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Old April 22nd, 2009, 04:58 PM
Kalliope Kalliope is offline
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Ah, so Ellen Kelly was arrested for attempted murder. I assumed it was for assault or some lesser crime. I searched through the book to try to find the answer but Mr. Jones didn't give specifics on it. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Gem.

I also loved the Agincourt/Glenrowan allusion, Fourleaf Clover. For a writer dealing with such serious material, Jones certainly has a way with the lyrical. I also enjoyed the connection he made between Joe's early and quite successful years at school to his later years as scribe with a touch of the poet.

Another of my favorite passages was about Faithful's Creek and the man (I can't remember his name) who resolved to stab Joe in the back with a pitchfork (maybe an ax?) through the small window while Joe was guarding the prisoners there. Even with the planted sympathisers among the hostages, it was very moving to read of the other prisoners disarming the man and threatening to turn him over to Joe. The Kelly Gang already had the common people on their side.

I have a question about the bank robberies. Whose money was stolen? In the days before the FDIC in the United States, deposits were, of course, uninsured. In the event of a robbery at your local bank, you might find yourself with no money left. Smaller banks especially were vulnerable after a robbery because they lacked the diversified investment pool to recoupe robbery losses and refund their customers for their lost deposits. In essence, robbing a small local bank was not stealing from some nameless corporate entity but from the local people who banked there. I don't know much about the Australian banking and finance system in the 1880's but I find this question troubling. I know the Kelly's gave away vast sums of what they'd stolen but what became (financially) of the people who used the banks they robbed?

Last edited by Kalliope; April 22nd, 2009 at 05:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 06:51 PM
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I am afraid I don't know the specifics of that Kalliope, one would assume that in such a society where the class divide was so stark, the money held in the banks would be primarily that of the landowners and the small businessmen- perhaps more successful shop keepers and the like. Jerilderie and Euroa being reasonably bustling towns.
It is unlikely that many accounts were held by the poor. Unless of course they had found a few nuggets of gold in the pan perhaps! But as you say it is very unlikely that those who lost money got it back in anyway.

I don't think it is about taking moral judgements in some ways- one can be uncomfortable about violence for example but be aware that the way society changes for the better is rarely without resistence from those who do not want such change. Ned and the gang did not put forward bank robbery as a way forward for personal gain. Two bank robberies whilst of course significant to those directly involved, is not a huge thing perhaps, especially as we know what happened to most of that money- it being 'returned' to those whose labours and therefore rent had made it.

They did it because as so often in this story, they were faced with choices, not the making of the circumstances. Whatever one thinks of it the robberies or indeed the murders, justifiable or not, the question perhaps is 'were they then to do nothing?' When democratic processes are denied, the excuse for justice as you said so eloquently before meted out with such severity, it is left to people to decide whether to act. Personally I do not draw from that that 'anything goes' but I also think that it is not useful to seperate context and reality- the time place and circumstance, from 'morality'.

I would presume that they spent more time wondering about the consequences, on this earth and the next, being Catholic boys, of the shooting of those policemen than the loss of money. But is an intersting point- perhaps Gem will know some more specifics.

Anyhow thats just my personal opinion- and rather verbose one at that
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  #28  
Old April 22nd, 2009, 07:29 PM
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I agree that iit s not about making moral judgements or seperating events from their context and time. I don't believe the robbing of the two banks did irreparable harm. Certainly they did nothing to divert the sympathies of the people.

I brought up the bank issue because my great grandmother used to tell me the story of her local bank being robbed when she was a child. Her family was not of any great means and they lost all they had managed to save that day, which wasn't much. This was sometime in the early 1900's in Iowa so it is bit like comparing apples and oranges.

Given the circumstances the Kellys found themselves in, the choices they made seem all but a foregone conclusion. When the laws themselves are unjust, what 'moral' compulsion is there to follow them? Were they, as you said Nuit, to do nothing? 'Doing nothing' would accomplished just that, nothing. I am a bit uncomfortable with the violence but I have the extreme luxury of never having found myself in a position where that was my only option.

At the end of the day, questions of nuance aside, I find the Kelly saga so compelling that 120+ years and a hemisphere away my sympathies lie with them.

I enjoyed your 'verbose' opinion, Nuit. It was beautifully and eloquently stated. It also makes me feel better about being 'verbose' myself!
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  #29  
Old April 23rd, 2009, 01:20 AM
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Am so enjoying this - keep it up ladies - great to see there are more and more interested in the 'why' as opposed to writing them off as mindless thugs and robbers.

Am waiting for Gem's response now...
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  #30  
Old April 23rd, 2009, 06:14 PM
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At the end of the day, questions of nuance aside, I find the Kelly saga so compelling that 120+ years and a hemisphere away my sympathies lie with them.
Well I have to ditto that one! When I was writing about my trip downunder for IronOutlaw, I gave some thought to why on earth that should be the case. Afterall there are many instances and examples of state brutality, injustice, oppression in the world here and now, in which just maybe there would be something one could do to make a difference (and of course there are good reasons to do so in anycase.) But the Kelly story has a kind of simplicity to it, a bare bones exposure of all of that, compounded by some overwhelming tragedies that just make it as you say, 'compelling'. Add to that some complex, engaging, challenging and enthralling characters and there it is- sold!

Australia is still struggling with what the story, that history, means to them, and I suppose that is true for the rest of us in a different way too- those of us who seem to have been captivated anyhow.

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I enjoyed your 'verbose' opinion, Nuit. It was beautifully and eloquently stated. It also makes me feel better about being 'verbose' myself!
hehe thank you, well please feel free!
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  #31  
Old April 24th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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great to see there are more and more interested in the 'why' as opposed to writing them off as mindless thugs and robbers.
Are the Kellys usually viewed as thugs and robbers in modern Australia?

I'm sorry I don't know how to quote from two replies at the same time but, Nuit, when you said, "But the Kelly story has a kind of simplicity to it, a bare bones exposure of all of that, compounded by some overwhelming tragedies that just make it as you say, 'compelling'. Add to that some complex, engaging, challenging and enthralling characters and there it is- sold!" you hit the nail exactly on the head!

I really am trying to go through my questions just a few at a time so today's question is... Was there any physical evidence to support Fitzpatrick's claim that Ellen Kelly hit him over the head with a shovel? Any bruises, cuts, swelling, anything? Did she ever admit to hitting him? I think it's a fair assessment that he entirely invented the gunshot story (even the local papers at the time were a bit incredulous about that) and inflicted his own wrist wound with his penknife. Why would he not have invented the head injury as well?

Also, according to my edition of the book, the original Jerilderie letter is privately owned. Is that still the case? And who owns the Cameron letter?

Oops. That's more than one question. I do get a little carried away. I hope none of you mind that I consult you as though you were a set of encyclopedias. It's difficult to find information on the Kellys in NYC and you give such wonderful answers!
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  #32  
Old April 25th, 2009, 06:16 AM
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Are the Kellys usually viewed as thugs and robbers in modern Australia?
By some, yes. Couldn't really say to what degree/percentage. I could say of those that have an opinion on the matter, that there could be more sympathisers than detractors, but then that could just be because I'm more aware of the sympathisers.

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I'm sorry I don't know how to quote from two replies at the same time
Hit the button next to the one that actually says 'Quote', which has "+ on it

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Also, according to my edition of the book, the original Jerilderie letter is privately owned. Is that still the case?
Since it's in the state library I'm tending to think that it's now in the possession of the Victorian Government. I'm sure those that know for sure will let you know.
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  #33  
Old April 25th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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I wish I could find this book more reasonably. $100 is too steep for me right now. But I'm dying to read it.
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  #34  
Old April 25th, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Most of the people I know, apart from the sympathisers here, either (a) don't know much about it and therefore don't really have an opinion or (b) have been brought up/taught in school about bushrangers (the bad guys) and therefore believe them to be thieves and robbers and highwaymen etc. I guess it also depends on your education as to how well the history of Australia was covered, but yeah, most people I know are unaware of the background history. Only a couple are slightly educated and consider him a hero. But that's just my experience. I think Ian Jones and other authors and Gem in her capacity as a tour guide and the like (celebrations and displays that are ongoing) will only increase the awareness as time goes on.
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  #35  
Old April 26th, 2009, 03:46 AM
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Sorry, haven't been around here for a few days. Re: the money in the banks, I really don't know but am inclined to agree with Nuit. I don't think the 'common people' would have really had extra cash to put in a bank and of course it would not have been that easy and convenient for them to even get to a bank.

In my experience a lot of Australians don't really know much at all about the Kelly story. Like you said Luna, they learn about bushrangers at school and so have at most a vague idea that they were all just common thieves. Then there are those who through their own family history have a stronger/more informed opinion, and whether it's sympathetic or not may, but doesn't necessarily, depend on who they are descended from. You have to remember that we are talking about fairly recent history here: Ellen Kelly died in 1923, Joe Byrne's sister Elly in 1964. I do find that a lot of people when they hear 'the whole story' will have a completely different understanding of what Ned and the boys were about.

Kalliope, if you're interested you can read Fitzpatrick's own words in his deposition here: http://nedonline.imagineering.net.au/Masterframeset.htm (click on 'Documents') I think the main concern was Fitzpatrick's wrist wound and any bruises on his head would probably not have mattered much (and like I said, he was wearing his helmet so there likely as not would not have been any marks). No one really knows what happened but in Ned Kelly A Short Life Ian Jones discusses the incident at much more length and concludes that it's likely that Ned (and Joe) was actually present and did shoot at Fitzpatrick:

Quote:
A deadly marksman, he (Ned) put two bullets past Fitzpatrick's head. If the constable spoke the truth, Ned's 'Out of this, you bugger!' makes it clear that this was no murder attempt. As Ned is supposed to have told the police two years later, 'I... shot at him.' In an explosion of anger, he was lashing out, hitting back - like kicking a chair or cracking a whip. Fitzpatrick threw up his arm, either against the threat of Ned's fury or to ward off Ellen's attack with the shovel, swinging his wrist into the path of the second bullet.
The Jerilderie Letter as Avs said is held by The State Library of Victoria in Melbourne (you can read the original and transcript here:http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/collection...ieletter1.html), it was donated to the Library in 2000 by Bronwyn Binns and two pages of the original 56-page document are on permanent display, changed a couple of times a year. I believe the Cameron Letter is held by the Public Records Office of Victoria (you can read the text here: .http://www.aspleastss.eq.edu.au/home...eronletter.pdf).

A set of encyclopaedias?

ETA: Wicksey, you might like to have a look here: http://www.booksandcollectibles.com....=20&country=00 I'm not sure what they charge for postage and of course it depends on where you live too but I think it will work out a lot more reasonable than a hundred bucks!

~Gem~
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  #36  
Old April 26th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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Thank you so much Gem! Bookmarking this for all future needs.
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  #37  
Old April 26th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for that Gem, and Luna and Avs!

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I hope none of you mind that I consult you as though you were a set of encyclopedias
heehe well I think there are a few of us who could talk for days, weeks, on and on frankly, about it all, so no hardship here!
I don't have a very good memory for details and specifics I have to say, more of a broad sweep kind of a gal so i doubt I would get in the encyclopaedia, but Gem is your one for nailing the facts as far as they are known! *grins*
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Old April 27th, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Glad to have been able to help, Wicksey!

Yeah Kalliope, like Nuit says it's no hardship at all for most of us who are hanging around in the NK forum to talk about any and all aspects of the Kelly story... with Joe being the most favourite subject of all of course. And yes, I do tend to pay attention to details but somebody has to keep order amongst the swooning masses.

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Old April 27th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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Thanks so much for all your answers, ladies.

Gem, thanks for the details! I love the details. I will certainly take a look at those links you provided. They are much appreciated. Clearly, I need to procure myself a copy of A Short Life next.

Wicksey, another good site for books is www.bookfinder.com it lists final prices (including shipping) from around the world. I don't know if they have any copies of this one listed at the moment but their prices are very reasonable and I have found several out of print and hard to find books through them at affordable rates. This is a wonderful book and worth getting your hands on if at all possible.

I think you all make lovely encyclopedias. The question is, could you fit on my bookshelf?

Cheers!
Kalliope
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Old April 27th, 2009, 08:20 PM
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I think you all make lovely encyclopedias. The question is, could you fit on my bookshelf?
heheeheheh might be a bit of a squash but I am sure we could manage

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And yes, I do tend to pay attention to details but somebody has to keep order amongst the swooning masses.
heeheheh GEM! And you of course completely unaffected right?
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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:04 AM
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heeheheh GEM! And you of course completely unaffected right?
Smouldering hot outlaws do absolutely nothing for me, everyone knows that. Shh Joe...

Oh, that shelf sounds cosy - hope your drinks cabinet is not too far from it, Kalliope! And thanks for that link, always good to add another one for future needs (because I just am not spending enough on secondhand Kelly books yet).

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  #42  
Old December 6th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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I have heard great reviews about 'The Fatal Friendship' and it's author, Ian Jones.

I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy from local bookstores (this could be due to the book hasn't been in reprint for sometime now) so I'm going to try the internet booksellers or eBay to secure myself a copy. If I may ask, is there any reference to my great great grandmother, Esther Sherritt, Aaron's sister (born 1867 - d. 1956) in the book?

Oh, I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Hope91 (don't worry, I have a real name - Hope91 is just my pen name) and I've been a 'Kelly' buff for a while now and being directly related to the Sherritt's makes things much more interesting.
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  #43  
Old December 7th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Well you've come to the right place, will wait for Gem or Nuit to reply to you but welcome, you will find some great Kelly buffs here. That book, of which I have a copy thanks to Gem, is a fabulous read and well worth hunting down, again Gem may be able to help you with that. Welcome !!
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Old December 8th, 2011, 07:58 AM
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Hi Hope91, welcome to the forum!

The Fatal Friendship is definitely worth a read. It's one of my favourite Kelly books actually. Not sure how easy it is to find a copy at a reasonable price these days, but you could try http://www.booksandcollectibles.com.au/, http://www.bookfinder.com/ or http://www.abebooks.com/. Not sure if anyone has new copies anywhere anymore but you never know, you might get lucky!

As for your question, there is only a mention of Esther's name and year of birth in the book. She would have been too young I suppose to play any part in the events.

That's quite a family history connection you have. I feel for Aaron, the police (especially Mick Ward) used him unscrupulously to get to the Gang and didn't really care what happened to him. It's sad that he lies in an unmarked grave to this day. Whatever happened between him and the Gang (and Joe more specifically) in the end, I think he deserves more respect.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:18 PM
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Hi Hope91, welcome to the forum!

The Fatal Friendship is definitely worth a read. It's one of my favourite Kelly books actually. Not sure how easy it is to find a copy at a reasonable price these days, but you could try http://www.booksandcollectibles.com.au/, http://www.bookfinder.com/ or http://www.abebooks.com/. Not sure if anyone has new copies anywhere anymore but you never know, you might get lucky!

As for your question, there is only a mention of Esther's name and year of birth in the book. She would have been too young I suppose to play any part in the events.

That's quite a family history connection you have. I feel for Aaron, the police (especially Mick Ward) used him unscrupulously to get to the Gang and didn't really care what happened to him. It's sad that he lies in an unmarked grave to this day. Whatever happened between him and the Gang (and Joe more specifically) in the end, I think he deserves more respect.


Oh well, my g-g-grandmother may not have been a player in the story, but the horrific events that took place during that time (especialy Aaron's untimely death) definitely stayed with her til she passed away at the rip old age of 89. My nana (Esther's granddaughter) described her as 'the kind of woman who remained untouched or uninfluenced by whatever the modern world used to throw at her', my nana believed that this was her way of staying close to Aaron as she had no photo of him or none that my nana could recall seeing one of him at her house in Oxley. After Esther passed on, my nana inherited several of her belongings, including a wooden piano which I believe date's back to the 'wild colonial' days, but not much more then that I'm affaid. I can always ask nana, but I'm not she if she knows much about the piano either.

As for Aaron's unmarked grave, for security reasons family descendants aren't making any plans to mark the site anytime soon, if at all. I'm not sure how other raletives feel about this, but I feel that a head stone isn't what's important, it's the people closest to you that know that you are there.

Det Michael Ward was, without a doubt, one twisted dude. Not only did Ward lie to his superiors and falsified police reports (I do believe this was rightfully pointed out during 1881 Royal Commission on the conduct of the Victorian Police force during the Kelly Outbreak) but he literally mapped out a devilish plan to lure out the Kelly Gang out of hiding and all Ward had to do was twiddle his thumbs and wait for the Gang to come out and take the bait (Sherritt).

I will come back with more info, for now, I need sleep.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 03:41 AM
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I'm back!

I forgot to answer the question in regards to Aaron and the Gang (especialy Joe) it's difficult to say what happened between them and how things could have turned out if Aaron had been with Joe and the others at Stringybark Creek on that fateful October day in 1878.

My nana had recollections of seeing her grandmother becoming upset (i think the word dosen't even begin to cover it) on sereval occasions when Ned or the others (including Aaron) were mentioned in newspaper articals. The was one artical (or more likely a major newspaper spread) in the paper in which the author of the artical was merciless towards the memebrs of the Gang, there families and even Aaron wasn't safe from the venomous words that the author spewed out. It seemed like the author had no idea or even cared what kind of pain and suffering what these families went through and the last thing they need is junk like this coming from an individual who obviously pulled information from his own backside.
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Old January 4th, 2012, 05:23 AM
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To clarify, I meant it's sad that Aaron's grave needs to remain unmarked because there are those who would disrespect it and I totally understand why the family would choose to not have a headstone. I hope you know that like the unmarked Kelly graves at Greta, Aaron's unmarked grave is also visited by those who are not related to him, to pay their respects.

Would love to hear more if you're happy to share!
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Old January 4th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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To clarify, I meant it's sad that Aaron's grave needs to remain unmarked because there are those who would disrespect it and I totally understand why the family would choose to not have a headstone. I hope you know that like the unmarked Kelly graves at Greta, Aaron's unmarked grave is also visited by those who are not related to him, to pay their respects.

Don't worry, Gem, I know what you meant. I used to visit Beechworth quite often during my primary school days with my dad (Aaron's great-grandnephew) and visit all the critical venues around the area that are connected to Ned Kelly. At that stage, I was unaware of the connection that my family had with the story until very recently.

I do remember when my dad took me to Beechworth cemetery, I saw groups of people walking around in a section of the cemetery looking for the final resting places of those who were involved in the Kelly saga (some of them were carrying Kelly related books so that was a dead give away). While I was there, felt this overwhelming sadness and I couldn't figure out why. Wired, ha?

Do you see much people around Aaron's grave when you go visit Beechworth cemetery, Gem?
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Old January 6th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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Well I usually visit with varying numbers of other people but haven't really seen the cemetery that busy... I think Kelly buffs (a lot of whom would have an idea where Aaron lies) visit there whenever they are in town if they get a chance. It's quite a lovely cemetery actually!

Have you been to where Aaron's selection was, and the hut site at Devil's Elbow?
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Old January 7th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Have you been to where Aaron's selection was, and the hut site at Devil's Elbow?

My Nana attended a family gathering (several years ago) at the site where the Sherritt homestead used to be at Sheep Station Creek. She was given a personal guided tour from various people who were more then happy to take her around. She was taken to were Aaron's hut used to be and although the hut is no longer there, she did see some things that do indicate that someone did occupy that land e.i. the rope that Aaron used to tie up his horse is still there tied around a tree, but the tree bark has sort of drown over it. I'm not sure if the tree is located at the selection where he was murdered or at the selection where he lived previously. I think it was at this gathering were my nana got a copy of the family tree where it shows her nana marrying into the Allan family from Oxley.

I got in contact with my nana during the week and she managed to miraculously get her hands on a copy of The Fatal Friendship from a Library in Benalla. She was telling me about the scene at the end of the book with Jack Sherritt and Patsy Byrne meeting up at a pub (I think it was a pub) and parting on good terms. Good thing she had the tissues on hand - her words.

I won't carry on about the family to much as this section is about The Fatal Friendship, but then again, it's not everyday this forum gets a visit from someone who is related to a key figure in the Kelly saga.
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