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Email Vault 2002

This page records the past feedback from readers. The emails contained in this feeback section do not necessarily represent the opinions of the creator and contributors of this website.
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Your say (and mine)

18/12/02 Re: King Valley Portal

The King Valley portal has a new home at
It has been revamped and updated. Could you please adjust your link to the new address.
Your site is looking great!
Greg Naylor

11/12/02 Re: DNA

Is there any Kelly DNA on record? Could it be done from the skull? This thing about testing the remains in an Ipswich cemetery - does anyone know if it was done yet?
Rob S (via Vince Allen's email address)

6/12/02 Re: Glenrowan

I've been thinking about the proposed developments at Glenrowan and thought I'd put some of my feelings on the public record. I welcome any comments.
It's a while since I visited Glenrowan but I remember it as having three great advantages.
1. The commercial development is pretty much confined to the western (Benalla) end.
2. The two most important sites - the Glenrowan Inn and the place where Ned was finally captured - are free from development at present. This may be good luck but I think there might be more to it.
3. The town is set in the Glenrowan Gap. On both sides of the main road are hills with distinctive ridgelines. This means that it's possible to look at photos from 1880 and see those ridgelines then look at them today. It gives a real sense of place and emphasises the reasons why the Kellys chose Glenrowan for their mad moment of glory.

While it's important for visitors who don't have a good grasp on the story to be able to enjoy their visit and appreciate the history there, as a dedicated Nedophile I don't want ANY development to intrude on the sites beyond a few discreet markers. Even the suggested paths, delineated by vegetation, which follow various people's activities during the seige seem a little bit much to me. When I "narrow my eyes" to quote Max Brown, I want to be able to see the Inn and the battle, I want to see Ned struggling down from the bush without having some sort of interpretive panel or whatever getting in the way. Those things should be confined to the edges.

And as for the proposed Stage Two, the multi-squillion dollar building, etc!!
Glenrowan needs sensitive development, visitors need a decent retelling of the story, Nedophiles need exact directions as to where everything took place so they can dream away, but these things can be achieved without compromising the site. Or am I just being elitist?
Can we have a discussion on this before it's too late?
Merry Christmas,
Marian Matta

26/11/02 Re: New Documentary being made

I read with interest your story about the documentary on the Kelly saga, currently in production, “Besieged-The Ned Kelly Legacy”. One of the film companies involved, Film Projects Australia has done some excellent work in the field of documentaries in the past. The producers are also aware that the accent of early Australians is in dispute and it will be interesting to see how they portray these early Australians. There are several Kelly Gang experts advising on this project and although they may be experts on the Kelly story itself, they are not qualified to advise on the accent used at that time. It would be hoped that Film Projects Australia have undertaken the necessary research in this area to uphold the excellent reputation this countries documentary makers have. Their accuracy and attention to detail is second to none and if this story is to be told again, let someone please get it right. In centuries to come, people will look at these documentaries as though they are “gospel”, being that they were made “so close” to the actual
Let us also hope that the Irish connection in this production does not dictate how early Australians will be portrayed.
Mick Fitzsimons

25/11/02 Re: Ned Kelly world premiere

PRESS RELEASE : Ned Kelly will have its world premiere in Melbourne on March 27 next year 2003.

I wonder if the Film company is aware the date chosen for the premiere is the 80th anniversary of Ellen Kelly's death (which was 27 March 1923.)
My initial reaction is that it is in very poor taste. However, I will assume they are probably unaware of the significance of the chosen date. Perhaps the 26 October or 11th of November would have been more appropriate if they are wanting a date specific to Ned.
But surely not the anniversary of his mother's death.
I wonder what is the opinion of those out there interested in the Kelly story?

I have tried to make contact with the film makers and their publicity department to no avail hence I am putting this in the public arena.
Ellen Hollow
Great Great grand daughter of Ellen and John Kelly, through Ned's sister Kate.

8/11/02 Re: Sergeant Arthur Steele

Hi, I need your help please. I'm looking for personal and family history of Arthur Steele. Hope you can help me. many thanks
Ann Perrin (nee Steele)
A possible source of information on Sgt. Steele's career would be the police historical museum. Also we suggest that you join a genealogical site on the internet (such as ), which can be a great source of both personal, and more general, historical information that could be of help in your search.

7/11/02 Re: Gentleman Ned

Dear All,
Just a quick note on the “Gentleman Ned” photo – I must say I’m glad to see that the experts have solved it once and for all. I never did think it looked like him, although as an amateur historian with experience in neither physiology nor photography I was willing to take a back seat and see where the ride took us (and what a bumpy ride it turned out to be!).
With regards to the sketch of Constable Kelly, I have to say the resemblance is quite uncanny, and it almost looks as if the sketch was made from the photo, don’t you think? As Ian Jones pointed out however, the photograph comes from the personal collection of the Lloyd family, which begs the question “Why would they have a photo of Constable John Kelly?”. History, as ever, asks more questions of us than it answers…. Keep up the good work – I look forward to seeing whether the final piece of the puzzle can be put in place.
Regards, Allison O’Sullivan.
(Anton Wick's great great-granddaughter)

7/11/02 Re: Dan Kelly

hi i need help on when Dan kelly died bye.
Jesse Dichristofaro
Dan died at the Glenrowan Seige June 28, 1880. (Some people believe he may have escaped, however so far no evidence supports this idea.) For more info see the Dan page.

5/11/02 Re: Need help with Assignment ...

Hi there Bailup :
I am doing a topic called "Why did Ned Kelly capture the popular imagination, both in his time, and subsequently in Australian popular culture ?" for my uni paper - but I cannot find a lot of information on why he is such an icon - could you help me out ?
Thanks a lot !!
Michael Kurtsen

Information and opinions on this subject tends to be scattered throughout most writings on Kelly, but some authors have devoted their attention to this question in more detail. The most recent and easily available would be 'The Legend of Ned Kelly' by Dr. Graham Seal (click here for review and interview), other sources would be 'Ned Kelly, After a Century of Acrimony' by John Meredith and Bill Scott, 'Ned Kelly, Man and Myth', a collection of essays by leading academics edited by Colin Cave, and a book that is relevant to Ned's own lifetime would be 'Ned Kelly, The Larrikin Years' by Graham Jones.

2/11/02 RE: Bailup

Dear bailup, this is the most informative Kelly site on the web! Thanks for all your efforts.
Martyn White

23/10/02 Re: Bob Crossley's question, Ned in Cowra?

Could this Ned Kelly have been Uncle Ned Kelly - does that fit the dates in your article?
Carolyn Allen

6/10/02 Re: Ned Kelly in Cowra NSW?

Hi, I am enclosing an article, reprinted in the Cowra Guardian 30/9/02 re Ned Kelly, Ben Hall & Gilbert working on the Cowra bridge I have replied to the paper saying the dates to not add up in anyway, but to my knowledge Ned never came up this far into NSW, I was wondering have you heard of this?
Regards Bob Crossley
Koorawatha NSW
(BangBang) Hall country
The town of Cowra is situated on the Lachlan River, 320 km west of Sydney. A bridge across the Lachlan was built at Cowra 1891 - 1893. According to the article first published in 1902, then later reprinted in Feb 1957 and 2002, Ben Hall, John Gilbert and Ned worked on the 'Cowra bridge'. While this makes a good tale, it is not actually possible as all were dead long before construction began. Ben Hall died on 5/5/1865, John Gilbert died 8 days later on 13/5/1865, and Ned Kelly was hung 11/11/1880. Work on the bridge did not commence until 11 years after Ned's death.
Was Ned ever in Cowra? The Royal Commission has a number of reported sightings of the gang, none of which include the town of Cowra, so, officially at least, the answer is no. The gang was reported as being sighted at Corowa on 26/6/1879, this was later shown to be untrue, but it is possible that the town name of Cowra has been confused with Corowa. We have found no evidence that Ned was ever in Cowra.
Thanks to D. White for providing me with this information.

4/10/02 Re: Vince Allen's new book

The newly released “history” of Dan Kelly was recently sent to us for review.
At first I took the Allen's seriously and did my best to assist them in promoting their new publication, but things just didn't make sense and I wasted a lot of valuable working time investigating various points in the text, only to find it was sheer fabrication. For example, when I pointed out to them that various authorities in the N.T. had verified that (1) Alice Springs was never a goldfield; (2) there was, nor ever had been, a pastoral lease called Uanda east of Alice Springs, or (3) there was never a township called Torrens Creek in the same geographical area, the Allens then (oddly) sent me a photocopied map of Queensland with Uanda and Torrens Creek highlighted!
Following are two emails I despatched to the co-author, Vince Allen.
From Bryan Clark, Manager, Centralian Media Services, Alice Springs. Australia.

October 1: ... Much of the text reads very much as a novel, including dialogue, which the reader has to assume is fictitious, and this sometimes gives the body of work an imaginary feel to it, as though the author might have concocted parts to fill any gaps that occurred along the way.
What a great pity it was that some researcher who has access to this man over a prolonged period of time did not give some consideration to tape recording an oral history with him. This authentic conversation would have more easily been accountable. For instance, if your Dan Kelly had mentioned an “Alice Springs goldfield”, This would have indicated a person with scanty knowledge of the area. Being related via a second person – namely, yourself – one must appraise the author's tendencies to elaborate on fact or even to assume blanks in the unrecorded, or unrecalled, narrative as it was initially expressed.
Overall, it is very well written, I think; it is clear and lucid and descriptive, revealing very much a writer with a novelist's bent.
I gained the distinct impression, too, that the writer had a liking for Old West (American) tales due to the occasional idioms employed and at one point a mention of a “bunkhouse” on an Australian cattle property. Cattle stations don't have bunkhouses, or not so on any I have known in outback Northern Territory or the north-west of Western Australia.
Page 118 is followed by page 103 and become slightly jumbled after that for 8 pages or so. Did this happen with all copies, I wonder?

October 4, 2002: I am very sorry to have to say this, but the more I have examined the veracity of your book, its claims and inferences, the less it impresses me. I can only recommend that it be read as a work of fiction.
We searched through the “Dictionary of Australian Names” for pastoral property, UANDA, and “the small town ...TORRENS CREEK , east of Alice Springs” without success.
Requested the Central Australian (Alice Springs) and Darwin branches of the Dept. for Infrastructure, Planning and Environment to search their vast resources for both names. I was informed, in due course, that neither name was known or had ever been documented, according to their records.
Neither has local historian ... of the Central Australian Historical Association, who was born in the Alice about 50 years ago, any memory, or know of the documentation, of either name. East of Alice Springs there are only two cattle properties, Undoolya and Ross River; thereafter, is a great eternal desert, completely uninhabited.
The postal department have no records of either place, currently or in the past.
Alice Springs Council records, ditto.
According to local archival sources, Alice Springs, as a town, did not exist until the August 30, 1933. Prior to that, the settlement was known as Stuart, and this consisted of the small community living and working in and around the Overland Telegraph Station, approximately 5 kms to the north of the current town site, alongside a permanent waterhole in the Todd River.
Arltunga (about 110 kms east of the Alice) was the first largest settlement of Europeans in Central Australia. Alluvial gold was first discovered there by a Joseph Hele and Isaac Smith in April, 1887. Therefore, Arltunga preceded Alice Springs. The Alice, they claim, was originally formed as a supply town for the burgeoning Arltunga goldfield. If, as you suggested in an earlier letter, that Dan was on a goldfield in Central Australia between the years 1895 – 1920, the only likely prospect would have been Arltunga. If this were true (and I doubt it), he would certainly have referred specifically to Arltunga and not the “Alice Springs goldfields” (which never existed, anyway) as an all-embracing description of the locality which he claimed to have visited.
Dan Kelly allegedly escaped from the Glenrowan hotel fire on June 29/30, 1880. That's seven years before Arltunga was founded. Born in 1861, Dan Kelly would then have been aged 19 years old in 1880. This means Dan would have been 72 years old at the time Alice Springs came into being.
Even in retrospect, when I now think of the Jim Ryan I once interviewed back in the 1960s, he would have had to have been over 100 years old, and he certainly was not of that vintage, that's for sure – perhaps 70 at the most.
It seems there are a lot of ambiguities inherent in this matter of late, a lot of conjecture, and a lot of seemingly baseless interpretations that should leave the researcher dissatisfied.
A Queensland informant has told me of recent TV publicity about “Dan Kelly's grave” being located at Ipswich (or thereabouts) and that certain entrepreneurial types were actively promoting this idea to the tourism market. Is this true?

Having now finished the reading of your book, and pursued some enquiries, I must tell you in all honesty that I think it bears all the marks of an effort that has been rushed into print with indecent haste, that it is poorly researched, and that it should never be considered a valid addition to Australian historical literature. Genuine historic research is a difficult enough chore at any time. This book of yours only serves to confuse issues and is at best a mischievous, or naïve, concoction of imaginary and unsubstantiated data, steeped in irresponsible gossip, speculation and fallacy, that really should never have been dignified with publication, self-funded or otherwise.

21/09/02 Re: Kelly (23/09/02 Note: have since had a request asking for sources and more information. I have expanded my original answer below.)

I am getting really involved in the history of the Kelly gang. I would like to know who identified the two bodies as those of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart in Jones' Hotel after the fire at Glenrowan?
Carlotta Mitoli.
The bodies found in the ashes of the inn were burnt beyond recognition, and it was obviously not possible to do scientific testing done on the bodies found as the year was 1880, but a reliable identification was made just prior to the bodies being engulfed in flame. It was the principal witness (Catholic Priest from W.A.) Father Gibney's sworn testimony to the Royal Commission that confirmed the high likelihood of the bodies being that of Dan and Steve. He reported that he had seen, and touched, two young men lying dead on the floor of the inn just as the fire began to consume the building. Later, he gave an interview to a Sydney newspaper,
(source: A Short Life), where he gave descriptions that the two dead bodies were "beardless boys," which corresponded with the two missing members of the Kelly gang. The account he gave to police, the R.C. and journalist remained consistent. Father Gibney was an entirely credible and unbiased witness.
Another secondary witness, police Constable Dwyer, swore to the Royal Commission (#9539) that he had seen two dead bodies in the inn, "I knew him to be Dan Kelly from the low forehead, and the description of them, and that the other must be Steve Hart." (#
9540) Comm: "Could you swear those were the two men, Hart and Kelly?" Dwyer, "Yes, I knew the man I saw in that position, with black hair and sallow complexion, was Dan Kelly."
Additionally, the only two people unaccounted for after the siege and fire were Dan and Steve, no one else was reported missing. (Notably, the hostages in the inn had spent many hours together, and so far, research has suggested that none of them reported vagrants being present.)

18/09/02 Re: 'Burnt to a Cinder, was I?'

I have read the Book by Vince Allen "Burnt To A Cinder, Was I ?" and will let it stand on it's merits.

My complaint is that in the press release for this publication Mr Allen sort to add credibility to his story by the statement: "......It was through Jack (Allen) and the descendants of Kate Kelly that Vince got to know Dan Kelly ...."
Within the time frame Vince Allen claims his father was given this information from Kate's descendants, there were only three surviving descendants - my mother, her brother and his young daughter.
My uncle, having served in the Middle East, was recovering from a war injury.
They were certainly not in Towoomba.
My mother, would never have spoken of Kelly business to any one outside the family. Through out their lives they were both very careful what they said and to whom.
As to the rumour of Dan and Steve escaping the fire at the Glenrowan siege it was long ago
dismissed as fantasy.
Ellen Hollow

18/09/02 Re: Ned's skull

I write in response to Lewis Higgs' query re Ned's skull. There is also a very good photo of the skull in Ned: The Exhibition souvenir book.
I should also add that there are three plaster moulds of the same skull in Canberra. Recently, one of those casts were tested against images of the 'Baxter skull' and Ned's death mask, proving conclusively that the skull he has is not Ned's. Most people will be aware of this already of course, but I must say that I am suprised that it received very little if any media attention. Hopefully Baxter will hand it back, and he will fade away forever.
As I understand it in this very confusing tale, the skull that was stolen from the Old Melbourne Gaol (apparently by the son of a very prominent politician) came from the Institute Of Anatomy in Canberra. Before the skull was given to the National Trust to exhibit, the three moulds were taken and kept in the Institute's archives.
I understand that this information may only confuse the issue further, but as co-organiser of Ned: The Exhibition, I had the oppurtunity to speak directly with people who had an intimate knowledge of the skull story, including those in Canberra. I hope this info is useful to you and your readers.
It will be very interesting to see what the Old Melbourne Gaol does with the rest of the human remains in its possession.
Cheers, Matt Shore
Ned: The Exhibition.

17/09/02 Re: Book Review

In your book review regarding 'Burnt to a Cinder, was I?' you state that 'But wait, there's more! Apparently there is a chance Ned escaped also...' Could you please state where you found this information in the book.
Regards Vince Allen
(Author of 'Burnt to a Cinder, was I?')
The implication that it was possible that Ned Kelly escaped and was not hung, was made on page 189.

16/09/02 Re: Book Review

Congratulations on the book review Burnt to a Cinder, was I?. I only hope that every person who reads the book also reads your review - there are too many myths out there already!
I'm sure some people are genuine in their beliefs, others, however, seem to be only after the financial gain. (I visited the "Dan Kelly Homepage groups" site to find that the two messages for the discussion had been deleted my the manager! - So much for open debate - it's okay only if you agree with the boss!)
In 1927 Ambrose Pratt's book Dan Kelly Outlaw. Being the Memoirs of Daniel Kelly (Brother of Edward Kelly, Leader of the Kelly Gang of Bushrangers). Supposed to Have Been Slain in the Famous Fight at Glenrowan., caused quite a furore. Jack Bradshaw in his work on Kelly stated that Ned's brother Jim "... jumped from off his seat as if mad" when Bradshaw showed him Pratt's lies about Dan. (Bradshaw's history does however contain a large number of mistakes as well but of Pratt's work he states that it should be "... placed in closets, only to be utilised as waste paper under our present sanitary accommodation.)
Well done BailUp and keep up the good work.
Brian McDonald

10/09/02 Re: Skull

On your web page you give photos of two skulls.
Are there any other photos of the two skulls available? In particular, is there one of the OMG Skull No. 1 taken of the left side?
Lewis Higgs
Photos of the genuine skull are hard to come by, the photos we show on our skull page are from D. White's personal collection.
Tom Baxter and his mystery skull (that is not Ned's), were photographed a number of times for newspapers and printed both here and in West Australia, which
will most likely be archived.
There is a photo on page 120 of Keith Dunstan's book,'Saint Ned' which shows a front view of the OMG skull. Prior to 1971 the skull was originally stored at the Institute of Anatomy, in Canberra, and photographed there. You could try contacting the A.C.T. Government to see if they can provide you with a photograph taken of the left side.
Note: The photo (picture right) was taken with the Institute's curator, William Stone, in Canberra in 1969.

9/09/02 Re: Kelly's Creek bullets (click to original email)

Bill Denheld asks if the Kellys made their own bullets. Answer - yes.

Bullet moulds were found (or perhaps that should read "found") at the Eleven Mile after the Fitzpatrick affair. Two bullets made from a mould were produced in the trial of Mrs Kelly and the two Bills and the doctor agreed that one of them could have made the wound in Fitzpatrick's wrist.
When Ned was being taken by train to his preliminary trial at Beechworth, he chatted to the police about this and that. I quote from the Weekly Times of August 7th, 1880, "He also boasted that he had manufactured his own cartridges, bullets and powder and asked Sergeant Steele if he had ever used any of the latter, and on being answered in the negative, said that he (Kelly) had never seen better and if a person once tried it he would never use any other."
Also. at Bullock (Kelly's) Creek, the reporter who turned up there not long after 26th October 1878 noted that the trees around had been fired into and the bullets had been dug out and presumably melted down and recycled.
I hope this is of some assistance.
Marian Matta.

25/08/02 Re: Ned Kelly

Hi, What a great website! I am an American woman who has fallen quite in love with this Aussie rogue/outlaw Ned Kelly! Fascinating facts, presented entertainingly! I really enjoyed the presentation of the disputed facts, though we "Neddies" always come down squarely into his
I am looking very forward to the Heath Ledger movie "The Kelly Gang" to come to America next year. Not many Americans know of Ned, though I had heard of him due to being a Movie Western fan as well as a Rock n' Roll fan and the fact Mick Jagger was known to have starred in the 1970 version of "Ned Kelly". That particular part of the 19th century has always held a fascination for me and our own American gunslingers and outlaws have long held spots in my heart and now Ned joins them there!
Long Live Ned,
Sharon Hollingsworth

18/08/02 Re: Prussian connection

Strong oral history in my family has my Great Grand father Johann Freidrich Kuckel being Ned Kelly's blacksmith at Jindera NSW and sheltering the gang there as well. Recent discussion have earthed other Prussian families in the area having connections to Ned Kelly, particularly to the armour. Friedrich Kuckel was the Blacksmith at Jindera NSW.

Following this period Great GrandPa kept moving his whole life and eventually ended up in Western Australia dying in 1947. He was never comfortable staying in the one place and noone could ever work out why!
Regards, John Schilling
Canberra Australia

6/08/02 Re: Ned's knees

Given the phrase "Achilles heel" has such a wide acceptance, how long do you think it will be before Australians start saying "Ned's knees" as an indication of a flaw in a plan or system? I hereby encourage all fair dinkum Aussies to start putting this phrase to good use!!
Also I was wondering what is being done to protect Ned's armour from eventual destruction via rust?
Wayne Vickers
According to my source at the State Library of Victoria - for rust to occur the armour needs to be either in water, or subject to high humidity. Ned's armour is kept in a climate controlled area, where the humidity is controlled. There is a small amount of rust on the armour, but this was there before the Library obtained it.

22/07/02 Re: As Ever

On a more public level, congratulations on the piece on the Felons Apprehension Act. I've heard people arguing about the level of actual support for the Gang. With such a harsh act in place, it's no wonder people kept their loyalties to themselves, both during and long after the gang's period of freedom. I look forward to further episodes.
Marian Matta

19/07/02 Re: Ned's death certificate

In response to Veronica Rowan's email to this site, Ned Kelly's death entry was (and still is) on display at Ned: The Exhibition. It is not a seperate 'death certificate' as such, it is an entry from a large register. As far as I am aware, seperate 'certificates' were not issued. All details pertaining
to Ned's death and burial were entered into the register. It is taken from the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It states his cause of death as 'judicial hanging', his occupation as 'labourer' and age as '28'. Apparently through the years even Ned lost track of his age, and thought that he was around 28 at the time of his trial. It will be on display until July 31st 2002. Cheers, Matt Shore
Ned: The Exhibition.

16/07/02 Re: The Bullets of Kelly's Ck

You have created a very nice Kelly web site with 'Bailup', well done.
I have a story you may be interested in. In 1985 I detected the Kelly's Creek area site and found lots of 'old' rubbish, bullets and musket balls of great interest, and I have written an account of this together with pictures in support of my belief that the bullets are related to the Kelly saga .
The text below, I would like you to paste into your area for Feedback.
Thanking you, Bill Denheld
I would like to ask if readers have any knowledge of the following;

  • I am looking for expert feedback about .45 calibre bullets and cartridges of the type used in the Webley hand guns that police were issued with at Stringybark Ck - and taken by the gang after the killings. And secondly, does anyone have any knowledge of cartridge re-loading kits that may have been part of police special issue at the time ?
  • It is said that Dan Kelly had a 'rifle' at Stringybark Ck. Does anyone know of this rifle ?
  • Joe Byrne 'had a shotgun of unusually large bore'. What constitutes 'unusual large bore?
  • What calibre was a 'Fowling Piece', was it shotgun half gauge? Or what gauge. The police had a ' fowling piece' fire arm and 36 cartridges. Were these firearms intended to apprehend the outlaws? At Stringybark Ck, Ned emptied out several cartridges and re loaded them with solid projectiles. Would he have put in a musket ball, or what ?
  • Ned had an old muzzle loading 'Carbine' ( rifle) .577calibre What did he shoot from it ? lumps of lead, musket balls, cone shaped bullets, would he have had a bullet mould? Considering he was a crack shot with this weapon he must have had well formed projectiles at hand.
  • The following is just an observation concerning the logistics of using ready to use ammunition. I could not imagine police having firearms that were dependent on a supply of ready made bullet and cartridge assemblies at that time. If this was the case, perhaps this explains why the police had so much ammunition with them, as suggested by Ned who wrote in his Jerilderie letter page 38. Quote - "..they had eighteen rounds of revolver cartridges each three dozen for the fowling piece and twenty one spenceir-rifle cartridges and God knows how many they had away with the rifle this looked as if they meant not only to shoot me only to riddle me.."

This works out to about 139 cartridges, not counting what the police had with them when they returned to the camp. This sounds like a lot, but if you are dependant on ready made cartridges you had better have too many than not enough. In my opinion these numbers do not constitute an over supply of ammunition, considering there were four police on a known journey with an unknown outcome.

16/07/02 Re: THE FUTURE

Well, "Ned: The Exhibition" is finally coming to an end and I for one will miss it. For a Kelly enthusiast a comprehensive, tasteful exhibition has been a long time in coming and it has furthered my appreciation for an epic story along with increasing my circle of friends. It was a pleasure last week-end to be involved with the third "Ned Tour" in the North East and be able to talk to like minded individuals who even amongst Kelly fans remain polarised.

And the best may be yet to come. The proposed permanent museum in Beechworth will be a fitting beacon for enthusiasts and those with a passing interest. This is a "golden age" for those who cherish the Kelly saga. 2 new books coming out this year ( Graham Seals second Kelly book and Jones revamped book on Joe and Aaron), along with the Heath Ledger movie will be only the start I reckon. And look out for Mike Lawsons new website on Joe Byrne and (hopefully) Aaron Sherritt. Well done to Matt Shore and Brendan Pearse too for carrying the torch high. The books, museums and websites, the coming documentary and Heath as Ned Kelly will certainly keep me happy...

14/07/02 Re: Ned's death ???

Are you able to tell me why Neds death certificate was not on display at the exhibition held at the Old Melbourne Gaol and also do you have any idea how they got Neds age wrong on that certificate?
Veronica Rowan
Regarding the first part of your question Veronica, I suggest you contact the exhibition organizers. You could give them a try directly, (Matt Shore is contactable at
The second part of the question is a tricky one to answer. Unfortunately Ned's correct date of birth is highly unlikely to ever be known with certainty. Due to the birth of his older sibling Anne, we do know that he could not have been 28 at the time of his death. (The oldest he could have been in November 1880 was 26.) It was reported that, at Glenrowan, Ned said he was about 28 years old. Whether this had any bearing on the date on his death certificate is unable to be determined.
It seems most likely that the date on his death certificate was simply a clerical error. Particularly as the officials at the time would most likely have considered it unimportant information to source accurately - given that they were recording the death of someone as inconsequential as an executed criminal.
(nb: We have not yet obtained a copy of Ned's official death certificate in order to verify that his age was recorded as 28 years.)

13/07/02 Re: OUTLAWS

Great work on the Felons' Apprehension Act of 1878. It was very informative, particularly as there is so little around about the subject. It is a great resource for Kelly students. What is your next topic?
Bill Chinnock

Thanks Bill, (actually there are several topics on the go at present.)

6/07/02 Re: Felons' Apprehension Act

I have just finished reading your work on The Felon's Apprehension Act.Thank you for all your hard work. It is a well written and informative piece, and reflects an obviously exhaustive search for the truth in this matter. The question of whether or not the gang were aware of their status as outlaws at the time of Glenrowan is an interesting one. It is eerie to consider that they may not have been aware of the change to their status as Victorian citizens so close to the events at Glenrowan; made all the more spooky when one glances along the timeline you have constructed.
Well done, Bailup team ~0~
A N Baron


Ned Kelly and Arthur Steele figures are officially 'on the market' as of this Friday and will be available in three formats:
1. GLOSS painted & boxed with a history sheet & signed and dated certificate of authenticity.
2. MATT painted & boxed with a history sheet & signed and dated certificate of authenticity.
3. UNPAINTED/UNASSEMBLED & boxed kit with a history sheet & colour photo of the finished figure.
PRICES: Painted: $39.95, Kits: $21.95
POSTAGE: 10% within Australia.
PAYMENT: Cash, cheque or money order (no credit cards)
DELIVERY TIME: Painted figures: 4-6 weeks, Kits: Immediately
Craig & Jason Pearse
Wilson Edward Toy Soldiers
TEL +61-3-54-483805

3/07/02 Re: Victoria police at Glenrowan query

Many thanks for your prompt and informative reply. I've now located some excellent photos...which are inevitably in black and white! Am I correct in assuming that police uniforms would have been dark blue? And can you advise on the uniforms worn by the trackers - blue again? Many thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this.
Ad Krell

3/07/02 Re: Website

Thanks for the info re poster. Great site.
Cheers, Barb
Jamieson & District Historical Society Inc

2/07/02 Re: Bank Safe

I am trying to locate the whereabouts of the bank safe from Jerilderie that was robbed by Ned Kelly. Can you tell me who has this safe or, if not can you suggest anybody that may know this information?
Alister Greenlaw

28/06/02 Re: The Dan and Steve 'Great Escape'

Ellen Hollow's response to recent press articles suggesting that Dan and Steve escaped.
Click Here>>

21/06/02 Re: Don Farmer's request

The comic you mention would be Stan Ballard's The Authentic Story of Ned Kelly in Pictures.
This comic strip was based on J.J. Kenneally's book and was originally published in serial form in The Australian Boy Fortnightly Magazine between Sept-Oct 1954. Around 1954 -55 it was published by Standard Newspapers in comic format. As far as being common - I haven't seen any for sale in over 10 years.
There was another comic strip published entitled The Kelly Gang Rides by "Lucky" Doolan, however this was much smaller than the "Disney" size being only 7 inches tall by 4 3/4 inches wide.
Regards, Brian McDonald
Thanks Brian.

17/06/02 Re: Ned Comic

We received this request from Don Farmer who is searching for an old Kelly comic.
Kelly buff Don Farmer of Wangaratta is very keen to hear from anyone who has, or has read a comic on the Kelly Gang. Don was given one by his father Ron, himself a very keen follower of the Kelly story, many, many years ago. It was about the size of a Disney comic with illustrations in black and white. According to Don the story was surprisingly true to known fact and reading the comic sparked, in Don, a lifelong interest in the Kelly story. Sadly the whereabouts of the comic has long since become unknown and he is keen to hear from anyone who can shed any light on how common/ uncommon the comic was.
If anyone can help, he can be contacted by writing to P.O.Box 1129, Wangaratta, Victoria.

13/06/02 Re: Thyanx

Thanx I found your info on your web site very very very very very very very very very USEFUL!!!!
You are very very very very welcome.

12/06/02 Re: Victoria police at Glenrowan query

Hello there,
Have greatly enjoyed your site and hope you can help with the following.
I'm working on a model of the Glenrowan siege, but I'm having difficulty finding details of the police uniforms which would have been worn by the besiegers in 1880. Any help/pictures/links/details would be greatly appreciated.
Best regards, Ad Krell

Apparently neither the Benalla police, nor the Wangaratta police reinforcements wore uniforms, however the Queensland police (native) Trackers did wear uniforms.
A relatively accessible resource for your reference would be the book 'A Pictorial History of Bushrangers' (H. Nunn, Bill Wannan, Tom Prior. 1968). It provides many sketches and photographs of the police at and around the time of the siege, both in and out of uniform. (Note pages 120 - 149).
One sketch on page 134 shows police in uniform firing towards the inn. It is difficult to determine whether the men portrayed are the uniformed Queensland black trackers, but the hats of those pictured appear to be quite different to photographed caps worn by the trackers (photo page 126). Indicating instead that there were perhaps members of the Victorian police in uniform. (Possible explanations for this, include those in uniform were not specifically involved in the Kelly pursuit and/or, sent as reinforcements from other stations).
Although most of the police involved in the siege were not wearing uniform, we need to allow for the possibility that perhaps some of those present were in uniform at the time of the siege. It is also possible however, that the police in the sketch were infact in plain clothes but the sketch artist drew them in uniform, in order to indicate to the general public reviewing the picture, who and where the police were. Other details in that particular picture are reasonably accurate, but the name of the artist isn't supplied - so from cursory investigation Bailup is unable to determine if the sketch was done on site, or done remotely and entirely from the imagination of the artist.
For more information you may wish to visit the Victorian Police Museum, building C, concourse level, World Trade Centre Melbourne, (phone 03 9247 5215). Good luck with your model.

10/06/02 Re: Ned Kelly's accent

It is pleasing to see a Website on the Kelly saga that is willing to question things that are often taken as “fact”. The History in Dispute section is vital to helping weed out fact from fiction. Your answers and comments to e-mail submitters are of the highest standard, showing a completely fair and unbiased view. Some interesting points have also been raised which will certainly get some people thinking.

One of the biggest misconceptions lately, is the way that Ned Kelly and indeed all early "Australian born" settlers are portrayed with a thick accent that would depict where their parents came from. I have aired my views on the Ironoutlaw Website and have come in for some criticism. People are quoting hearsay or using their own ill informed logic to come to their
conclusions. Some state that the Kelly’s were isolated in an Irish environment and this is clearly not the case in “all” the areas where they lived. The influence on a young child learning to speak would soon be offset once they had regular contact with other people and especially schooling.

The facts are that Australian English (including our accent) started from the earliest of European settlement and is the culmination of many factors. The combining of different languages and accents and the formation of new words , phrases and sayings, led to a unique pronunciation that was definitely distinguishable from those born abroad. Although our accent was in its infancy it was developing (as it has and will continued to develop), these earliest of Australian born settlers should be depicted as being different and sounding different. People of that time could pick the locally born settlers, yet in this era of modern films we cannot, so what hope do people from overseas viewing these monstrosities have? We are constantly being bombarded with fake accents for Australians as if we have no identity, or are ashamed of our past. It wasn’t that long ago that Americans dubbed our films and most Americans thought we spoke like them.

For those with an open mind or would like more information on this “important subject”, it can be viewed on under the E-MAIL and GREAT DEBATE sections, as there is far too much to clutter this new and wonderful Website. Let us hope that we will see the day when oversees interests and/or money, does not dictate how Australians are portrayed.
Mick Fitzsimons


FANTASTIC SITE!!! Keep up the good work. Let the truth be known. Ned would have wanted it that way. A. Baron

31/05/02 Re: Oral History

Hi, to all Readers of Bailup. After reading about ORAL HISTORY, which is the history or stories that my Father told me, also visiting the site of where the armour was fashioned, hearing of the journal regarding the Republic of Victoria, which was being planned, ONLY ORAL HISTORY, so presumably not correct. ???? Lola Rowe (nee LLOYD)
Great question Lola!
I do not think in any way, that because something in the Kelly history is 'oral' that it is presumably not 'correct'. Oral history is extremely valuable, particularly in light of the huge gaps in the official history of the Kelly story. As far as any history is concerned, things remembered but not written down, tend not to be as reliable - particularly when it comes to details, i.e. the basic facts may be entirely correct, but details here and there become lost or altered. Oral history needs to be used carefully, with its sources credited appropriately. In this way if conflicting accounts do arise, it makes it possible to resolve or explain how these differences may have arisen.
Oral history of the Kelly story is extremely valuable and must be treated with care. History researchers cannot present it as 'fact' per-se, but must view it with the possibility that it may not be 100% accurate. (One need only look at the varying eyewitness accounts given to the 1881 Royal Commission, to see that even testimony given shortly after an event can be contradictory or factually flawed.) While 'oral history' from direct descendants of people involved is often the only source of information, unfortunately un-attributed 'oral history' can cover for fabricated stories. (e.g. False stories have been published like this one from a Bill Bryson book, "For three years, Kelly and his gang laid low, but in 1878 four policemen tracked them here. Somehow Kelly and his men captured and disarmed the policemen. Then they murdered three of them in a slow and pretty horrible way...Shot them in the balls and let them bleed to death. To maximize the pain and indignity.") Giving credit where it is due also reduces the opportunity for this sort of fabrication. It is only by the sharing and accrediting of credible oral history, that the numerous theories and possible falsehoods can be put to rest.
Unfortunately with the Kelly story only the government or 'official' side was documented and presented to the public. This is why I note and value the oral history available from many sources so much! When it comes to the Kelly story researchers (and no doubt our readers) feel remarkably fortunate to have so much of the story alive and well in people like Lola.
Thanks for your contribution Lola!


Groovy website, can't wait for the movie. Heath Ledger get your gear off. excellent!

22/05/02 Re: Peter Carey

I found your website by accident but am pleased that I did. I have just finished reading the 'The True History of the Kelly Gang' by Peter Carey and am about to study it in my book club. I thought it was an excellent read, but I was wondering how factually based it is? Can you enlighten me at all? Thanking you in advance.
Regards, Ciaran Davis
Despite its literary success, Carey's book has been met with a lot of criticism from Kelly enthusiasts for not maintaining historical accuracy. This is mainly due to the title of the book giving the impression that is a history book. (I have even observed this book in the non-fiction section of a major bookstore chain.) It is however a novel. Unfortunately the errors of fact in it cannot be explained simply.
Therefore I recommend that you read one of the many other Kelly books available in order to do a comparison, (e.g. 'Ned Kelly' by John Malony, 'A Short Life' by Ian Jones, and 'Ned Kelly, The authentic illustrated story' by Keith McMenomy, which are more factually based). For a comprehensive book review go to
Most importantly - No, Ned did not have a daughter, or a wife named Mary! (That we know of anyway).


Well Sam, I for one did NOT crack a smile over breakfast this morning when I saw front page of "The Age". Are we taking delight in seeing Ian Jones make a mistake? I don't think the Kelly student follows him blindly- we all have minds of our own but I (and many others) RESPECT him for the great work he has done and his authentication to me still seems solid. I seem to remember so called "experts" ( with qualifications no less) claim the Apollo landing photographs were faked. I also recall vividly the "Hitler Diaries" fiasco of 1982/83 which saw many volumes of "Hitlers personal archive" authenticated by experts from the U.S., Germany and U.K. It was interesting seeing them back peddle when it was revealed they were taken in by a small time con artist and forger. Ian Jones is an expert on the Kellys and indeed welcomes debate. Whether or not a mistake has been made, please don't lose site of the fact that due to his work (and others) the Kelly student is spoilt in terms of available information. I don't think the "Gentleman Ned" debate has ended solely because The Age have presented further info. Ther's more to come!

18/05/02 Re: Bailup was right!!!

Well I cracked a huge smile over my Corn Flakes this morning! :-) The front page of The Age tells us that the 'Respectable Ned' photo is NOT Ned Kelly!
No surprises there - but it is nice to see the experts (with qualifications to prove it), confirming that the photo had been misidentified. Just as Bailup had been brave enough to publicly infer some time ago. Well done Bailup!
I wrote a while back saying Tom Lloyd could not have written the name on the back and myself got criticised. Tom would have known how to spell his cousin’s name; to me it was obvious he could not have written it, as the name on the back of the photograph (according to Christies) was misspelled as ‘Kelley’.

History is about hours of tedious researching for facts – dates, names, and places and then comparing, questioning and searching for authentication. All of which are of course open to some error, but hearsay is utterly unreliable and highly prone to error. This photograph was identified from hearsay and the ‘fact’ that it did not look like Ned in his authentic police photographs was ignored. The result of which was that someone parted with $19K for something of almost no value. It shows clearly why nothing must be accepted without question!
I do not understand why everyone is so afraid to question any Kelly authority? Ian Jones has put in heaps of time and done a lot for the Kelly story, but he is not beyond making a mistake - as this one shows. Ian has made an embarrassing error and staked his reputation on it – if nothing else it shows him to be simply just one of the rest of us. Shall we stop treating him as the Deli Lama from now on and put his knowledge in perspective? Lets not forget (like them or not) there are many other long time Kelly researchers out there, (Dr John McQuilton, Keith McMenomy and Gary Dean to name a few.)

8/05/02 Re: The Fitzpatrick Incident

Really like your website. Very cleanly laid out, the information not at all cluttered like on so many sites.
One question/criticism though if I may be so bold. At several points the website refers to things Bailup says without telling us where Bailup says that. The best example is on the History in Dispute page in the Fitzpatrick Incident section where you write: "Bailup tires to clarify the fact from the fiction and present a number of possible scenarios of what might have happened. (Including examining Fitzpatrick's character)." Where does Bailup do that? I looked around the site and there doesn't seem to be anything else on the Fitzpatrick incident. This really confused me to start with and I wondered whether Bailup was a book and this website was just the promotional site. Is that it? The reason I ask is that I'm very keen to hear your take on the Fitzpatrick incident.
Best regard, and thanks again for the great site,
Thanks for your comments Kiri. No this is not a promotional site; I am studying the history involved in all areas of the Kelly story and share my findings with anyone interested. The site is however a work in progress. As explained on the home page - The History in Dispute and Accepted History sections provides a list of what will be investigated and presented. What you see on the history pages are outlines - please follow the "More Detail" links and where there is none - keep an eye out for they won't be far away, (e.g. The Fitzpatrick section is not yet complete). I am working hard, and dedicated to uncovering the 'facts' of the Kelly story. This does take time to do thoroughly, but will persist.

17/5/02 Re: Congratulations

Just thought I would push through the vast crowd of congratulatory fans to add my two cents worth. It is such a pleasure to see what you have produced here. I am probably one of the few who have an inkling of how much background research is going into this awesome site. And I use the word "awesome" in its Oxford dictionary sense!
Please keep your noses to the grind stone, as you are producing such wonderful work here. History deserves this kind of dedication.
Cheers, Angeline Baron

3/5/02 Re: Feedback

Hi. Very impressive site, keep up the good work, keeping us up todate, Friends, Sympathisers and the odd Relative or two !!!!!!
I have enjoyed your pieces of interest. Thanks. Lola Rowe (Lloyd.)

2/5/02 Re: Kelly country tours

Its interesting to hear that a "Tourist Trail" is being considered by a couple of shires to capitalise on the increasing surge in interest in The Kelly Gang. I just hope there is one place that is off their itinerary. The Computerized Theatre or what ever it's called, situated at Glenrowan.
The place looks like it was built in the mid seventies and nothing seems to have been spent since. It is the tackiest and most pathetic thing I have ever had to sit through, not only did it disgust me but my entire family..
Bye the way , love your new updated site
keep up the good work
regards, Paul O'Keefe
(Steve Hart's great great nephew)
(Etty Hart's great great grandson)

17/4/02 Re: Ned

Yes. it certainly looks a great site, but who am I writing to? First time I found it today but I am looking for a name, thanks. Lola

16/4/02 Re: Feedback

I really like your site :)
Nice to see that someone is approaching the Ned Kelly legend as an historian.One of the hardest things to teach kids about history is that we don't know everything, and even what we do know is often presented with the bias of the author/witness. I really like the title 'History in Dispute', it says it all really. Also nice work on the skull, perhaps this is why Baxter has never been charged for the crime he claims he committed. Makes me wonder who did take it though. You have set yourself a big task, good luck! Regards, Bill Chinnock.


Congratulations! Just called in to see how the new site was shaping up and you should both be justly proud. With the outline you've given, there is going to be a lot of research ahead for both of you. Judging by your last site, however I'm confident that the research will be thorough and reliable. It will be a site worth visiting at least once a week.
Congratulations again and keep up the excellent work.


I read with enthusiasm your opinion and that of your readers re: the 'gentleman' photo of our friend Ned. Of all the exhibits in Ned: The Exhibition, it is that particular image that continues to cause debate. (I would firstly like to know how Sam Bennett knows that Tom Lloyd didn't write Ned's name on the back of the photo!) I, for one do not doubt that the photograph is Ned. I have held the original photograph in my hand. I do not believe that enough consideration is given to the fact that the skylight has distorted Ned's features. The image that you have reproduced on your site certainly is not a good print of the photo. This point is very important.

You say that Ned's famous cheekbones are not prominent in the photo. That may be the case in your particular print of the photo, but in mine they stand out very clearly. In my clear digital print, you can also see Ned's lazy left eye, which is also prominent in all the shots featured on your site. I can even see his eyelashes, and his short, small mouth. Other features that are accentuated in my print are the small belt he is wearing, and his frayed jacket sleeve.

Take into consideration the last two photos of Ned. His hair is long, full of oil and combed right back from his forehead. In both the oval plate, and the full-length studies, Ned is frowning - giving his eyebrows a very straight look, and his face a very different appearance. In the 'gentleman' photo, he is not frowning, and his hair is on his forehead. Ned, although tall and handsome, was not a man of rugby player proportions! We all need to acknowledge that we base our image of Ned Kelly primarily on two photographs that are arguably not the 'real Ned'. This is a significant detail, which should not be overlooked! You could also argue that the Pentridge photo and the two plates from 10/11/1880 are two totally different men.

The photo was first published in 1930. At the time of its first publication, Tom Lloyd (the owner of the photo) had only been dead three years. His children, and Jim Kelly were STILL ALIVE - surely somebody would have said something if it wasn't Ned?

In conclusion we at Ned: The Exhibition, believe that there are other photos waiting to be found. We are actively pursuing leads on some absolutely mind-blowing photos and relics. We shouldn't shut ourselves off from anything fresh and interesting that may turn up in the future.
MATT SHORE. Co-Director, Ned: The Exhibition.
Thanks Matt for your passionate feedback - I hope you are right and that it is a picture of Ned!!!
Matt is an earnest Kelly enthusiast who is working hard on bringing the Kelly Story to the public - which we certainly thank him for! For anyone who has been asleep out there? Definitely go and check out Ned: The Exhibition, at the OMG. It is open until July and is absolutely worth a visit! (We alllook forward to any new discoveries.)
Here at we have heard many people say that they don't believe this photo to be Ned. So thought it only fair to give such people a voice. I am definitely NOT questioning the genuineness of people like Matt who believe it is Ned!!! We are merely raising the possibility that the photo has been misidentified? It would be great if the photo could be authenticated in some formal way.


The new site looks great. I am looking forward to when you guys fill in all the details.
I just have to say - finally! - someone is questioning the 'respectable' Ned photo. (Just because the much worshipped Ian Jones thinks it is Ned - doesn't mean it is!!!) I don't believe it is him at all - mostly because Ned had deep set eyes and the man in the photo has prominant ones. His nose also appears smaller than Ned's. To my knowledge things like facial features do not change! (It may say "Ned Kelley" on the back, but that was NOT written by Tom Lloyd.)
Good luck with the site people.


The site looks good. It is crisp, clean and informative.
What is your opinion on "Ned the Boxer" photograph? You didn't include this in your summary. Another webmaster seems to think it is Isaiah Wright. To me, the boxing photo has many similarities to "Gentleman Ned". Your thoughts? Although the 'boxing' photo is not authenticated as genuinely Ned, directly comparing it to the other photos of Ned tells Bailup it is quite possibly genuine. The facial features and structure, dark coloring, and even the smallish feet are similar to the prison photos and eyewitness descriptions of Ned. (Even the determined 'look' in his eyes is convincing) The only thing I query is the hairline? Wild Wright seems to us to have a thinner face and lighter coloring than the 'boxing' photo (by anything is possible).

When the poorer quality version of "Gentleman" photo was first published in McMenomys 1984 edition, it seemed to be generally accepted. Is it only the apparent lighter hair in clearer version that is the "fly in the ointment"? Gentleman Ned' has facial structure and features dissimilar to the authenticated photos of Ned. McMenomy's originally less clear print did not cause debate - but we believe that is simply because the shadowed face couldn't be seen to be studied. It was not as important to get authentication on it when it was simply reproduced in a book - however now it has been sold for $19K and put in an exhibition - its genuiness is vital.
If it is genuine, I wonder why it keeps being reproduced darker and darker? (Yet still isn't dark enough). I am very aware that after someone has just paid $19,080 for it - even merely questioning the subjects identity will not make us popular :) however we feel it is unauthenticated and therefore must be queried! We do not see why a photo in the 'Kelly story' could not be misidentified?

On page 70 of "Ned: The Exhibition" catalogue, there is a photo supposedly of Aaron (or possibly Jack) Sherritt. The figure has the same slender hands and fingers evident in Brays "Pork Pie" photo of Aaron. McMenomy and Ian Jones seem to think photograph shows Aaron Sherritt. Hope we can get some thoughts. Thanks.
Good to see site up and going. Looks great. I'll be back!
Regards MARK PERRY- ADELAIDE The picture referred to (page 70, Ned the exhibition) claimed to be Aaron Sherritt (but possibly Jack?) When comparing it to the 'Pork Pie' photo, the subjects do seem a little different - however do also show remarkably similar facial structure and features, as well as the hands. So in our opinion it could well be Aaron. (On the other hand brothers of course, can look similar.)

The subjects in all these photos are possible never going to known for certain. It certainly carries weight when more than one Kelly 'expert' agree on something - but in actuality it is not 'proof'! I will question even the 'experts' - as they no doubt will question me! Unfortunately, the only people who could accurately identify all these photos are all dead. (Thanks for your feedback Mark)

04/04/02 Re: WELL DONE!

Your site is bloody awesome ... I think it's a ten/ten!
WELL done!!!
All the best!
MIKE LAWSON Thanks Mike :)


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