Ned Kelly’s Capture Site
Ned Kelly’s Capture SiteContributors
These pictures show the site of Ned Kelly’s capture, in particular, the spot where he fell, according to reported and photographic evidence of the place taken on June 28th, 1880, and in-depth local knowledge provided by Linton Briggs, whose father, Const. J.D. Briggs, no. 7529, in 1926 was the last trooper to be stationed at Glenrowan. Linton grew up on the capture site, residing there from 1930–1955.
Ned finally fell in the head of a large, fallen hill gum (E.blakelyi) close to the eastern bank of the little Glenrowan Creek which passes through the capture site located in Linton’s Police Station backyard. The tree had fallen upstream, its stump about 7 yards from the spot where Ned fell. Linton was present when his father knocked the top off the stump back to below ground level, and covered it with soil. Fifty three years later, as part of a Glenrowan Improvers Inc. project, to authentically mark the spot where Ned fell, Linton supervised the removal of the top soil to reveal the remains of the stump. Heritage Victoria has since conserved the remains, restoring the covering top soil.
The exact point at which Ned fell, it is centre frame, close mid-ground.
Linton Briggs and the Glenrowan Improvers give the following recreation of Ned’s capture:
Bravely emerging after daylight from the bush behind the cordon of police laying siege to the Glenrowan Inn, Ned advanced into a fusillade of gunfire, bullets hitting his armour clad figure ‘like blows from a man’s fist’. He was still 100 metres away from the Glenrowan Inn, when he sank to his knees amongst a small clump of trees and drew his third and last revolver. Swaying from loss of blood and exhaustion, he limped towards the cover offered by a large fallen tree. An exchange of words and shots between Ned and Jess Dowsett, a railway guard and civilian volunteer: “You had better surrender!” (Dowsett); “Never, while I have a shot left”, (Ned Kelly).
Sergeant Steele, who had arrived with five other troopers from Wangaratta, fired a charge of buckshot into Ned’s right upper leg. Steele ran closer and fired the second barrel, splintering through the branches into Ned’s hip and thigh, and behind the steel apron into his groin. Ned swayed, managing a despairing cry, “I’m done, I’m done”. As his legs buckled from his wounds and under the weight of the armour, The Last Stand was over. Ned captured. It was about 7.45am June 28, 1880.