The Search Party
Local Police Intensify Search for Kelly Brothers, October 1878
After months of inactivity following the ‘Fitzpatrick Incident’, a change of leadership was made in the north-east. Transferred to Benalla in July, Superintendent John Sadleir immediately set about changing personnel in the district. Plans were made to intensify the search for the Kelly brothers, with two independent parties to be sent out simultaneously, one from Greta, the other from Mansfield, with the aim of converging at Hedi.
The Mansfield party, under Sergeant Michael Kennedy, were to establish a base to enable a continuous search in the more mountainous areas. Kennedy hand-picked both Constables Thomas McIntyre and Scanlan for the operation, believing three officers
were sufficient. Superintendent Sadleir, however, pressed that Constable Thomas Lonigan should also join them as he would be able to accurately identify Kelly, having seen him in person on a previous occasion.