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VICTORIAN POLICE COMMISSION.
(From the Argus.)
TUESDAY, April 5.
Present Messrs Longmore (chairman), Graves, Fincham, Hall, and Anderson, Ms. L. A., and Mr. Dixon.
Superintendent Hare's evidence continued : On the occa- sion of the Glenrowan affair, my party joined the special train at Benalla. When within two miles from Glenrowan station
I heard the engine whistle. Looked out of the carriage, and saw the pilot engine ahead. Took down and loaded my gun, and jumped out of the train. Walked towards the pilot, and before I reached it met its guard, who told me he
had been stopped by a schoolmaster of Glenrowan, who had informed him the outlaws had taken up the railway line, and had possession of Glenrowan, and were " going to catch the inspector " Took three men and went on to the pilot, where I heard the same story. Hitched the pilot
on to the train, put men on each engine, and went slowly on. Got up to the Glenrowan platform. Gave orders to the men on the engines to jump off. Mr. Rawlins came up to me, and I pointed out a light in the stationmaster's house. He and I walked there, and went to the window, where we saw the light. Tapped at the window,and saw a woman with children. She was in a very excited state. Asked where her husband was and she said, " They have taken him away." Asked who had taken him away, and she said the Kellys. She led me to infer they had taken
him to the mountains. She said nothing about Mrs. Jones's hotel. As I was wilking to the stationmaster's house, Mr. Rawlins offered me his services, and asked for a rifle. Gave him my revolver. We returned to
the railway station. I said I would order out the horses at once. They were not then being taken out of the train. Was standing on the platform amongst the reporters and police, and five or six horses had been taken out. Bracken then appeared on the platform, and said, "Mr. Hare, go quickly to Jones's hotel. The outlaws are there, and I have just escaped. They have a number of people in the hotel " I called to the men, " Come on, we
have them at last." After four or five minutes, again called, "Come on, men ; we have them in the house." Said they might let go the horses, and come on as quickly as possible. When I saw a group of men standing near me, I started towards Jones's hotel, followed by the group. Remember going through a little iron gate. Made straight for the left-hand side of Jones's hotel. While running I saw a flash, and by the flash a man, and heard a report.
He was just on the edge of the verandah. My left hand dropped. I had no pain. Heard it was Ned Kelly who fired. Three reports and flashes fol- lowed almost simultaneously. When my hand dropped, I fired my gun ; I fired it twice. Put the gun, which was a breechloader, between my legs, and reloaded it. The firing on my right was taken up by the men who followed me. It was continued for five minutes. During this time I fired my gun off at the outlaws. The wound dimmed my eyes a little. Kept firing from time to time. Fired several shots ;
I think six. The bullet that struck me went right through my left wrist. In the middle of the firing I heard the shrieks of persons inside the hotel. As long as the firing continued on the verandah, I continued firing in return. About the second or third round from us I heard the persons inside. Had only one thought – to continue firing as long as we were fired at. Heard one man say '"Fire away, you —s ; you can do us no harm." (One of the police (Gascoigne) called out, "That is Ned Kelly's voice. " Suddenly the firing ceased, and I imagined I saw people going into the house. Called out to senior-constable Kelly, " Surround the house, and, for God's sake, see they don't escape." Told my men I had been shot in the wrist. Told senior-constable Kelly I was going to have my armed tied up. Left the ground. Never moved from the spot until the firing had ceased. Returned to the railway station. On my way saw Mr.
O'Connor running from the station to Jones's hotel, in a crouching position. Told him I was shot in the arm. Don't recollect that he made any reply. On the platform I found the reporters collected together. Asked one of them to bind up my hand. Was bleeding profusely. One gentleman – Mr. Carrington, I think – got a handkerchief and bound up my arm. Felt no faintness whatever. Remember I was as collected as I am now when I went on to the platform. Mr. Melvin of the Argus, patted me on the back and said, " Well done, Hare, you are again successful, as in the Lancefield affair. " He was the onlv reporter there that I had seen before. Did not see one of them again that day. Started to go round the sentinels. A constable told me they were short of ammunition. Mr. Rawlins volunteered to take it round. Asked him to do so, and told him where to find it. Proceeded to visit the men, and when I had got into an open space of ground I felt weak, and staggered. Determined to sit quiet, to allow my heart, which was throbbing, to settle. Went to a fence at the rear of the station. Could not get through. Sat down by a tree, where I had full command of the house. Had my gun still with me. My left hand was hanging listlessly by me. Saw the blood flowing profusely, and determined to return to the platform. While returning I dropped down. The next thing I remember was that I was sitting in a railway car- rage with the ladies. Received some refreshment from them, and understood I was going to Benalla with
them. After the refreshment I got out of the carriage and asked a guard how long it would take to go to Benalla and back. Was told 20 minutes or half-an-hour. Determined to go. Got on the engine, the blood still flowing. Previous to going I started an engine to Benalla with instructions to direct Mr. Sadleir to come to Glenrowan with all his men. Got to Benalla. Sent instructions to Beechworth and other places for all available men to be sent to Glenrowan. Went to Dr. Nicholson, and woke him up. It was about 3 or 4 o'clock a.m. Asked him to come and dress my arm at the telegraph office. Was then very excited. Dictated a telegram to Captain Standish, telling him what had occurred. Mr. Sadleir came in. Told him I would return with him to Glenrowan. He told me not to be such a fool. Dr. Nicholson undid my wrist, and said a mistake had been made in the bandage, as I was bleeding from an artery. He made an impromptu splint and fastened it. I fainted. When I came to myself I was perfectly prostrate. Was assisted to my hotel, and went to bed, where I remained for the rest of the day in excruciating agony. Mr. O'Connor stated in his evidence that I never fired a shot after I was wounded.
Mr. O'Connor : I said you never reloaded your gun.
You fired two shots.
Superintendent Hare : Mr. O'Connor stated in his evi- dence that he called out to the police to cease firing, as there were prisoners in the hotel. Don't deny he did so ; but I gave the order first. Don't say Mr. O'Connor was not amongst the men who followed me, but I did not see him. Other persons have told me they did not see Mr
O'Connor with me. It was stated in the Age of June 29, in the report of the Glenrowan affair, that I walked boldly to the hotel, and took up the fire. The reporter was Mr. M'Whirter, whom I did not know.
(Mr. O'Connor handed in a report from Mr. Rawlins. )
Superintendent Hare, after objecting to the interruption, continued to quote from the Age report, in which it was stated he had ordered the men to cease firing, and was compelled to leave the field from loss of blood. He said Mr. M'Whirter subsequently told me Mr. O'Connor did not go towards the hotel with me, but was lying in a drain when I was firing at the hotel, and that he (the reporter) was with Mr. O'Connor. It was after the outlaws retreated into the hotel that I called out, "Cease firing." With regard to the occasion when the police party watched Mrs. Byrne's house, they had information that a gray horse was being kept in training, and stable-fed under lock and key. The horse was, I was told, removed from the stable at 2 o'clock one morning while the party was watching the house. That was why I doubted whether the party was doing its duty. Paddy Byrne left Mrs. Byrne's house one morning on the horse, and the party had not thought it worth while to try to stop him. I made a memo, that Aaron and Armstrong ought to have followed Paddy Byrne to see what direction he took, and that the party threw too much responsi- bility on Aaron. When I returned to Benalla to take charge I saw all the agents, and wrote to the "diseased stock " agent. He came to me at Benalla. Had an interview with him in Mr. Sadleir's presence. He said he was getting on all right, and that there was no doubt the gangs were about to make a raid on a bank. Mr. Sadleir said, "You have been telling us this for the last six or seven months." He said he had, and that the gang were going to appear in armour, which they would wear when robbing the bank. He said the armour had been tested, and found fire-proof at 10 yards. Asked him in what direction they were going to stick up a bank, but he could not say. He was not a supposed supporter of the outlaws, and was not believed by them to be so. He was a very respectable man, but generally too sanguine. Mr. Sadleir said this agent had been giving us similar information as to intended raids for a long time. He was not a paid agent in my time. That is to say, he was never on regular pay. I gave him £2 once. He was following his ordinary occupation. Not only kept agents on, but formed search parties. Shifted some of Mr. Nicolson's agents, as, I believe, he had intended to do. The number of police was not increased when I returned to Benalla ; but I shifted men from the less important stations. The out- laws used to telegraph in their way. For instance, Tom Lloyd, a sympathiser, when arrested, sent a telegram from the gaol to Greta, "Turn the four bullocks out of the paddock. " That was not made known to the police for some weeks. We concluded it referred to the outlaws, and meant that they should be told to shift their quarters. Cannot speak too highly of the assistance rendered to me by Mr. Sadleir, notwithstanding that he was opposed to the
removal of Mr. Nicolson, which, he stated, was
a great mistake. My position at Benalla on the second occasion was a most responsible one. There were three or four seniors to me in the service. Did not object to return to Benalla through any fear of anything. With regard to Power's capture, although I organized the party which effected it, I received no benefit from the capture, but Mr. Nicolson did ; and I was asked to relieve him in the Kelly business. With regard to the outlaws I knew they had revolvers and rifles, ammunition for which could not be obtained at Beechworth or Benalla. On two or three occasions ammunition was bought in Mel- bourne. Once young Tom Lloyd and Kate Kelly went into Rosier's shop to buy ammunition for a Spencer rifle and Webley revolvers. Believe that ammunition was conveyed
to the outlaws.
To Mr. O'Connor : When I received the wound I was on the Benalla side of Jones's hotel, running from the railway station. No one on the platform could have seen anyone in
To the Commission : The police at Benalla received in- formation about the purchase of the ammunition in Mel- bourne. They searched a train from Melbourne at the
time, but found nothing. Mr. Rosier immediately gave in- formation to the police. The police had requested Mel- bourne gunsmiths to inform them when ammunition of this
peculiar sort was purchased. A large quantity of New
South Wales notes was stolen from Jerilderie. A bundle of notes, about £30 or £40, was once paid into a bank at Wangaratta. The police got information and telegraphed to Sydney to ascertain if the notes, of which we had the numbers, had been sent from Sydney to Jerilderie. The reply was "Yes." Asked the bank at Jerilderie with re-
gard to those notes and were told in reply they could not be identified. Asked the man who paid them in where he got them from, and he said he was accused of getting them from me for information he had given to me. Told him he knew very well I had not given the notes to him, but he would give no other answer than that it was said I had given him the notes. Believe the notes stolen from Jerilderie bore consecutive numbers. No action was taken against the parties ciculating New South Wales notes at the time, because the Jerilderie bnk could not identify them. It struck me that the bank did not care about going on with the matter. Mr. Sadleir can giveo more information about this matter. Another man paid in New South Wales notes into a bank. Mrs. Skillion used to go round and round her house with dogs, and often find police watching it. Mrs. Skillion and Kate Kelly and a child lived in her house, but no man of the Kelly breed. They frequently got supplies at Benalla for the outlaws. Once Mrs. Skillion knew the police were watching the house, and they did not know she knew it. In the morning she rode off with a bundle. They followed her, and at last came upon her sitting on a log with her fingers to her nose. It was difficult to conceal the search parties by day. The police must leave peculiar tracks. They were always found. With regard to the Glenrowan affair, I did not give orders to "cease firing" as soon as I heard the cries in the hotel. That order was not given until the outlaws had ceased firing. Wth regard to the Power affair, I had a good deal to do with the search for him prior to being sent there. Was then in charge of the Bourke district. Sent
out many parties in search of him from my district. Afterj he bad been out 18 months, Captain Standish told me Sir James M'Culloch had decided I should be sent to take
charge of the Power operations. I protested that there were senior officers to me, but had to go. Was told I should have carte blanche. Mr. Nicolson was then superintendent of police in charge of the Kyne- ton district. He asked me if I would take him with me. Said, "Certainly ; I shall be only too glad." But I suggested that his health was not quite good. He consulted his doctor, who said he might go.
Sergeant (now Inspector) Montfort was then a clerk in my office. Directed him where to meet Mr. Nicolson and me. Picked out five of the best men in my district, who had not been to the Benalla district, and sent them up there. On the 28th May, 1870, Mr Nicolson and I started for Benalla, where we got on the Saturday night and met Mr. Montfort. On the following dav (Sunday) obtained a blackfellow from Benalla, and made our plans. On the morning of the following Sunday we captured Power. Pre- viously Mr. Nicolson told me he was senior oflicer, and should take the lead. I said " All right. " When we got to a place where a track ran up a hill the blackfellow told us there was smoke up the mountain. We rushed up the track – Mr. Nicolson fitst, I next, and Mr. Montfort next.
We were all close together. As we went up we saw smoke, tthen fire, and then a gunyah. When Mr. Nicolson got 10 yards from the gunyah he beckoned me to go to the back of the hut. I fixed my eyes on the feet of a man lying under the gunyah, and we all simultaneously laid hold of the feet.
The man, who was Power, was fast asleep at the time and howled loudly. We handcuffed him and took him to Wan- garatta that day, a distance of 50 miles, and sent a telegram announcing Power's capture, which was signed by Mr. Nicolson. I considered myself the organizer of that party. I took who I liked. Had orders from Captain Standish to
do what I liked in the matter.
The Commission adjourned until 11 o'clock next day.