For more information on Sharon Hollingsworth and Brian Stevenson please see the sidebar for the About Your Humble Bloggers link.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

For Jerilderie's Constable Devine life after the Kelly Gang's visit was anything but divine! [Sharon Hollingsworth]

Senior-Constable George Devine, along with Constable Henry Richards, were victimized by the Kelly Gang in Jerilderie in February of 1879. Both constables were locked in their own cells  ("reversing the proper order of things by trapping the traps" as wryly pointed out by Thomas McIntyre) as the Kellys took up residence in the police station using their uniforms to pass themselves off as new recruits passing through on the hunt for the Kelly Gang. (An ingenious disguise!) All the while they were getting ready to rob the local bank.

Ned had let out Constable Richards for a while to walk around the town with some of them as they did a reconnaissance. He did not let out Devine, though. In "The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang" J.J. Kenneally said of Devine: "He was a high spirited man, and was generally regarded as a man who would rather fight than run. It was because the Kellys recognised his courage that they did not take him out of the cell to patrol the town. On the other hand, Constable Richards was much more docile, and would 'go quietly' rather than take risks."
As an aside, I have read that Richards, who was engaged to a certain young lady at time of the raid, had to endure the indignity of her breaking off the engagement in the aftermath of events since he had "not done his duty"! My friend Greg Young (after I let him have a peek at the rough draft of this article) quipped:  "Seems that Richards was given the white feather by his intended!"

In [I Am] Ned Kelly, John Molony says of Devine: "He never recovered from the dreadful indignity of incarceration in his own lock-up, and the taunts of cowardice and ineptitude unjustly levelled by many at him, as well as at the townsmen of Jerilderie, rankled deeply."

George Devine around the time of the Kelly's visit. (courtesy of Trove)

Devine eventually left Jerilderie and after being posted to other towns in NSW, wound up in Western Australia where he worked as a race course detective. But it seems that he could not run from notoriety as it was permanently attached to him thanks to Ned Kelly.  Before that fateful life-changing day in February 1879 Devine had been attributed as boasting that "if he met the Kellys, they would remember it." Seems after that day he was to be the one to never forget, nor would anyone let him if he tried (much like McIntyre and the wombat hole!).

To illustrate, there was this interesting bit from the Sunday Times (Perth) from August 24, 1919:

There is one man who cordially hates the name of Ned Kelly, his associates, and all that was and is his. The said-hater is a racecourse official who, in the dear, dead days of long ago had an experience with Ned and his gang that rankles in his memory even after over 39 years. The usual ordinary public, especially the portion not old enough to know first hand, all fondly imagine that the said official was one of the constables who, when the police spy and traitor Aaron Sherritt was shot, promptly got under the bed. Not so, the now racecourse man having been on duty in another State. At the Perth courses, where the average gun hoodlum is barred from admittance to the course by the said official, they never fail to ask how he liked Ned Kelly, what it was Ned Kelly did to him, and how he liked being locked up in his own cell, and sundry other sarcasms too poignant for print. It's wonderful what a marvellously rotten memory pests have for half-truths and untruths, and what a blank is their mind when the real episodes are called in to question.

Even as early as 1909 there were reports of the public hounding him as being one of the four from Sherritt's hut! In the Sunday Times of October 24, 1920 there was a blurb saying "For the five-hundredth time, no, it was NOT Sergeant Devine (now of Perth) who was in Aaron Sherritt's hut..." But it seems that a few realised he was not one of those (thus the "how did he like being locked in his own cell" bits), but that still served them well as far as baiting him!

It was said that "At one time Devine used to resent and threaten libel and slander actions, contempt of constabulary, etc., but later on he accepted the gradually dwindling jibes philosophically and with an outwardly calm demeanor."

It seems that in his off time Devine attended Kelly Gang themed plays and films when they were in town. In the Sunday Times, August 24, 1924 it stated that:

"The most disgusted man after seeing the Kelly Gang picture was ex-Sergeant Devine, who was in charge of Jerilderie when the gang swooped down there. Devine's lively recollections of Ned and his three mates are not in accord with the film at present here, and he deeply resents the imputation therein."

That is odd that he attended such events as Kenneally said that

"The feelings of Senior-Constable Devine were so grievously wounded by the indignity of being locked up in his own prison cell at Jerilderie that he disliked to hear any reference to the Kelly Gang and their visit to Jerilderie."

I suppose it was inevitable that Devine heard the hue and cry of the hunters (or hound-ers?) up until his death in May of 1926 at age 79.

The Sunday Times of May 23, 1926 said:

 Only two days before he was laid to rest in Karrakatta, he was walking Barrack-street and accosted a member of the staff of this journal cheerily enough. Though looking very shaky, he greeted the scribe, whom he well knew, and made a direct unsought reference to a long-made promise to give the said scribe a few stories of his early life, including unpublished details of the Jerilderie stick-up. Within half a dozen hours of that meeting in Barrack-street he had passed away and within 48 hours had been borne to his long resting place.

It is a shame that he did not live to tell those tales!

Images of Devine's grave. (courtesy of Michael Ball)

You will remember that Ned Kelly had made a souvenir of Constable Devine's revolver at Jerilderie and that he had it with him at the siege of Glenrowan. It is the gun that Jesse Dowsett later souvenired. Ned also took Devine's and Richards's police horses which were later found abandoned. There was something else he took, too. It was reported that Jim Kelly in later years found a police trooper's uniform at the old homestead (which was assumed to have come from Jerilderie) and when he asked a friend what he should do with it he was advised to burn it!

Ned took all those souvenirs, but did you know that Devine wound up with a souvenir of Ned's, too?

According to the Sunday Times Aug 24, 1924:

Until a few years ago the said Devine had a rare souvenir of Ned Kelly, he having been down at Spencer-street when the famous armor arrived. Said souvenir was a handkerchief that on being rubbed on the still-stained mouldboard plate irons, showed spots and streaks of rust and blood, the latter being that of the famous outlaw himself. In a fire that occurred a few years ago in Perth he lost not only that relic, but a clothes line with which the almost equally notorious Captain Moonlight was tied when captured at Wantabadgery.

The part that Devine's wife Mary played in the proceedings at Jerilderie will be covered in a future blog posting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Article Alert: Visit of Irish Australian Exhibition to Ireland Ditched

From Google Alerts:

Well, it seems that the "Not Just Ned" Irish exhibition currently on in Canberra is NOT going to Dublin afterall!

From the article:

National Museum of Australia director Andrew Sayers, in a letter to the Irish Echo, said that while it had been hoped that a version of the exhibition be brought to Ireland, “that is sadly no longer possible”.

The Irish Echo understands that Ireland’s current economic woes is one of several reasons blamed for the decision.

As I had noted in an earlier post, Ned's armour was not going to be included anyway! Not sure if they had planned to send any of the other suits of armour or not. Now the point is moot!

If anything changes between now and then I will keep you posted! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ned Kelly's links with classic British comedy [Brian Stevenson]

The short and turbulent life of Ned Kelly has been portrayed many times on the stage, sometimes memorably, sometimes less so. A case in point was a play Ned Kelly, almost certainly written by James Clancy, although the performance review that I found referred to him as John Clancy.

The production of Mr Clancy's play, at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, London, would have been a memorable occasion, perhaps not for the play itself, but for playgoers of a certain vintage with an interest in British TV comedy.

As the first person, apparently, to comment online on the relationship between Inspector Henry Pewtress, who searched for the three bodies at Stringybark Creek and his grandson, Ballard Berkeley, the dotty and lovable Major Gowen on Fawlty Towers, my credentials on connections between the Kelly Gang and classic British television comedy are assured. (But I want to add to them in this blog post anyway.)

Let's start with Ned. He was played by, of all people, Harry H Corbett, who many of us will remember as the unassertive son, Harold Steptoe, always engaged in a battle of wits with his hideous, manipulating and terrible old Dad, played by Wilfred Brambell in the series about the junk shop owners, Steptoe and Son. (It was reconfigured in the States as Sanford and Son.) Harry added the H to his name to avoid confusion with the children's television puppeteer, Harry Corbett, who was the manipulator of the politically incorrectly named little bear, Sooty for many years. (It didn't work because it was only when I wanted to do research for this post that I realised that they were two different people.)

Anyway, Harry H did a commendable job! The review in the London Times for 24 May 1960 singled out young Harold - sorry, Ned - as 'a dashingly heoric figure' whose performance 'nicely suggests the slow conversion of an egotism which ends by convincing the outlaw that he is destined to take over the government of Australia in the name of the common people.' Sounds as if the reviewer picked up some of the subtleties, and Ned's monomaniacal and delusional ambitions certainly translate better to the stage when they are not restricted to northeastern Victoria!

Harry H was joined on the stage by Brian Murphy, who seems to have dual roles, the confirmed one as Ben Gould, and another one not listed in the cast. The reviewer again: 'Mr Brian Murphy has several delightful turns on his own, sometimes as an inept police sergeant and sometimes as a philosophic linesman in the telegraph service.' Sergeant Kennedy is not listed in the dramatis personae, so perhaps Brian Murphy played him as well. I didn't know that Ben worked as a linesman either. We can only wonder at why the playwright saw fit to include Ben, a comparatively peripheral character in our saga, and left out meaty roles like Francis Hare, Frederick Standish, Alexander Fitzpatrick, Sergeant Steele, Thomas Curnow and many others. (Constable Gomer Evans - whoever that was - got a part in the play, though.) Brian Murphy, of course, played the henpecked and easygoing George Roper in the sitcom 'George and Mildred.' No sign of Yootha Joyce (ie, Mildred) on the cast list though.

The third actor from classic British comedy had two roles listed. Both characters that he played were Irish, but otherwise the pair had little in common: Pat Quinn and Constable MacIntyre. We are not told which Pat Quinn was portrayed, and it is interesting that he was in the play when all members of the prolific and vital family of Lloyd were left out. It is hard to think of Grant playing either when we remember the toothsome and lecherous Jack Harper from 'On the Buses', who never seemed to stop chasing clippies (female bus conductors) except for when he was laughing with his mate Stan Butler (played by Reg Varney, incidentally the first person ever to use an automated teller machine) and at the pair's nemesis, Inspector Blake (played by Stephen Lewis.)

Despite its stellar cast - OK, a cast that would be considered stellar in the future - the play does not seem to have impressed the reviewer. The improvisation led to 'a great deal of mumbling [which had] the effect of stretching out a not very eventful action to a length of exactly three hours.' The music did not help either: 'There are many Irish jigs and there are also songs to help the story along, but ... all the songs seem to be variants on 'The Wild Colonial Boy', and none of them is particularly well sung.' One is left with the impression that the evening was not a memorable one, but a time traveller might enjoy seeing Harry H Corbett, Brian Murphy and Bob Grant all on the same stage and playing characters that were nothing like the personages for which they would be so fondly remembered.

Brian Murphy is still around, having survived his television wife, Yootha Joyce, for over thirty years. But Harry H Corbett left us early, dying in 1982 at only 57. Bob Grant's ending was perhaps even more sad. Typecast as the happy-go-lucky Jack Harper, his lack of employment opportunities thenceforth sent him into bouts of depression, and he tried to commit suicide on at least one occasion. In 2003 he was found dead in his home after taking his own life. He was 71.

As for the play, I don't think that you can read it anywhere. I looked for a copy everywhere I could think of, but no luck, and my dear friend, co-blogger and indefatigable researcher Sharon could do no better than find a copy of the program for sale at an extortionate price. The legend and the name lives on, though some of its manifestations were ephemeral. As someone famous might have said, such is life.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Glenrowan Inn's Mrs. Ann Jones and her Policeman Son [Sharon Hollingsworth]

Recently I was doing some Kelly Gang research along a certain avenue at the Trove historical newspapers site and turned a "cyber corner" (or turned a "virtual page"?) and ran right into Mrs. Ann Jones's policeman son!

If you will remember, for the "Kelly Gang From Within" series in the Sydney Sun (published in 1911) B.W. Cookson conducted interviews in 1910 and one of those whom he interviewed was Mrs. Ann Jones of the Glenrowan Inn. In the interview she stated that:

"I have four children living. My son Owen is in West Australia; Terry is a policeman in the West; Headington is a farmer over there; and Tom is a schoolmaster somewhere in New South Wales.

In Justin Corfield's "Ned Kelly Encyclopaedia" the Ann Jones entry states that she had 14 children and listed eight of them saying at the end of the list that there were "six others."

Amongst those names in Corfield I noted that "Terry" was not listed (nor any variation thereof).  Maybe he was one of the other six? Or maybe, just maybe, Cookson misunderstood her and instead of Terry, thought she said another name? Or maybe someone down the line transcribed his notes wrong or perhaps it was typeset wrong?  Remember that Mrs. Jones was very sick at the time of Cookson's interview and prone to coughing fits (and she died not long afterward). Maybe she was hard to understand at times?

Bear with me as I lay out evidence that perhaps Mrs. Jones's policeman son, instead of being Terry Jones, was maybe one of those actually listed in Corfield.

Ann had a son named Jeremiah who was born in 1874 (according to Corfield). He was one of four of her young sons who were locked in the Inn by Ned Kelly while the rails were being lifted prior to the siege of Glenrowan.

From the Sunday Times (Perth)  May 9, 1937 is of interest to know that one of the first to see Ned in his armor was the late Police Sergeant Jerry Jones of Merredin. When a toddler J.J.'s mother was the proprietress of the famous Glenrowan Arms, the hotel around which the battle between the police and the bushrangers raged and from which the widowed Mrs. Jones and her small family and a lot of non-combatants emerged under a flag of truce. But. in spite of that truce, the five-year-old son of Mrs. Jones, a brother to Jerry, was shot dead by a stray bullet fired from no one could exactly tell where. Jerry himself well recalled that before the police train came along to be stopped by by school-master Curnow waving a lamp with a red handkerchief around it, the gang - Dan Kelly, Steve Hart, and Joe Byrne - drank deep and heartily at Mrs. Jones' bar, played hop, step and a jump; rope quoits; and at the order of Ned, who came there several times and went away to put on his armor, paid up for the drinks to a penny.

[Ok, there are a few errors in the account, such as the hotel is called the Glenrowan Inn, not the Glenrowan Arms..Mrs. Jones was not a widow at the time...and the young man killed was 13, not 5...also, didn't Curnow himself say that he used a candle not a lamp? But we digress...]

Looking in other news articles I found information about Constable Jerry Jones of Perth doing his duty around the turn of the nineteenth into the twentieth century. I am not exactly sure what year he began his career (he was listed on the page of officers at the WA Police Historical Society website who began their career pre-1898. 1898 being the year that numbers were begun to be assigned to police), but it seems that he did indeed die with his boots on!

July 6, 1932

Sgt. Jones, officer-in-charge at the Merredin police station died suddenly from heart failure on the morning of June 29. He was 58 years of age and had been in charge of the station three years.

Dying in 1932 and being 58 years old fits in with the birth date of 1874 for Jeremiah Jones.

Another paper dated July 24, 1932 had this:

The death of Police-Sergeant "Jerry" Jones, of Merredin, removes another link from the story of the capture of the Kelly Gang In June, 1880. The mother of the late JJ was Mrs. Jones, the landlady of the hotel at Glenrowan, where the final battle took place, and where Ned Kelly, the only one of the gang alive, was taken prisoner. The late Sergeant Jones was probably among the remaining few to have seen Ned Kelly.

The website for the WA Police Historical Society has a grave listing for policeman Jeremiah John Jones in Merredin Cemetery.

I looked under the officers lists there and there was a T. E. Jones who joined long before Jeremiah, but how likely would it be that he was named Terry and was the son of Ann Jones in light of the fact that Jeremiah/Jerry was known to others as being the one in question and had been quoted recalling the siege? It is unlikely that so many would have been mislead and also the real one or his relations would have written to the papers protesting!

 I looked all over the net and in all the Kelly books I have and modern day articles up to this point that I have access to and no one else has publicly come up with the "Jerry is Terry" theory. Am I correct in this?
 If so, it would seem that just one letter of the alphabet sometimes makes all the difference in the world to researchers!

As an aside, I feel utterly compelled to mention about Ned Kelly's half-brother Jack King (who went by the Kelly name) who was a policeman out in WA from March 1906 until April 1908. If I did not bring it up I am sure someone else would surely have reminded me of the omission!

We can only wonder if Jack and Jerry ever crossed paths!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Patrick's Day is on the way! [Sharon Hollingsworth]

Raise your glass! Three cheers for the Irish!

This week is the opening of the "Not Just Ned: Irish in Australia" exhibition at the National Museum in Canberra. One of my friends hopes to go see it before it closes in July and has promised to do a guest blog about it if he does. I am looking forward to that!

Also, I found the following Ned Kelly/St. Patrick's Day tie-in article at the Trove/NLA historical newspaper site:

The Mercury

March 8, 1879

The latest freak of Mr. Edward Kelly (observes the Riverine Herald), is a very rich one, and fully maintains his character of being possessed of the very largest amount of impudence. In a mining centre, within the boundaries of the electorate of Rodney, a grand fete is to be held on St. Patrick's Day next. In this town resides one who is said to be acquainted with the Kelly and Quinn families, and last week he received a letter from Ned Kelly, enclosing a £5 note towards the funds for the demonstration on St. Patrick's Day, the recipient averring that Kelly naively states that the bank note was a portion of the plunder annexed at Jerilderie. The receiver of the money says it is not impossible that the Kellys will form a portion of the concourse at the fete

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kelly, by Eric Lambert - a troubled man writes about a troubled man [Brian Stevenson]

Brian McDonald's judgment was succinct on the novel, Kelly, by Eric Lambert: 'Not for research.' Published nearly fifty years ago, the work has unarguably been overshadowed by the novels of Peter Carey and Robert Drewe, but it is a powerful enough work on its own, and an entertaining read.

There are plenty of historical errors for the purists to stress over, but the work does not purport to be anything but a novel so Lambert does not have a case to answer. It matters little that Stringybark Creek is fought on 3 July, Ned rescues a grown man and not a boy from drowning, there seems to be a long period of time between the death of Aaron Sherritt and Glenrowan, and that Helen [sic] Jones, daughter of Anne Jones, dies in the siege. The gathering of traps, including Fitzpatrick, from Kelly's past to confront him at Glenrowan, is an effective touch, and it is to Fitzpatrick that the final insult, kicking the captured Kelly when he is down, is left. Fitzpatrick is described as 'merely unlovely' and, we are told, watching him was 'like seeing a skin lifted to reveal malignancy.'

The use made of some of the real characters in the drama is intriguing. Curnow is not the quiet and outwardly compliant schoolteacher, but an argumentative man who is caught trying to sneak away from the siege, but despite a blow on the head from Steve, tries and succeeds the second time. In a bizarre touch, his son has died in a train accident. Mary Miller, who as far as we know did not have a large part in the real life drama, is Ned's lover, friend and confidant. Squatter Angus McBean, who in real life was relieved of his watch by Harry Power, is a diarist and tells of nocturnal visits from the fugitive Kelly, where among other things, Kelly astonishes him with his take on the role of the Upper House or Legislative Council in the colonial Parliament: 'your [Legislative] council is Queen Victoria's cork.' Surprisingly, the fictionalised Ned informs McBean that he is 'quite a good speller' !

The Gang and their associates pretty well conform to their stereotypes. Dan is the kid brother. Joe is a sensitive soul, bursting into tears for the sake of the women and children when the inn is besieged, and reminding Ned after one of his (Ned's) tirades, 'in a voice as soft as a girl's' that he is not Jesus Christ. Aaron is as oily as ever, happy to take trap money but wincing from a feeling of self-disgust after shaking Nicolson's hand. Steve's characterisation is surprisingly well delineated. At one stage he accuses Ned of seeing him as 'the iffy one', the one that Ned does not quite trust. Ned answers, diplomatically, that he never knows what Steve is going to do next. When Steve accuses Ned of being obsessed with his mother, Ned decks him and then apologises. He denies, to a young chambermaid, ever firing a shot at Stringybark Creek.

But towering over them all, of course, is the tortured Kelly, the 'half wild ass of a man', to borrow Manning Clark's phrase. Kelly's face is 'set in time, never to grow any older.' Teri Merlyn, in her doctoral thesis on Eric Lambert, sees the novel as 'a sympathetic but acute observation of his decline into monomania and madness through isolation and a burning resentment against a regime he knows will never give him and his kind any justice.' In Lambert's novel, she continues, Kelly is an 'explosion of fury' against the historical injustice of English oppression of the Irish.

As for Lambert - he was a troubled and tortured man himself. The author of seventeen novels under his own name as well as novelisations of films was born in England in 1918 but came to Australia with his parents as a toddler. His war service left him in poor health: at one stage he was injured by a grenade, and he claimed to have an ulcer 'the size of a poached egg.' Lambert was talented and idealistic but hypertensive. His state of mind was, in the words of the Australian dictionary of biography 'unpredictable and disputative.' In 1947 the troubled Lambert joined the Communist Party and became mates with the celebrated Communist author, Frank Hardy, who was his best man at his first wedding. Their friendship was, in Teri Merlyn's words in her 1998 article on Lambert in Overland (a journal he helped to found in 1954) 'a tumult of idealistic political high jinks and high drama, fuelled by vast quantities of alcohol and prolific writing.'

In 1956 Lambert went to Hungary as an observer and broke with the Communists in the wake of their excesses after the Russian invasion of that nation. He wrote articles for the right wing press attacking Communism, and his friend Hardy saw him as a traitor to the cause, telling Lambert in an open letter 'you have more ex-mates than any other Australian.' Eric Lambert died of acute hypertensive heart failure in 1966. He was only 48.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Shenandoah Affair [Sharon Hollingsworth]

The Civil War ship, the C.S.S. Shenandoah, was a Confederate raider that docked in Melbourne in 1865 causing sensation amongst the populace and almost sparking an international incident. As an aside, when the Shenandoah arrived in Australia they were met with the news that Washington, North Carolina had fallen to Union forces (quite an uncanny coincidence, as that was my hometown). The Shenandoah's Captain, James Waddell, was himself a North Carolina native.

The arrival of the Shenandoah in Melbourne would have been around the time that young Ned Kelly saved the drowning Richard Shelton at Avenel (but some say he saved young Shelton in 1866). We can only wonder what young Ned had heard (and thought) about all the drama surrounding the Shenandoah (never realising that himself in several years time would make the same splash in the headlines). It had to have been on everyone's lips in Victoria as literally thousands thronged the ship during the first few days she was in port.

Several key Kelly players were involved with the Shenandoah while in
Melbourne, among them Charles Nicolson, Frederick Standish, Henry Gurner, Arthur Chomley, Graham Berry and Dr. Edward Barker. Dr. Barker was referred to only as "Dr. B." by a midshipman who was amongst those from the Shenandoah invited to a formal dinner at the Melbourne Club.  Dr. B. sat beside Midshipman Mason and talked non-stop about the art and science of hanging criminals. I surmised from just that bit that it was Dr. Barker as he had done the same thing at the post-execution (of Ned Kelly) lunch gathering at which he expounded at length on the subject in 1880. Then I did some follow up and read the actual diary/journal entries of the midshipman and he then made other references that confirmed to me it was indeed Barker. His reputation proceeds him, does it not?

I urge all to search out more about the Shenandoah and her sojourn in Australia, it is quite fascinating reading. There are many non-fiction books about the whole incident and I know of at least one fictional one, an historical romance written by Paul Williams called "The Shenandoah Affair" published in 1992. (Williams also wrote the non-fiction "Matthew Brady and Ned Kelly : Kindred Spirits, Kindred Lives.") Brian Stevenson sent me a copy of "The Shenandoah Affair" a few years back and I have read it at least three times, it is that good! Of course, many of the events are merely fabrications, but the historical aspects were handled very well and you feel like you were actually there as Williams is such a good writer. You get a real feel of how things were for the crew and the public alike during those exciting times.

In the acknowledgements for the book it says:
This book is a novel, but all quotations from, or references to affidavits, newspaper stories, parliamentary debates and official communications are factual.

Standish is not mentioned by name in it, but "Detective Superintendent Nicolson," Henry Gurner, Graham Berry and "Mr. Chomley" are in the book. Gurner is a most amusing character, always being a slave to his appetite! Capt. Waddell was a slave to quite another appetite! My favourite line from the book: "But each turn of the propeller took him swiftly away from the woman who had evoked in him such bittersweet emotions: frustration, joy, lust and anger, but above all, the savage love he had never experienced before." Good stuff!! Of course, there is enough of the nautical and historical stuff to offset the romance so men can enjoy the book too!

I have been looking around the net and I don't see if for sale new at this time but there are some for sale on the secondary market that run the gamut from $8 to $80! (I am hanging on to my copy!) Reminds me of the prequel to "Somewhere in Time" called "Memoirs of Elise" that was going for $65 and up secondhand when I found a mint copy for 99 cents at the Salvation Army Thrift Store! You can well imagine my delight that day!

Maybe some libraries down under might have copies of "The Shenandoah Affair"?

Or perhaps it will be reprinted in light of the fact that it is being made into a movie:

If the film is half as good as the book it should be a corker!



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Something Borrowed [Sharon Hollingsworth]

When Sgt. Kennedy and Constables Lonigan, Scanlon and McIntyre set out
on the hunt for the Kellys which turned in to what we know as the
Stringybark Creek incident they had many borrowed things with them.

They had borrowed a tent.

In a letter dated December 6, 1878 written to Sub-Inspector Pewtress,
Archibald McKenzie wrote:

To Mr. Pewtress, sub inspector police, Mansfield


On the 24th September 1878 the late Sgt Kennedy borrowed a tent from
me which was destroyed by the Kelly gang. I therefore desire to be
paid the sum of three (3) pounds, three (3) shillings, the value of
the said tent or equivalent, a duck tent 8 ft x 10 ft..

Archibald McKenzie, Mansfield

They had borrowed horses.

 In the Royal Commission Sadleir said:

 "As I have already informed Sergeant Kennedy by telegraph, he will be
required here to consult with the other sub-officers engaged in this
matter; let him come by to-morrow’s coach, bringing a plain saddle
with him, as I wish him to take back a horse specially fitted for this
expedition. Constable Scanlon and Constable McIntyre will also form
two of the party from the Mansfield end.” ...That horse that Sergeant
Kennedy was to ride was a very remarkable white horse, and I did not
think he was suitable for work of this sort, and I gave him another
quiet handy horse - that was the horse that McIntyre afterwards
escaped on..."

Constable McIntyre stated that:

Kennedy was riding a young, flash mare changed for a steadier horse
P18, which Constable Scanlon led up from Benalla.

They had borrowed weapons.

 In the Royal Commission Constable John Kelly said:

In March 1877 I was transferred to Wood's Point to take charge of the
Wood's Point station, and on the 23rd October 1878 I left Wood's
Point, in charge of a gold escort, for Benalla. On the 24th I arrived
at Mansfield, and the late Sergeant Kennedy met me at the coach. He
told me in confidence he was going out after the Kellys. He asked me
if I would let him have a rifle that Constable Horwood was going to
take with him on the escort. I told him that as there was only the one
rifle between us, it would be a very dangerous thing, but, after
consideration, I said, “Get a second revolver and give it to Horwood,”
and I said, “You can have the rifle.”

This weapon was a .500 calibre seven-shot Spencer carbine.

Another weapon, a double-barrelled breach-loading shot gun, was
borrowed from the Rev. Mr. Samuel Sandiford, an Anglican clergyman of
Mansfield. This weapon was the one McIntyre used to shoot at parrots,
which alerted the Kellys to the police party's near-by presence. It
was taken by the Kellys after bailing up the camp and later used
during the Euroa holdup and even later Joe Byrne used it to
assassinate Aaron Sherritt. Ironically, according to Ian Jones, it
"was almost certainly the one which fired the fatal shot at Kennedy."

There is one other thing that Kennedy, Scanlon and Lonigan probably
wished they could have borrowed.....time...and a whole lot more of it.