Ned Kelly - Where did he go?

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 18, 2016 at 22:06
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Evening All

On the 8th February 1879, Victoria's most wanted man, Ned Kelly and his gang disappeared off of the face of the earth, not to be seen again until June 1880.

Where did Kelly and his gang go?. Victorians are ardament that they never left the state, but again there is no evidence to prove this and have had well over 130 years to prove it.

During the early years of the Clare Valley, (Clare was founded by Paddy Gleeson in 1842, and named the area Clare, as it reminded him of his home county in Ireland, County Clare ) there was a large Irish population and true to early days form, had a great dislike for the British and its rule. The passing of time has now erased all living witnesses, but in very strong local history, locals farmers in the area claim that Ned and his gang took safe refuge in an area known then as "Kelly Town" in an area between Polish Hill River and Penwortham.

There has been a lot written by local history buffs and today, we spent the day with a good friend and a man that has been behind the story of Ned in the Clare Valley. Martin's family were Irish and settled in the area in the mid 1850's and from a very small beginning, Martin still owns the original family farm and a lot more land than his ancestors ever had.

We were privileged to see the ruins of the old Hut, that is claimed where the Kelly gang lived and them Martin took us to the top of one of his blocks, Mount Rufus, with unreal 360 degrees overlooking his land and then onto Mintaro where he is restoring an old flour mill dating back to the 1880's.

As I said above, no one can ever prove that Kelly did stay in Victoria, while on the other hand there is so much local folk law from families that were involved in the story of how Irish families in the area helped feed and hide them from the law.

If you are even in the area, drop in to see Martin and his history room that he his getting together in Mintaro.



Cheers



Stephen






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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 04:05

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 04:05
Heheh. Trying to claim our folk hero - well, psychopathic murderer.

No, there may be no evidence that he stayed in Vic, but the absence of evidence is not evidence.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 07:24

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 07:24
Hi Sigmund

We are not trying to claim Australia's most well know folk hero, just letting the outside world what has been known for all this time.

The story is too big to tell in full, but a very close Irish community, Kate his sister was a barmaid at a wine shanty only 3 miles away, Kelly's parents lived originally at Penwortham before ever going to live in Victoria, Steve Harts uncle lived here in Clare, and the list goes on and on.

These are facts that have been known by locals for all this time and that is the way it is.



Cheers and Seasons Greetings.




Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 12:50

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 12:50
Cheerful soul ... there were just as many psychopathic murderers dressed in police uniforms in those days as there were bushrangers. Hard to tell them apart at times I would imagine.

Thanks for posting Stephen ... always interesting.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 14:43

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 14:43
Hi Jack

Not just in those "good old days ", what about Roger Caleb Rogerson, former detective sergeant in the New South Wales Police Force and now convicted murderer, along with his former Police mate.




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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 16:07

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 16:07
By Feb 79 Kelly was a highly wanted man. He would've been a fool to go and stay with family.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 19:03

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 19:03
Hi Sigmund

I never said he stayed with family, I only referred to the family links to the area.

We must remember that there was still a lot of wild country in the area and it was reports in the local paper that during that time, cattle thefts were taking place and cattle hidden in a small valley in the area, known as Hidden Valley, where authorities found the stolen cattle near Penwortham.

No one was ever caught or charged with the cattle thefts and it stopped around the time they were back in Victoria.


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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 19:56

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 19:56
So, stories and speculation.
......

Funny how we celebrate our great failures.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 20:31

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 20:31
Victorian's have their thoughts and local Clare history groups have our thoughts.

That is what keeps the debate alive and active in the local history groups in the area.

I would call it far from a great failure.


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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:09

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:09
Someone who's involved in going out to shoot 3 police rather than continuing to hide? Who works to derail a train with the intention of harming police in the execution of their duties not to mention railway workers, most likely killing some? Who takes other people's property because he could?

And resorts to the language of Irish victimhood to dress it up?
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:29

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:29
I don't quite understand this. To me Stephan has given a local account of where Ned Kelly may have hidden and there is no account of where he was in that time.

Sigmund, he doesn't mention defending Ned Kelly's actions at all, and I don't know why you are pushing it 150 years after his demise, maybe you were there old son.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:48

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:48
Hi Sigmund

Looks like it's getting off topic now, and I am not defending in any way what Ned and his gang did in Victoria, but purely stating what local folk law say happened in a very out of the way area in the Clare Valley of South Australia.

If you are over in these parts of the woods, get in contact with me and I will get you in contact with Martin or Dr John Wilson and you can see first hand what they have on hand.


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Stephen




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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 05:17

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 05:17
Thanks Stephen.

BTW it's 'folklore'.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 05:42

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 05:42
@9900Eagle - post 876541"I would call it far from a great failure".

I would say what did he achieve, at what cost?

Would his mother have applauded the outcome? The families of the dead police?

Read the Jerilderie letter to get the measure of the man.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 07:48

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 07:48
Sigmund, I won't be looking at that thread or the history of Ned Kelly as frankly I don't have any thoughts on him and I don't intend to.

I am just saying, Stephen didn't mention whether he had any thoughts on Ned Kelly, just the fact he may have been near Clare when he went missing for a period of time.

Now if anyone wants to post about Fred Ward (Thunderbolt) I would definitely be interested in that.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 08:42

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 08:42
I quoted Stephen's judgement in my last post.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 07:31

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 07:31
Thanks for the post Stephen, forward to a mate who's a NK buff.
Did you ever hear about this before visiting the site ?
Being a local and all, suppose you might have.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 08:02

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 08:02
Hi Les

It's one on those local stories that we have know since kids, but have never never realy taken any real interest into until the last few years since becoming a member of the Mount Horrocks Historical Society.

The site is well off the road and if you did not know where the ruins were, you would never know they were there, and to be honest, we have driven past them countless times over the years and never knew where they were.

Over the years time is taking its toll and it would be great to see them stabilised and get the rest of the outside world known of their importance. The history is so strong, that one local GPDoctor and come wine maker, has spent a very long time doing research and interviewed many of the older locals who have now since past away.

As I have said, it is a fact of life that Victorian's will say it is Hog Wash, but locals here say it is fact.




Cheers and Seasons Greetings





Stephen
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Reply By: Bazooka - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:33

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:33
Interesting, thanks Stephen. There are all sorts of myths. legends, and wild tales which have passed into folklore regarding bushrangers and others in our early (white) history.. For example the origins and exploits of the Wild Colonial Boy Jack/James Doolan/John Dooling/Duggan. who was not "born and raised in Ireland", although the WCB appears to be a composite character not a single person.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:59

Monday, Dec 19, 2016 at 21:59
Hi Bazooka

I think that is what keeps it alive to this very day, those that are involved are still searching for the truth and to try and get hard evidence that the gang did take refuge in a very quiet out of the place in the back blocks of South Australia.

Thanks for your reply.



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Reply By: Warren B - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 17:10

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 17:10
Thanks for the info Stephen, our daughter lives in the barrossa so will look forward to a little side trip next visit. Dam I hope they don't solve the riddle, Myths and folklore's we are short of in Australia ( being a young nation ).
Cheers bass
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 22:56

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016 at 22:56
Hi bass

The riddle will not be solved that quick I think.....lol

This is what keeps the dream alive, just hoping that one day something concrete can be proved.



Cheers and Seasons Greetings.



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Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 09:23

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 09:23
There are lots of interesting stories and speculations that surround the Kelly Gang.

It's claimed that Ned did not in fact hang, but his brother ... and he lived his life out in Quensland.

There are mentions about homosexuality

all sort of stuff.

Fact is at the time, communication, record keeping, rules of evidence and identity where nothing like they are today.

most of this stuff we will never know ... least of all the actual truth about The Kelly's motivation.

One thing is certain and well documented ...... at the time many of the rich and powerful where dishonest, brutal, criminals, but they where the power and the law.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 14:31

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 14:31
Hi Bantam

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Yes indeed there are so many stories that still have not been answered.

But the million dollar story is that no one in Victoria can answer is, where was Ned and his crew for the 16 month period.

Like I have said, there is to this very day so much local talk that they were here, staying amongst fellow Irish countrymen that had a very great dislike for the British and its rule.

Martin had us all laughing at some of the other stories that he told us that the Irish did to upset the local British people living in the area.


Seasons Greetings.



Stephen

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 15:05

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 at 15:05
In that 16 months they could have easily gone to QLD and back ....... hell they could have just changed their apperance and not gone very far at all.

A change of clothes, a hair cut and beard trim and their own mother would not recognise them.

This is the reason for the idea that it was not Ned that was captured at Glenrowan and later hung ..... but his mortally wounded brother.

Only his family and close friends would have been able to positively identify him

Back in the day there are many casses of people being Murdered and their identity assumed by people who didn't even look like them ...... assuming a complete ficticious identity was very easy for somebody with even moderate smarts.

People today simply don't grasp that it was not till the mid 80s we had the ability to positively identify people and then only those who wanted to be positively identified.

It's only been in the last 20 or so years we have had the ability to identify people without their co-operation

cheers
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