Letter:Return of Ned Kelly

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The Independent Online
Sir: I did enjoy the mention of Ned Kelly ("Ned Kelly rides again in pounds 42m battle", 3 August) but would offer a few points for the sake of historical accuracy.

The Kelly gang arrived at Glenrowan on 26 June 1880 where they decided to make their last stand; the siege only began some 28 hours later when the first of the Victorian police arrived with six Queensland trackers. The time delay had been caused by the appalling manner in which the search for the Kelly gang had been organised.

Ned Kelly was fearful of the Queensland trackers, who he called "six little demons" and intended them especially to be among his victims in his arranged train crash.

The Kelly reward board distributed pounds 8,000, of which the "native trackers" - Hero, Johnny, Jimmy, Jacky, Barny, Moses and Spider - were each awarded 50 shillings, not pounds as reported. If they did not receive their money it would still be a pretty penny today, although the Victorian government did pay out pounds 2,039 5s 9d in expenses.

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

London N6

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