drain man at around 3.30am; just before 3.30am. We can assume that the instruction was called by someone because someone else was shooting at something. We know it wasn't called by Hare then as he had a peculiar voice (whatever that means; presumably it means distinctive), and t wasn't called by O'Conner as he said so. If we look at the timeline, we see that the second police volley commenced about 3.27am, or at any rate a little before 3.30. Again, there is a context that fits Allen's testimony and the surrounding events, without having to manipulate any evidence: the drain man called a reminder to fire high when firing broke out at the start of the second police volley. A problem for readers only arises if they wish to treat McWhirter's evidence for Hare calling fire high just after the first volley when the cries of women were heard, with Allen's evidence that the unknown drain man called fire high just before 3.30. To different events seven minutes apart, interspersed with some desultory firing. That naughty Neddie, provoking the perlice like that, exchanging shots with Gascoigne and triggering the second police volley. Bad, bad Ned, very bad. Poor old Hare, what, he would have liked to be in at the end. Fortunately for a raft of romantic historians, Ned got away out the back, and sort of like Eric von Daniken, people have been seeing selector republican sympathisers under every bush ever since.

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    8. Further on Allen hearing a call to fire high, it also fits with the fact that when the second volley started, some police fired into the Inn. That was when the Jones children were both hit by bullets, and likely when someone in the drain seeing the Inn being hit lower down called “fire high”. Possibly that lower firing was some of the trackers potting away, but that probably should not be assumed. We would need to track Ned’s movements around the Inn as to where he was in relation to the drain at the start of the second police volley, to see how likely it was that the bullets that went into the Inn and which fatally wounded John Jones and struck his sister, were bullets aimed generally at Ned. I will leave that to others if interested. For my purposes in regard to the timeline for Ned’s escape, I can’t be bothered. BTW, in my post just previous, I should have said 3.25 for the start of the second volley, not 3.27, but I was doing it off the top of my head. Put it this way, the evidence fits my scenario, and no-one has yet assembled a better one. Many have conflated the two reporter’s testimony into the same moment of time in order to devalue the evidence that Hare called fire high, in conformity with a much loved view that the police were reckless cretins. Now we have an alternative way of seeing things, spread over the 25 odd minutes relevant here, and one that is not at odds with any source evidence so far produced, and which is internally consistent timewise with a bunch of evidence provided in the timeline. I think it’s been worth the headache.

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    9. Hello Stuart,
      Thank you for your detailed reply. I will put some more thought into it all.
      My reasoning for doubt is that none of the Constables on the ground within hearing distance of Hare confirm it.
      The last orders any of the men heard given by Hare were to cease firing and to surround the inn. (Arthur Q, 11211,11212,11213)
      I think it is quite possible that “fire high” it was not an actual order at that time. A clue comes from ConsableDaniel Barry, he was grilled by the RC on the subject.
      (Q,7403) When did you receive any other instructions or order?—There was word passed round, but no order given, for the ranks to fire high. I do not know what time that was.
      (Q,7427) Did you never receive any order from an officer as to firing?—I received an order from Mr. Hare before reaching Glenrowan, in the train, and another order from Senior-Constable Mullane when setting fire to the house.
      (Q,7425) Was there never a general order given to fire?—No, I never heard any general order to fire. There was a signal to be given when the house was set fire to, but no other occasion.

      Good old Hare still does not impress me at all.

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    10. Hi Anonymous, that Hare is certainly a ratbag. However, the only relevant quote here is Q.7403, that Barry had word, but not a order, to fire high. Q.8427 is irrelevant as before Glenrowan, followed by Monday afternoon, as is Q.7425.

      We would have to ascertain Barry's position around the Inn at the time Hare called cease fire to know whether he might have heard an instruction from Hare or another officer (e.g. S/C Kelly or even O'Connor had he bestirred himself) to fire hire. We can be sure he heard the word passed around.

      Then again, no-one said that Hare bellowed "fire high", so passing the word around among the troops is not unreasonable. As McWhirter said, he was told the police were instructed to fire high, Q.102329; he did not hear any order called, despite the stillness of te night, and yet he learned this when he made enquiries.

      Also, we know the desultory firing that followed the cease fire in which the women's cries were heard (and fire high was called, according to McWhirter's later enquiries), proceeded while Hare was Hare was on the platform being bandaged by the reporters, Q.10729, who were thus distracted from affairs at the front.

      We don't have corroboration as to a fire high time from a constable, but that is different from saying that none of the constables confirm it. They weren't asked to, so that appears to be a straw man argument.


      And we still have McWhirter's enquiries placing Hare's instruction to fire high "in
      the time of the first rush" Q.10331, while he was not present, hence his later enquiries. That remains consistent with Hare giving the order to fire high during the cease fire he called once the outlaws retired inside the Inn, when the cries of women were heard, and which was the first that the police were aware of the presence of others inside the Inn, Q.10328. So many numbers!

      But we are making good progress here. We are overthrowing nearly 140 years of slagging off the fuzz over Glenrowan. I wonder how many others are paying attention...

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    11. Hello Stuart,
      Well, so far looks it like we have established that Hare was a ratbag and less than impressive. We haven’t yet overthrown 140yrs of slagging the fuzz for their overall conduct at Glenrowan. But we are certainly making good progress and I am learning along the way.

      Hare’s gung-ho attitude after being informed by Bracken that the Kelly’s were inside the Inn laid the foundations for what followed.

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    12. Hi Anonymous, maybe we can agree that Hare was an impressive ratbag! And you're right, I was being far too pre-emptive about overthrowing the poor reputation of the police at Glenrowan; there is probably month's worth of discussion in it, had we but world enough and time. And I agree upfront anyway that they made some major stuff-ups; but I wonder when looking at the timeline, and it being in the wee hours, whether it could have gone much better.

      It could have easily gone a lot worse if the police had not been instructed to fire high, as I suggest we have evidence to show occurred twice: first, attested by McWhirter, when Hare called fire high after the cries of women were heard after the first volley, when the outlaws had retired inside. And second, attested by Allen, when the second volley broke out after Ned and Gascoigne exchanged shots, and in which the two Jones children were struck by bullets, with my scenario being that police in or near the drain fired low into the Inn, possibly (but not investigated here) because Ned was running around there, upon which the drain man called fire high, thus repeating the same instruction issued earlier by the magnificent, masterful Hare, now licking his wound on the platform after having just missed the first train out, which took off when the second volley started and the driver packed himself.

      The new distinction in all this seems to be working out from the timeline that is seems like fire high was called on two separate occasions some 7 minutes apart, with some desultory fire in the middle (during which Mr Jones suggested Mr Cherry was struck by a bullet, which since doing the timeline I have put in brackets as still to be corroborated). This suggests that McWhirter's and Allen's testimony refer separately to these respective incidents and can't be conflated as customarily done.

      This is also very interesting as I had previously assumed from commentary that the Jones children were shot at the start of the gunfight, but this discussion and RC combing has found that they were shot early in the second volley, which matches Allen's hearing fire high before 3.30, and also offers a possible explanation in that the police were firing at prancing Ned rather that firing at the Inn like trigger-happy lunatics, as Molony put it. (Another sherry in the Faculty Club lounge, thank you.) To which we can add that a number of police fired very little ammo, as they had short carbines useless at a distance, so they didn't bother firing. A messy business to be sure.

      We discussed Bracken previously, in my post of 31 May 2018 at 22:22, and the immediately surrounding posts above. At this point I am sticking like grim death to a dead volunteer to the apparent evidence that Bracken had not told Hare or other police on the platform that there were prisoners in the Inn before Hare charged off calling the troops, but conveyed this info shortly afterwards to the journalist on the platform before jumping on a horse to go for reinforcements. High ho silver, away!

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    13. Hello Stuart,
      Thank you for being upfront. I think your right in saying that there’s probably a months discussion in the behaviour of the police at Glenrowan. It was not my intention to become so deeply involved in any discussions but find that I am. It is very time consuming. But interesting. If you would like to pull the pin for a while at any stage I will understand.

      Allen heard the instruction to fire high from his position on the train platform coming from someone near/at the trench in front of the Inn. Loud enough to be heard (Allen. Q,1027) from a long distance. (McWhirter Q, 10310) Hare we are told had a very distinctive voice the men under his command would easily recognise. I have no doubt that fire high the instruction was called out. Whoever he was the drain man theory makes sense. It would also explain why there is no corroboration from a constable that Hare made the call at that time.

      I am not yet convinced that Mr Hare made any call to fire high. Although I can find nothing to prove conclusively he didn’t….. The following gives an indication of his priorities:

      (Hare RC.Q,1506) “In the middle of the second or third round—perhaps three or four—I heard, when we replied to the shots from the verandah, the shrieks of women and children inside—of persons inside. I cannot say women and children, perhaps the better word will be persons inside. As long as the firing continued on the verandah, I continued firing at those who were firing at us. I had but one thought, to keep firing as long as those men kept firing at us.”
      (Q, 1582) “You stated at the closing scene of the tragedy you heard the cries of persons in the house?—Yes, while the men were shooting at us.”

      (Q, 1583) "Did you give orders at that time to cease firing?—Certainly not; as long as the men fired at us on the verandah we dared not move from our position; we had to return the firing, but directly the firing ceased. I called out “Stop firing.”

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    14. Hi Anonymous, I think what we have is two alternative scenarios. Mine with the previously provided evidence that Hare called "fire high" after he called the cease fire once the outlaws retired inside the Inn, and when McWhirter attested that the cries of women were heard from within the Inn. And yours, maintaining doubt that Hare called "fire high" in that early part of the conflict as it is not directly attested by himself or another policeman, but accepting that "fire high" was called later and from the drain. Is that a fair summary? If so, I suggest two things:

      First, that nothing invalidates my deduction of Hare calling "fire high" at the time related by McWhirter. It is attested by McWhirter's evidence and should therefore be accepted as fact unless there is any direct evidence to the contrary, not just some doubt that Hare called fire high then. In other words, my point is based on documented evidence, while the scepticism seems to be based on circumstantial doubt. So I cheekily suggest that I win this point on documented evidence, simply because it is there. The reason is that I don't care one way or the other who did what. I am not doing that stupid academic thing of sticking to a point regardless of what evidence turns up against it. The uni is full of those sort of idiots, who have a theory and just cling to it no matter what. For me, I couldn't care less what happened or who was right or wrong, but it sure is interesting trying to figure it out. That's why I am comfortable going with the flow of what I find the evidence says. I'm not pushing any pro-police or anti-Ned or any other barrow. If Hare turned out to be the biggest looney on the planet I would cheerfully say so; it's no skin off my nose one way or the other.

      Second, you have given a sound operational reason why Hare and his men continued under Hare's leadership to return fire even when he became aware of the shrieks of persons inside the Inn, that they were being fired at from the verandah and a man to the side (Ned), and they returned fire for as long as it came at them. There was one phrase in your quote that bothered me: "perhaps three or four". I looked up Q.1506 and noticed that in the question before it, Q.1505, Hare is talking about minutes - "the firing … continued for, I should think, five minutes". So not until well past half way into the first volley was he aware of any persons inside the Inn. Operationally, they had to return the firing. They still had no idea there were prisoners of the Kellys in the Inn. Were there women sympathiser accomplices in there? We don't yet know on the timeline. I think we have to follow the sequence through as best it can be reconstructed - which is pretty good - and go with the flow. Otherwise we risk writing history from hindsight and saying what people should have done, instead of recording what they did or didn't do. It's like investigating a workplace accident. We can't start by apportioning blame just because Joe Blow is a known idiot. We need to establish what happened first. More in a minute due to character limits on this pesky blog.

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    15. Hi Anonymous, last paragraph following from above -
      Re. the time investigating this, it has been a fascinating sub-investigation that I think has strengthened my timeline considerably and not bowled my scenario over, which is very important, as I have not had to twist any evidence whatsoever to construct it, just keep on reading. Yes, it has been very time-consuming, but also rewarding by fine-tuning a small part of the sequence of events. All this has come out of one paragraph of stuff that is in the final stage of publication, about the issue of whether of not Ned and the boys ever had the haziest idea of founding a republic. It will be live for download hopefully before the end of June but not guaranteed, as not everything is within my control. But not far away anyway. So maybe a break would be good, unless you come up with anything that definitively rules out Hare calling "fire high" as per McWhirter's evidence. I don't think we will, as that attestation seem to be all there is, but if anything turns up I would certainly like to know. Or you might want to keep it for later so you can shoot it down after it comes out!! Since we like splitting Hares...

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    16. Hi Anonymous, although we have just missed Queen Victoria's birthday (24 May), on this current similar occasion it is good to see that Molony, in his psychological thriller "I am Ned Kelly", agrees on p. 227 that "Bracken … had failed to mention to his fellows [police] that the hotel contained others besides the Kellys". Just saying.

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    17. Hello Stuart.
      LoL. That’s still bugging you isn't it?
      I would have thought it would have been considerate of Hare had he made inquiries with Bracken as to Mr.Stansistreet's health or perhaps if he was with still with the Kelly’s at the Inn.
      God bless Queen Vicky...

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    18. Hello Stuart,
      Yes. You have provided a fair summary.
      Allen’s testimony states he heard directly a call made to “fire high”. (Q,10792) He did not know but was under the impression it was given by Hare. McWhirter did not hear the call but believes he was told by either Kelly or Philips when they came back to the platform for ammunition. (Q,10330) But did not know who gave the instruction. It’s clear that the instruction was given. But in my simple mind there is no clear evidence that it did originate from Hare.
      Simply put I think it then becomes an assumption that he did. As an example there is nothing to say that S/C. Kelly didn’t decide to make that call himself after Hare returned to the platform………..Splitting Hares again… Sorry.

      The instruction to fire high may have been made with good intent but from what I have read. Apart from scaring the bejeebers out of the already frightened captives inside the Inn. Not all understood or adhered to it. But that’s another story.

      Re. Timeline. These may be of use.
      3:13-17 Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”; “perhaps 5 mins without intermission”………. Cries of women heard from within the Inn (Hare Q,1506)

      3:19 ?? “Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn “soon after” cease fire order, Reward Board, Q.147 McWhirter.”………… Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn after Hare departed.
      ( McWhirter.10317, 0318)
      Hare left for Benalla (O’Connor Q, 9795-9799) Was it very long after we had arrived there and taken our positions?—It might have been half or three-quarters of an hour.

      Those are only my humble thoughts. No doubt others may share a different opinions. All the best for your upcoming publication.

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    19. Hi Anonymous, assuming you are the same person making the 2 posts just above, on the first one about Bracken, from what I can make out Bracken arrived out of breath, and said "They are over there, for God's sake look sharp or they will get away" or something like it, and that they (Carrington and others) only found out afterwards it was in the direction of Jones' hotel he meant. The horses stampeded, then Called "come on boys", and there was a general rush (Q.10025 Carrington). We can say from others that Bracken did say they were at Jones' Inn, and Carrington didn't hear that. But we have another dude corroborating that Bracken said nothing that was remembered about any prisoners, just that the Kellys were there. This matches with the other accounts in which Bracken said nothing about any prisoners, and he said this shortly after the police had rushed off and he recovered his breath, then told it to Allen (I think) who buttonholed him, then he raced off to grab a horse and ride to Wang. There was not a moment to lose, it seems, and since they had just been thinking the outlaws had taken Mr Stanistreet into the Warby ranges and were going to kill him, hence trying to hurry the horses out, when Bracken arrived saying that the outlaws were at Jones's, off they rushed. I only cited Molony on it as if you read my Fitzpatrick article a while back, you will know I am extremely sceptical of a lot of what he says, as he uses quite a few shall we say unlikely sources to make his points, and has it in for the police big-time; yet even he concedes that Bracken said nothing about any prisoners before the police rush had happened. So I think that's pretty solid, and the reason I'm sticking to it is because you suggested that Hare and the boys started shooting at the outlaws in front of the Inn and thus also into it, already aware that there were prisoners inside it and thus by implication firing recklessly. Whereas the evidence to date shows that they were not aware up front of any prisoners in the Inn, had no time to hang around interviewing Bracken further, and did not become aware of any other persons in the Inn until 3 or 4 minutes into the first volley. So we could consider whether Hare should have called cease fire immediately then, or whether it was reasonable operationally to keep firing while they were being fired at and still having no clue as to who might be in the Inn along with the outlaws, but having been told that there were "40" with them (implying supporters) by Mrs Stanistreet. All I can do is follow the texts available, but that's how it looks to me. Now there might be another scenario possible from all this; one in which Hare and the boys emerge in a bad light (horrors). But so far I haven't found it compelling as regards the time from first arrival at Glenrowan to a little past the first volley. Happy to change if some other quote that we haven't seen yet changes things, but only if it also reads clearly within its source context, not just a line of half a line pulled out to push a point, as has been the practice of some big names in Kelly stories. I'll have to go to a new post thing for point 2.


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    20. Hi Anonymous, there is nothing simple about the points you are raising, they are all very thorough if I may say so, and demand careful consideration by any scallywags putting up alternative versions. I think S/C Kelly did call fire high somewhere but I'm seeing it as following Hare's earlier lead. As we do have McWhirter placing Hare's fire high in the cease fire after the first volley when the cries of women were heard, I can't see any option but to go with that, even if I didn't want to do so myself. The historical record is fragmentary, but there is a lot of stuff there and unless it fails to hold up for some good reason, it should be followed in my view. It helps not to care one way or another, as it's just the trail of whatever happened. Wishful thinking (such as a republican rebel movement) doesn't create one just because it coulda been. The forthcoming article shows that the Kelly republic theory is nothing more than an elaborate hypothesis shot down by documented facts. It's like a jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces sort of fit but not quite, and when you examine the various pieces you find they are often from different games, or even hand-drawn to fill the gaps. All good fun, but not remotely history.

      Thanks very much for the timeline comments, they will doubt keep my busy tomorrow! Pity no-one is paying me to do any of this! Such is life.

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    21. Hi once again Anonymous, you are right, there is a problem with the timeline at 3:19 re Stanistreet. As you pointed out, Stanistreet came out of the Inn "after the departure of Mr Hare", Q.10317 McWhirter, so it can't be around 3:19am; it must be later. Hare seems to have left around or shortly before 3:30am on the second train, Q.10036, 10038 Carrington (10-12 mins plus 15-20 mins), with Q.9799 O'Connor (30-45 mins after first arrival, and more likely 30 mins from l this).

      The second train left about 5 mins after the first, Q.10315-6 McWhirter.


      That means Stanistreet came out after the second police volley "soon after the cease fire order" Reward Board Q.147 McWhirter, and only then could he inform S/C Kelly that there were 30-40 prisoners in the Inn, Q.10317, 10333 McWhirter.
      So Stanistreet's exit now drops down the timeline to around or just after 3:30am.


      I don't know what to do with Jones' claim in Short Life 2003: 223 that Cherry was shot between the two volleys, which would mean during the desultory fire on the timeline, but we know he was struck when moving around so presumably walking not crawling, but I am not going into that one. It is just the question of when that occurred, if anyone can nail it down, but it doesn't affect anything I'm looking at. Maybe Jones' placement there is right.

      With the cries of women heard during the first volley by Hare (Q.1506), that goes back to the operational issue as to whether Hare should have ordered ease fire while they were being fired upon. I am inclined to think they were shooting at the outlaws they could see in front of the Inn, not particularly firing into the Inn itself then, but I don't know one way or the other. Once the outlaws retired inside, "cease fire" was called. So it is another interesting question but doesn't affect my timeline of things that happened as regards the movements of the police and Ned during that first half hour of the siege. I'll adjust the timeline tonight and put version 6 up for discussion as it's had a couple of other tweaks as well.

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    22. Hi Anonymous, here is the new Version 6 timeline, again split due to size limits:

      Approximate Glenrowan siege timeline to finding Kelly’s rifle and cap
      Bold = attested times. Quoted words are from source evidence. Other timing is estimated from descriptions.
      A few items listed below supplement the main text, and hence source references are given for them here.
      3:00am Police special steam train arrives at Glenrowan platform; police and reporters start to disembark
      3:01 Hare, Rawlins and some police discuss course of action
      3:02-3 Hare, Rawlins and three police go 100 yards to stationmaster Stanistreet’s house
      3:03-5 Hare and Rawlins speak to Mrs Stanistreet. She says the Kellys took her husband mins ago to “the back”, pointing to “Warby’s ranges” (Argus, 20 July 1880, 6); “40” with them, Reward Board, Q.49 Rawlins
      3:06 Hare and others quickly return to the station, “in a few minutes” from leaving it
      3:07-9 Hare hurries police to get the “rearing and plunging” horses (RC Q.1116 O’Connor) unloaded to give chase, as he understood from Mrs Stanistreet that the outlaws had just headed for the bush
      3:09 Const. Bracken tells prisoners in Inn to lie down flat on the floor, as it is their only way to be safe
      3:09 Bracken escapes from Inn (Q.7757 Reardon), runs to station breathless; tells Hare outlaws at Inn
      3:10-11 Start of police rush: Hare calls men; 8 police follow him along unfamiliar path, 200 yards to Inn
      3:12 Outlaws waiting under shadow of veranda; fire at arriving police; Hare shot in the wrist in first fire
      Police still on the platform grab their guns at the sound of shots, and rush towards the Inn
      3:12-3 The police with Hare, between 20 to 30 yards away (Q.8065 Kelly), scramble for cover; fire back
      3:13 The additional police rush up and fire back; all are still unaware of any prisoners being held in Inn
      3:15am “First police volley”. It effectively began when they began to return fire about 3:12-13am
      3:13-17 Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”; “perhaps 5 mins without intermission”
      3:17-18 Gang retire inside Inn; Hare orders cease-fire; an outlaw challenges the police to “fire away”
      Cease fire at “about 10 mins perhaps - very soon after we took our positions”, Q.7376-7 Barry
      3:18 Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to fire high (= 6 feet, Q.7438 Barry); see further notes on p. 33. McWhirter heard of the fire high order when police came for ammunition, RC Q.10333 McWhirter, and he places that happening “in the first rush”(Q.10331), consistent with the above.
      3:18 Police continue to move around seeking better positions
      3:18 Hare leaves, bleeding from artery wound, to return to station. Max time, RC Q.10036 Carrington
      3:19 Hare arrives at station, “8-10 mins after leaving it”
      3:20 Hare’s wrist is bandaged by reporters and he immediately returns to the police line

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    23. And here is the second part of Version 6, down to 3.30am:

      3:22-3 Hare cannot continue; rests; tells O’Connor and S/C Kelly to surround Inn; goes back to station
      Desultory fire; Martin Cherry hit by police bullet between the 2 main volleys [???] (Jones, SL, 223)
      3:22-3 S/C Kelly starts to push his men around the Inn, “5 or 6 mins” after first volley ended
      3:23 Const. Phillips hears Kelly and Byrne talking at back of Inn, “about 10 mins after first encounter”
      3:24 Kelly walks out, shoots at police, then exchanges 3-4 shots with Gascoigne
      3:25 Hare arrives back on station platform, “all in about 5 minutes” from his previous return
      3:25 Second police volley begins “about 7 mins after the first” ended, likely triggered by Kelly’s moves
      Jack and Jane Jones both struck by police bullets at time of second volley, RC Q.7703 Reardon
      Reporter hears policeman in drain, before 3:30am, calling police to fire high, RC Q.10790-8 Allen
      3:26-7 Kelly disappears around corner of Inn in thick smoke from second police volley
      3:27-8 Kelly gets away out the back behind the Inn, limping from bullet wound in foot
      McHugh carries Jack Jones out; “a few minutes after” he was shot; “that would be within 20 mins after police began to shoot” (RC Q.7703, 10-11 Reardon); says 30-40 in armour in Inn, RC Q.11311 Phillips
      “A man” comes out rear yard of Inn; rockets fired between station and McDonnell’s Hotel
      “Firing ceased about 25 mins from first shot”, Reward Board, Q.75 Rawlins (= 3:12-3 to 3:27-8am)
      3:30am S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur find Kelly’s rifle and cap 100 yards from the Inn
      Mr Stanistreet got out after Hare left around 3:30 (RC Q.10036-8 and Q.9709), and “soon after” cease fire, Rew Bd Q.147 and RC Q.10317 McWhirter; told S/C Kelly 30-40 prisoners in Inn, RC Q.10317, 10333 McWhirter

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  12. Hi Anonymous, please discard the first timeline. This is much better:

    Approximate Glenrowan siege timeline to finding Kelly’s rifle and cap:
    Bold = attested times. Quoted words are from source evidence. Other timing is estimated from descriptions.

    3:00am Police special steam train arrives at Glenrowan platform; police and reporters start to disembark
    3:01 Hare, Rawlins and some police discuss what to do
    3:02-3 Hare, Rawlins and three police go 100 yards to stationmaster Stanistreet’s house
    3:03-5 Hare and Rawlins speak to Mrs Stanistreet. Weeping, she says the Kellys took her husband minutes ago to kill him; they are “at the back” pointing in direction of Jones’ Inn, and”40” are with them
    3:06 Hare and others quickly return to the station, “in a few minutes” from leaving it
    3:07-9 Hare hurries police to get “rearing and plunging” horses unloaded to give chase
    3:09 Const. Bracken tells prisoners in Inn to lie down flat on floor, only way to be safe
    3:09 Bracken quietly escapes from Jones’ Inn, runs to platform breathless; tells Hare outlaws at Inn
    3:10-11 Start of police rush; Hare calls men; 8 police follow him along unfamiliar path, 200 yards to Inn
    3:12 Outlaws waiting under veranda shadow; fire at arriving police; Hare shot in the wrist
    The police still on the platform grab their guns at the sound of shots, and rush towards the Inn
    3:12-3 The police with Hare, some 25-30 yards from the Inn, scramble for cover; start firing back
    3:13 The remaining police rush up and fire back; all unaware of any prisoners in Inn
    3:15am “First police volley”. It effectively began when they began to return fire about 3:12-3
    3:13-17 Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”; “perhaps 5 mins without intermission”
    Inside Inn, John Jones, Jane Jones, and Martin Cherry hit by police bullets
    3:17-18 Gang retire inside Inn; Hare orders cease-fire; an outlaw challenges police to fire away
    3:18 Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to only fire high (= 6 feet, RC Q.7438)
    3:18 Police continue to move around seeking better positions
    3:18 Hare leaves bleeding from artery wound to return to station
    3:19 ? Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn “soon after” cease fire order, Reward Board, Q.147 McWhirter
    3:19 Hare arrives at station, “8-10 mins after leaving it”
    3:20 Hare’s wrist is bandaged by reporters and he immediately returns to the fray
    3:22-3 Hare cannot continue; tells O’Connor and S/C Kelly to surround Inn, then goes back to station
    3:22-3 S/C Kelly starts to push his men around the Inn, “5 or 6 mins after first volley ended
    3:25 Hare arrives back on station platform, “all in about 5 minutes” from his previous return
    3:24 Const. Phillips hears Kelly and Byrne talking at back of Inn, “about 10 mins after first encounter” – Context? When exactly?
    3:24 Kelly walks out, shoots at police, and exchanges 3-4 shots with Gascoigne
    3:25 Second police volley begins “about 7 mins after the first” (ended)
    3:26-7 Kelly disappears around Inn corner in thick smoke from second police volley
    3:27-8 Kelly gets away out the back behind the Inn, limping from bullet wound in foot
    As a man comes out rear yard, rockets fired from between station and McDonnell’s Hotel
    “Firing ceased about 25 mins from first shot”, Reward Board, Q.75 Rawlins (= 3:12-3 to 3:27-8)
    3:30am S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur find Ned’s rifle and cap 100 yards from the Inn

    Much tighter, and timings are internally consistent as well as consistent with the cited sources. Not quite finished, no doubt, but much better...

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    Replies
    1. So much happened in such a short space of time. One thing that surprises me is that S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur found Ned's rifle and cap only three minutes after he got away from the Inn. I always thought it was hours after. Stuart's time-line shows they were right on his tail and that Ned was very lucky to have escaped when he did. Also from the time of that first contact when Hare got shot to the end of the second volley was only 10 minutes. With all that confusion no wonder innocent people got shot. At the end of the day, it was the Outlaws that shot first, so the police were simply responding. I don't know why no-one has ever thought to put these timelines together before - well done Stuart.

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    2. Hi Peter, I just found tonight that the two people said to have told the police that there were large numbers of people in the Inn at a point after the first police volley then ceasefire, when the cries of women were heard, were McHugh and Stanistreet, when they each got away from the Inn. The question is when.

      Reardon said the Jones children were shot at the start of the second police volley (not at the start of the shootout!!!). And that McHugh carried Jack Jones out "a few minutes after", all of which was "within 20 minutes of when the police began to shoot". Q.7709-11. This is very exciting as it fits in with the revised draft timeline. McHugh told Gascoigne and Phillips that “they had armour and there were 30 or 40 in the house”, “and I said “who is inside” and he said “three I think … in the morning they will shoot you all out at daylight”. It does not say that he said these 30-40 were prisoners! It rads easily as 30-40 in armour ready for a dawn battle. Cecil B DeMille anyone?

      Next, O’Connor understood from what Sen-Const Kelly said, that he knew there were prisoners in the Inn, but believed they were in the rear kitchen; and that he did not know where S/C Kelly got the information, Q.1147-8. He got it from Stanistreet, Q.10317 McWhirter, but the time Stanistreet walked out is stil unclear and I can’t find a precise reference if there is one. (Any clues??)

      So no way the police knew there were prisoners in the Inn during the first stage of the shootout. That is all I was trying to establish in these responses! And before anyone half wakes up dozily and says I called bush people hicks, that was about the rural larrikin yobs and “criminal classes” as they were known then. The greatest educational movement of colonial Australia was not schools like Avenel which Kelly dropped out of, but the Mechanics’ Institutes dotted around every part or rural Victoria (and large parts of Australia), focusssed on self-improvement, reading, public talks and touring speakers, and colonial libraries, where bush people (but not dopey bush larikinns) thronged right through the Kelly years. The Mechanics’ Institutes movement underpinned the push for universal education that helped schools spread.

      While there is a fantasy in some places about Ned and Joe hanging around the back room of a Beechworth bookseller getting an education, all one can say is that the literacy level of the Jerilderie and Euroa letters – of the equivalent of about 7 or so years of full time education – reasonably reflects the years of Byrne’s schooling and no more. If you put a slab of text into the “Gunning Fog Index” you can test it for yourself. Larrikin hicks, I’m afraid. You have to punctuate the sentences for them, however. Even Mr Gunning can’t assess 200 words of rambling drivel accurately. But punctuated at least with sentence full stops, you’ll see they’re about year 7 level.

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    3. Hi Peter, here is the V3 timeline with Jack and Jane Jones and Martin Cherry being shot added in. I see you have spotted what is behind all this - they were right on his tail. If Ned only got away a short time before his cap and rifle were found, and he was nearby when they were found, then he can't have been off meeting a sympathiser army...

      I have only put references in here for points not source referenced in the forthcoming article. I don't have time to go and reference all this list just to blog it, but it maps the article timeline exactly. Gimme another month or so! And as you pointed out, the action is pretty compressed, and at night time regardless of a bright moon. a couple of tings look interesting: if the Jones children were shot just after the start of the second police volley, as Reardon attested, does that mean they were shot while the police were shooting at Ned while he was wandering around outside the Inn shooting at them? Did Ned accidentally cause their deaths in his gun-slinging peregrinations? and something else I just forgot while I was trying to spell perigrinantan… The timeline V3 follows in te next post due to word limit.

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    4. Here is the updated V3 timeline:

      Approximate Glenrowan siege timeline to finding Kelly’s rifle V3
      Bold (Bd) = attested times. Quoted words are from source evidence. Other timing is estimated from descriptions.
      3:00am Bd Police special steam train arrives at Glenrowan platform; police and reporters start to disembark
      3:01 Hare, Rawlins and some police discuss course of action
      3:02-3 Hare, Rawlins and three police go 100 yards to stationmaster Stanistreet’s house
      3:03-5 Hare and Rawlins speak to Mrs Stanistreet. Weeping, she says the Kellys took her husband minutes ago to kill him; they are “at the back” pointing in direction of Jones’ Inn, and”40” are with them
      3:06 Hare and others quickly return to the station, “in a few minutes” from leaving it
      3:07-9 Hare hurries police to get “rearing and plunging” horses unloaded to give chase
      3:09 Const. Bracken tells prisoners in Inn to lie down flat on floor, their only way to be safe
      3:09 Bracken escapes from Inn (Q.7757 Reardon), runs to station breathless; tells Hare outlaws at Inn
      3:10-11 Start of police rush: Hare calls men; 8 police follow him along unfamiliar path, 200 yards to Inn
      3:12 Outlaws waiting under shadow of veranda; fire at arriving police; Hare shot in the wrist
      Police still on the platform grab their guns at the sound of shots, and rush towards the Inn
      3:12-3 The police with Hare, between 20 to 30 yards away (RC Q. 8064-5), scramble for cover; fire back
      3:13 The remaining police rush up and fire back; all still unaware of any prisoners in Inn
      3:15am Bd “First police volley”. It effectively began when they began to return fire about 3:12-3
      3:13-17 Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”; “perhaps 5 mins without intermission”
      3:17-18 Gang retire inside Inn; Hare orders cease-fire; an outlaw challenges police to fire away
      3:18 Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to fire high (= 6 feet, RC Q.7438)
      3:18 Police continue to move around seeking better positions
      3:18 Hare leaves bleeding from artery wound to return to station
      3:19 ?? Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn “soon after” cease fire order, Reward Board, Q.147 McWhirter
      Stanistreet tells S/C Kelly there are 30-40 prisoners in the Inn (RC Q.10317 McWhirter)
      3:19 Hare arrives at station, “8-10 mins after leaving it”
      3:20 Hare’s wrist is bandaged by reporters and he immediately returns to the police line
      3:22-3 Hare cannot continue; tells O’Connor and S/C Kelly to surround Inn, then goes back to station
      Desultory fire; Martin Cherry hit by police bullet between the 2 main volleys (Jones, SL, 223) ???
      3:22-3 S/C Kelly starts to push his men around the Inn, “5 or 6 mins” after first volley ended
      3:23 Const. Phillips hears Kelly and Byrne talking at back of Inn, “about 10 mins after first encounter”
      3:24 Kelly walks out, shoots at police, and exchanges 3-4 shots with Gascoigne
      3:25 Hare arrives back on station platform, “all in about 5 minutes” from his previous return
      3:25 Second police volley begins “about 7 mins after the first” ended
      Jack and Jane Jones both struck by police bullets at time of second volley, Q.7703 Reardon
      McHugh carries Jack Jones out “a few minutes after” he was shot; “that would be within 20 mins after the police began to shoot”, Q.7710-11 Reardon; says 30-40 in armour in Inn, Q.11311 Phillips
      3:26-7 Kelly disappears around Inn corner in thick smoke from second police volley
      3:27-8 Kelly gets away out the back behind the Inn, limping from bullet wound in foot
      “A man” comes out rear yard of Inn, rockets fired between station and McDonnell’s Hotel
      “Firing ceased about 25 mins from first shot”, Reward Board, Q.75 Rawlins (= 3:12-3 to 3:27-8)
      3:30am Bd S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur find Kelly’s rifle and cap 100 yards from the Inn

      It'd be great if anyone has an accurate time and source reference for when Stanistreet left the Inn and told Sen-Const Kelly that there were prisoners inside.

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    5. Hello Stuart,
      Thank you for sharing this timeline. I truly appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this enormous task. Well done.

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    6. Hi Anonymous, it is a slow job that's for sure. Re Stanistreet's exit time, I had:

      3:19 ?? Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn “soon after” cease fire order, Reward Board, Q.147 McWhirter.

      Now, McWhirter heard about the instruction to fire high from S/C Kelly or Phillips when they came to the station for ammunition (RC Q.10333 McWhirter), which I found when I re-read it. So the question is when was that. Call me silly, but I had it on a slip of paper 2 days ago, and can't find it but fear it went in the bin with other scribbles as not relevant to anything. Someone in the RC minutes talks about getting the wrong ammo from Mrs Stanistreet's house, then S/C Kelly or another policeman goes to the station where McWhirter and another reported are sorting ammunition for the police. Clearly it was early in the siege, but how early? And when McWhirter heard it would put a latest time limit on it, but might not necessarily tell when fire high was called.

      That is the last piece of the timeline it would be nice to have here, but it doesn't affect the main point I'm pursuing, which is the movements of Ned and the police from police arrival to the finding of NK's rifle after he escaped from the battle. That can be nailed down to a half hour timeframe. As Ned is attested by 3 sources including himself to have been in the bushes watching when the police found his cap and rifle, spite some less than impressive and creatively convoluted attempts to claim otherwise, there is no way on earth he was half a mile off rallying a selector republican army. No way at all. The phantom army is a dead duck.

      As we shall see, other than those with the police party, and the outlaws, only one armed man was seen by anyone at any time throughout the entire Glenrowan siege. Everything that has been said as evidence otherwise is a trail of blunders through erroneous second hand reports, that can be rejected with direct witness evidence, and official reports, memos and sworn testimony. The newspapers got some things wrong in the heat of excitement - for example, not one single armed mounted sympathiser was seen any anyone at all. Johnston saw one armed man with three other men in his report at the time to Sadleir, and he says, "they had no horses with them"; but the story of his seeing 4 armed men is the one we hear about. Sadleir's recollections recalled it wrong 3 decades later when he wrote 4 armed men, and the newspaper got the story wrong with "4 armed men" at the time too. The whole story is a crock.

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    7. Re the approximate Glenrowan siege timeline, if anyone wants me to add in the other source references I will if requested, but it will not get done till maybe Wednesday or Thursday due to other commitments. If no-one asks, I won't bother. How's that for fair?

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    8. Stuart, do you think you could complete the timeline to the time of Ned's actual capture? If the already wounded Ned (shot through the foot) was watching at 3am as S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur found his rifle, and then made his "last stand" only 3 hours later, then you are right to say there was no meeting with any sympathiser army. I suspect it took him all that time to somehow get around to the other side of the hotel out of sight of the police who had by that time entrenched themselves into strategic positions around the hotel. At no time could Ned have been very far from the hotel in the condition he was in, so it makes you wonder if he really could have been tended to by Tom Lloyd as the legend would have it?

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    9. Hi Peter, sorry but it would take months to work through the rest of the siege to timeline it through to his capture. It's taken several days to do it for that half hour I'm focussed on, and most of the info (everything without a source ref in the timeline) was pulled out of the draft article. The refs in the timeline are only for things not covered in the article, that have come up in review or discussion. The reason for doing the timeline was to check if the article content sequence made sense. It revealed several unclear bits of description , which had to be rewritten to make sure they are ordered in line with the correct sequence of events as best they can be determined.

      The whole thing hangs on Ian Jones' view that the movements of Ned are uncertain after he escaped from the Inn and the rockets were fired. He says that Ned got away into the bush, met Tom Lloyd, then went to meet and dismiss the sympathiser army. Meanwhile Tom Lloyd went back to where Ned had dropped his rifle, found it clogged and useless, and left it there, Just at that time the police (S/C Kelly and Arthur) came through, and it was Lloyd in the bushes close by who saw them find Ned's rifle and cap (at 3.30am, not 3am, as per timeline). So the issue is, is that logistically possible? Can Ned have got further than that 100 yards in the couple of minutes maximum available between his escape from the Inn and the finding of the rifle, given that he was on foot and limping from being shot in the foot, and also shot in one arm? Jones has the "few minutes" after Ned's exchange of shots with Gascoigne to make his scenario work, at least as far as Ned getting away and meeting Lloyd goes. The trouble is, the police were right on his tail as you put it, and the theory that he could have played dosie-do with Lloyd doesn't hold up given other evidence to show that he never went further than the spot he dropped the rifle until after it was recovered, with him watching. He later made his way a bit further back, another maybe 50 yards to the scrub that he emerged from in the morning, but that's all. Who knows whether Tom Lloyd met him out there or not. the issue is whether he was able to go off and meet a sympathiser army, and the evidence counts against it, at least in draft.


      The best I can do, if you want it, is to add the source refs into the timeline so it becomes a stand-alone page that can be scrutinised on its merits rather than a list of extras to what's in the article. Maybe I should just do that anyway, but it won't be for a few days. OK, I'll do it, then I don't have to keep discussing it without anyone having much idea of what this is based on.

      It is clear that he was able to get away from the hotel before it was fully surrounded, as the police who found the rifle were in the last stages of S/C Kelly positioning his troops. Arthur was the last to be placed out there. After they found the rifle, Arthur moved forward 20 yards and S/C Kelly went off on his walk around the perimeter. Over the next who know exactly how long, Ned got himself further back another 50-60 yards. but I'm arguing that he didn't get away to meet a sympathiser army half a mile away. Anyway, Molony has the sympathiser army meeting on the other side of the tracks "in the valley near Greta"!!! Good luck with that!!!

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    10. If Ned hadn't done his "last stand" he would have been quickly found in the morning, so he didn't really have any good options. I suspect when he fled the Inn his intention would have been to escape, but he was too badly wounded for that and also encumbered by the armour.

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    11. Hi again Peter, after looking at the timeline again today I have realised that most events listed are extracted from multiple references. If I gave only a few as indictors in the timeline, it is inevitable that readers would take that to be all there was, and start attacking the timeline based on grossly deficient evidence, which is provided in full in the footnotes to the article itself. I would be doing the article a gross disservice by allowing people to think that they could understand it by looking at the timeline alone. The timeline is an indicative overview of only the events at Glenrowan relevant to the Republic issue. The few source references in the timeline were intended only to give the source of some additional items that are secondary to the article text. These are not discussed or provided in the article as they are marginal to the main argument.

      I know some of these things are of interest, but I am not trying to write another Kelly book, or tell the Glenrowan story; just to focus on what is relevant to the question of whether or not it was possible for Ned to have met a sympathiser army at Glenrowan; and whether in fact any such "phantom army" ever existed.

      So I will not provide any more references than are in the final V4 timeline revision below. It I a lot of work for nothing, as this will be an appendix in the book, when it can be looked at in its intended context. so here goes V4, further tweaked, in the accompanying post due to word limits:

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    12. And here is the V4 timeline just mentioned:

      Approximate Glenrowan siege timeline to finding Kelly’s rifle and cap
      Bold = attested times. Quoted words are from source evidence. Other timing is estimated from descriptions.
      A few items listed below are supplements to the main text; hence source references are given for them here.
      3:00am Police special steam train arrives at Glenrowan platform; police and reporters start to disembark
      3:01 Hare, Rawlins and some police discuss course of action
      3:02-3 Hare, Rawlins and three police go 100 yards to stationmaster Stanistreet’s house
      3:03-5 Hare and Rawlins speak to Mrs Stanistreet. She says the Kellys took her husband mins ago to “the back”, pointing to “Warby’s ranges” (Argus, 20 July 1880, 6); “40” with them, Reward Board, Q.49 Rawlins
      3:06 Hare and others quickly return to the station, “in a few minutes” from leaving it
      3:07-9 Hare hurries police to get “rearing and plunging” horses unloaded to give chase, Q.1116 OConnor
      3:09 Const. Bracken tells prisoners in Inn to lie down flat on floor as their only way to be safe
      3:09 Bracken escapes from Inn (Q.7757 Reardon), runs to station breathless; tells Hare outlaws at Inn
      3:10-11 Start of police rush: Hare calls men; 8 police follow him along unfamiliar path, 200 yards to Inn
      3:12 Outlaws waiting under shadow of veranda; fire at arriving police; Hare shot in wrist in first fire
      Police still on the platform grab their guns at the sound of shots, and rush towards the Inn
      3:12-3 The police with Hare, between 20 to 30 yards away (Q.8065 Kelly), scramble for cover; fire back
      3:13 The remaining police rush up and fire back; all are still unaware of any prisoners being held in Inn
      3:15am “First police volley”. It effectively began when they began to return fire about 3:12-13am
      3:13-17 Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”; “perhaps 5 mins without intermission”
      3:17-18 Gang retire inside Inn; Hare orders cease-fire; an outlaw challenges police to “fire away”
      Cease fire at “about 10 mins perhaps - very soon after we took our positions”, Q.7376-7 Barry
      3:18 Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to fire high (= 6 feet, Q.7438 Barry)
      McWhirter heard of fire high order when police came for ammunition, RC Q.10333 McWhirter (When? - that will give a latest time)
      3:18 Police continue to move around seeking better positions
      3:18 Hare leaves bleeding from artery wound to return to station
      3:19 ?? Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn “soon after” cease fire order, Reward Board, Q.147 McWhirter
      Stanistreet tells S/C Kelly there are 30-40 prisoners in the Inn, RC Q.10317, 10333 McWhirter
      3:19 Hare arrives at station, “8-10 mins after leaving it”

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    13. V4 timeline part 2 - I was cut off die to character limits... Too much hanging out with the bad guys (like that cranky Scotsman)

      3:20 Hare’s wrist is bandaged by reporters and he immediately returns to the police line
      3:22-3 Hare cannot continue; tells O’Connor and S/C Kelly to surround Inn, then goes back to station
      Desultory fire; Martin Cherry hit by police bullet between the 2 main volleys ??? (Jones, SL, 223)
      3:22-3 S/C Kelly starts to push his men around the Inn, “5 or 6 mins” after first volley ended
      3:23 Const. Phillips hears Kelly and Byrne talking at back of Inn, “about 10 mins after first encounter”
      3:24 Kelly walks out, shoots at police, and exchanges 3-4 shots with Gascoigne
      3:25 Hare arrives back on station platform, “all in about 5 minutes” from his previous return
      3:25 Second police volley begins “about 7 mins after the first” ended
      Jack and Jane Jones both struck by police bullets at time of second volley, RC Q.7703 Reardon
      McHugh carries Jack Jones out “a few minutes after” he was shot; “that would be within 20 mins after the police began to shoot” (RC Q.7710-11 Reardon); says 30-40 in armour in Inn, RC Q.11311 Phillips
      3:26-7 Kelly disappears around Inn corner in thick smoke from second police volley
      3:27-8 Kelly gets away out the back behind the Inn, limping from bullet wound in foot
      “A man” comes out rear yard of Inn, rockets fired between station and McDonnell’s Hotel
      “Firing ceased about 25 mins from first shot”, Reward Board, Q.75 Rawlins (= 3:12-3 to 3:27-8am)
      3:30am S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur find Kelly’s rifle and cap 100 yards from the Inn

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  13. I am loving this! I hope lots of others are reading these timelines - has this ever been done before? These timeline really create the feeling that youre actually seeing it happen. Brilliant work Stuart!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dee, the movements of Fitzpatrick in my "Redeeming Fitzpatrick" article were time lined, but only in several rounds in different coloured pens on writing paper. A couple of people have seen it, but it is just horrible scrawl made while working it out in bits over a month or two. There is no point doing anything with it as the results and relevant timings are all in the article. But yes, the idea came from a couple of Royal Commission questions where times were mentioned or discussed, with some occasional pointed questions about what happened when exactly. A lot of nineteenth century those guys including detectives like Alexander Eason demonstrated far higher literacy and written analytical ability than many people do now. They were no dummies, unlike the semi literate bush hicks they were chasing. That's not being elitist, it's just a fact. They could see through the lies they got fed, and often caught the liars out. The problem was often getting evidence (proof), not them not knowing what was going on. Then, as a young Wild Wright said, the crooks would see how the land lay before deciding whether to fess up or lag their mates or not.

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  14. Go get em stewie

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  15. Here is the final Version 5 of my Glenrowan timeline (in 2 parts due to character limits):

    Approximate Glenrowan siege timeline to finding Kelly’s rifle and cap.
    Bold = attested times. Quoted words are from source evidence. Other timing is estimated from descriptions.
    A few items listed below supplement the main text, and hence source references are given for them here.
    3:00am Police special steam train arrives at Glenrowan platform; police and reporters start to disembark
    3:01 Hare, Rawlins and some police discuss course of action
    3:02-3 Hare, Rawlins and three police go 100 yards to stationmaster Stanistreet’s house
    3:03-5 Hare and Rawlins speak to Mrs Stanistreet. She says the Kellys took her husband mins ago to “the back”, pointing to “Warby’s ranges” (Argus, 20 July 1880, 6); “40” with them, Reward Board, Q.49 Rawlins
    3:06 Hare and others quickly return to the station, “in a few minutes” from leaving it
    3:07-9 Hare hurries police to get the “rearing and plunging” horses (RC Q.1116 O’Connor) unloaded to give chase, as he understood from Mrs Stanistreet that the outlaws had just headed for the bush
    3:09 Const. Bracken tells prisoners in Inn to lie down flat on floor as their only way to be safe
    3:09 Bracken escapes from Inn (Q.7757 Reardon), runs to station breathless; tells Hare outlaws at Inn
    3:10-11 Start of police rush: Hare calls men; 8 police follow him along unfamiliar path, 200 yards to Inn
    3:12 Outlaws waiting under shadow of veranda; fire at arriving police; Hare shot in wrist in first fire
    Police still on the platform grab their guns at the sound of shots, and rush towards the Inn
    3:12-3 The police with Hare, between 20 to 30 yards away (Q.8065 Kelly), scramble for cover; fire back
    3:13 The remaining police rush up and fire back; all are still unaware of any prisoners being held in Inn
    3:15am “First police volley”. It effectively began when they began to return fire about 3:12-13am
    3:13-17 Warm fire exchanged “for a few minutes”; “perhaps 5 mins without intermission”
    3:17-18 Gang retire inside Inn; Hare orders cease-fire; an outlaw challenges police to “fire away”
    Cease fire at “about 10 mins perhaps - very soon after we took our positions”, Q.7376-7 Barry
    3:18 Cries of women heard from within the Inn. Hare orders men to fire high (= 6 feet, Q.7438 Barry); see further notes on p. 33. McWhirter heard of the fire high order when police came for ammunition, RC Q.10333 McWhirter, and he places that happening “in the first rush”(Q.10331), consistent with the above.
    3:18 Police continue to move around seeking better positions
    3:18 Hare leaves bleeding from artery wound to return to station
    3:19 ?? Mr Stanistreet came out from Inn “soon after” cease fire order, Reward Board, Q.147 McWhirter
    Stanistreet tells S/C Kelly there are 30-40 prisoners in the Inn, RC Q.10317, 10333 McWhirter
    3:19 Hare arrives at station, “8-10 mins after leaving it”
    3:20 Hare’s wrist is bandaged by reporters and he immediately returns to the police line
    3:22-3 Hare cannot continue; tells O’Connor and S/C Kelly to surround Inn, then goes back to station
    Desultory fire; Martin Cherry hit by police bullet between the 2 main volleys ??? (Jones, SL, 223)
    3:22-3 S/C Kelly starts to push his men around the Inn, “5 or 6 mins” after first volley ended
    3:23 Const. Phillips hears Kelly and Byrne talking at back of Inn, “about 10 mins after first encounter”
    3:24 Kelly walks out, shoots at police, and exchanges 3-4 shots with Gascoigne
    3:25 Hare arrives back on station platform, “all in about 5 minutes” from his previous return
    3:25 Second police volley begins “about 7 mins after the first” ended
    Jack and Jane Jones both struck by police bullets at time of second volley, RC Q.7703 Reardon
    McHugh carries Jack Jones out “a few minutes after” he was shot; “that would be within 20 mins after the police began to shoot” (RC Q.7710-11 Reardon); says 30-40 in armour in Inn, RC Q.11311 Phillips

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  16. Final Glenrowan Version 5 timeline, part 2 (split due to character limits):

    3:26-7 Kelly disappears around Inn corner in thick smoke from second police volley
    3:27-8 Kelly gets away out the back behind the Inn, limping from bullet wound in foot
    “A man” comes out rear yard of Inn, rockets fired between station and McDonnell’s Hotel
    “Firing ceased about 25 mins from first shot”, Reward Board, Q.75 Rawlins (= 3:12-3 to 3:27-8am)
    3:30am S/C Kelly and Const. Arthur find Kelly’s rifle and cap 100 yards from the Inn

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Anonymous, it was Gascoigne who testified that he was with Hare and the others when they went to Stanistreet's house, where Mrs Stanistreet when asked where her husband had been taken, wept and pointed "in the direction of Mrs Jones' hotel", which others including Hare equally took to mean into the ranges past the hotel. Back on the platform there was a commotion and he heard someone say that the outlaws were at "mother Jones", then the rush began. This is RC Q.9674. So again, no indication that there were any prisoners in the Inn yet, and the indication from Mrs Stanistreet that there were maybe "40" WITH the outlaws.

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  18. Hello Stuart,
    Thanks for the information. Have been working my way through the V6 timeline.
    Rawlins was also with Hare and the others: (Q.11561.)
    “She was sobbing, and Mr. Hare said—“What is the matter?” and she said—“Oh, the Kellys, they have taken my husband away”—she said—“into the bush,” and we said—“How long ago since they were here?” and she said—“Five minutes ago; they were to go”—and she pointed over to Jones’s, and said—“there at the back.” I asked her just as I was coming away—“How many are there of them?” and she said—“Forty.”

    Also found this from Allen. (Q.10713-10714).
    The men were very actively at work when a man rushed on to the platform, calling out, “They are here; they are here”; and he went up to Superintendent Hare, and in so many words told him that the gang was at Jones’s hotel, and that there were a lot of people there. Afterwards I found that was Constable Bracken. Did he tell Mr. Hare at the time that there were a large number of prisoners?—Yes; he was very excited, and jumped about the platform a good deal. Having satisfied Mr. Hare as to the position of the gang, Mr. Hare called to his men, saying, “Come on, boys.”

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    1. Hi Anonymous, I greatly appreciate this careful examination of the draft timeline, as we have already been able to reposition Stanistreet's leaving the Inn from where it first was, after the first cease fire (based on one reference, "after the cease fire"), to where is now is, after Hare's departure. Some other people might not agree with either of us, but at least we seem to be making more progress in considering what the sequence of events should look like, at least for the ones I've focused on. It could probably be expanded further to tie down other points of interest in future, if at least this part seems to hold up.

      With Rawlins Q.11561 we have the version that she pointed in the direction of Jones' hotel, whereas others thought she pointed in that same direction but meant the Warbies behind it; hence the rush back to get the horses unloaded to go in pursuit. It is hard to say, but I am more inclined to go with Hare and McWhirter's understanding that her pointing indicated the Warbies to their minds, due to the evidence that Hare and those police went quickly back to the station to hurry the unloading of the horses for pursuit, rather than immediately call the rest of the police to come to the Inn. That at least makes sense, as Hare only called his men to come with him (to rush to the Inn) when Bracken turned up and said them outlaws were there. And again, we have her saying hen asked how many of them , i.e. outlaws, that there were "forty". no mention of prisoners there in any account of Mrs Stanistreet's rather incoherent information resulting from her distress.

      Allen responded to two separate questions here. The first response (to Q.10713) is that Bracken said the gang were at the Inn and there were a lot of people there. Nothing about prisoners. Reasonably, given hindsight, the Commission next asked (Q.10714) if Bracken told Hare "at the time that there were a large number of prisoners". Allen's response is interesting. He said "Yes; he was very excited ..." Is that "Yes, he said there were many prisoners", or "Yes, he was very excited", with the fact of prisoners coming just after Hare had led the charge. The reason for asking is not to try and say Bracken didn't say there were prisoners, but to consider when he said it, and the reason for that is McWhirter Reward Board Q.149, where McWhirter says Bracken was "very much exited when he came on the platform, and I held him against te wall in order to get his story from him, … and all we could learn … was that was that he had escaped death, and that the Kellys were in the house, and had taken him prisoner". so the reporter who physically buttonholed Bracken and later gave that account, knowing full well about the fact of prisoners retrospectively, did not say anything about Bracken's initial statement mentioning prisoners in the Inn.. We know Bracken did give that information soon afterwards, but I think Allen may have read that into his answer. I think we would need a further question, did Bracken tell Hare about prisoners before Hare called the police to rush after him. That is not clear, but nothing in the long statement about what happened by Gascoigne Q.9764 gives any indication that prisoners were known to be in the Inn. Gascoigne had accompanied Hare and Rawlins (and ot2 others) to Stanistreet's and was up to speed with all the limited information then to hand, and also accompanied Hare in the first rush. I think the various statements weigh against the police knowing there were prisoners in the Inn in the first rush, but maybe thinking there was a large group of outlaws in the Inn as they charge towards it. The only mention of "prisoner" in McWhirter's story is Bracken saying that he had been one.

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  19. No-one has mentioned "I was at the Kelly Gang round-up" by Judith Douthie, or "Glenrowan:
    The Legend of Ned Kelly and the Siege That Shaped Australia" by Ian Shaw. Douthie did research at State Archives. Maybe Shaw did too...

    No timelines but have facts nonetheless.

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  20. Hi Cam, Judith Douthie's "Kelly Gang Round-Up" is a very useful source book for background on the people held prisoner in the siege. She managed to identify 40 adults of the 62 odd people there, which is a great effort, especially as some of those are such minor figures that they don't get a mention in a lot of the Kelly books. Plus she gives the reference information she used. I have quoted from it a few times here and there. 5 stars.
    For Glenrowan specifically I have used primary sources, not commentary, so can't comment on the other book.

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    1. I don't have a copy of Judith Douthie's book (first published in 2007), so am not sure who all she lists as prisoners of the Inn, but Dave White as early as 2003 or 2004 had a big list of the Inn's prisoners at his now defunct glenrowan1880 website which can, however, be found via the glorious wayback machine at archive.org if one is so inclined. Not sure how exhaustive that is as compared to hers, though. I always like a free resource (like the upcoming Republic debunking book will be) versus having to jump through fiery hoops and pay through the nose (how's that for mixing metaphors?) to try and acquire information.
      Regarding the Glenrowan book by Ian Shaw, I did a review of it way back when it came out on my blog and Dee has also done a posting on the book here on her blog, too. Let's just say that it is not a book I readily reach for when it is time to do research.

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    2. Horrie and Alf15 June 2018 at 20:44

      Hi Sharon, we've got both but the Shaw is unread.

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    3. Hi Sharon, I had to physically go through Judith's book and count the adults in each chapter. for example, the index has "Reardon, James Margaret and family" - that's two adults (obviously), then their kids are talked about in that section. I didn't additionally count up the kids. Similarly the index lists "Delaney bros"; when you read that section you see there were 3 adult Delaney brothers (counting the young 17 year old as an adult too for this purpose, as they were there by themselves and Ned Kelly terrorised the youngest for about half an hour.) One Kelly expert called that a "ruse", but the newspaper coverage of the day that he lifted that from said it might have been a ruse on Kelly's part but it certainly wasn't in the mind of Delaney or the others present. See how the interpretation gets twisted to excuse Ned's aggro behaviour. We can't have our hero doing unheroic things so we have to go way out of context and source evidence to find imaginative justifications for gunpoint thuggery. Yes now, young Delaney once expressed an interest in joining the police force. Aha, that justifies it for sure! Some more quick bagging of the police here please. Bloody Fitzpatrick, bloody Hare, mumble. And what about that thick doorstop of anti-police drivel I saw again the other day. Bloody police couldn't add two plus two and get the right answer! Says so in the book... Must be true... Ask any loser... Or wanna-be hero... Big men, bagging the police. Real armchair heroes... How many people have they actually helped, protected, rescued, intervened for, and stress-counselled? Hmmm... None.

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    4. Thanks to a friend who scanned in the prisoner list from Douthie's book for me I was able to do a comparison. The lists are nearly identical except for the fact that she lists 3 people not on Dave's list and Dave lists 3 people not on hers. I won't take the headcount or research any further. Case closed, as far as I am concerned. :)

      Horrie, I have a couple of Kelly books that I wish I had left unread. Thing is that even if a book is total crap but is about Ned some of us feel the overwhelming desire to own it. At least the reviews we do of poorly researched or overly biased books might turn the casual reader off from buying one of them, though.

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  21. Horrie and Alf14 June 2018 at 18:39

    Article in tomorrow's Australian about the planned Head movie. Couldn't download because it is tied to a subscription. Australian seems to like the sound of it.

    Tonite Heath Ledger's Ned Kelly on yet AGAIN (Ch 92). Watch the part where Ned seems to swim down 30 metres to save to drowning kid.

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  22. Horrie and Alf14 June 2018 at 23:04

    The shonky movie shows police always firing FIRST at Stringybark Creek which is manifestly false and untrue.

    Channel Nine should retire this grossly distorted, misleading, propaganda rubbish immediately. Don't show it again. It's like their never-ending ads, creepy gibberish, awful minimal music and endless nonsense.

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1. Moderation is back on. I haven’t got time to be constantly monitoring what comments are made and deleting the mindless rubbish that Kelly sympathisers have been posting lately. Please post polite sensible comments, avoid personal abuse and please use the same name whenever you Post, even if its a made-up name.