The final public act of the Kelly gangs outlawry is often called The Siege, a showdown between the Gang and the police made especially famous by the heavy suits of armour that the gang had been making in secret over previous months in readiness for the confrontation. It took place 150 miles north of Melbourne in the small country town of Glenrowan over the mid-winter weekend of June 26th to 28th, 1880. Like most of the sentinel events of the Kelly story, the Siege is a topic of great controversy, not so much about what happened but why.
What happened is not that difficult to describe: in the darkness of Saturday night, June 26th at the Woolshed Valley north of Beechworth, Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly went to former mate Aaron Sherrit’s home and murdered him when he came to the front door. The gang had convinced themselves that Sherritt had become a police informer, and their expectation was that the authorities response to his execution would be to send a trainload of police to the north east from Melbourne – and that’s exactly what happened, though not as promptly as the Gang had imagined it would. Later that same night the other two members of the gang turned up at the Glenrowan train station, south of Beechworth, saw to it that some of the railway tracks were ripped up, and took a lot of people hostage in the Glenrowan Inn, across the road from the station.(Shown in the illustration above). In the early hours of Monday the train finally arrived, its load of police surrounded the Inn, there was a shootout, two hostages and three gang members were killed, Ned Kelly was captured and the Inn was burned to the ground. And that, ladies and gentlemen was the end of the Kelly Outbreak. There was huge relief and rejoicing throughout the colony.
Obviously, for the Kelly gang it hadn’t gone the way they wanted it to – in fact, apart from their success in murdering the unsuspecting Aaron Sheritt in cold blood – the easiest part of the plan – thereafter it had been a complete and unmitigated disaster, a total failure. Their plan had been to rip up the railway tracks without anyone finding out – but their inadequate preparations meant they were unable to destroy the tracks themselves so had to wake people up in the dead of night and force them to do it at gunpoint. The first few people they woke weren’t able to do it either, so eventually, once people who could rip up the tracks were found and the job was done, they had a collection of people who had to be prevented from alerting authorities to what was afoot in Glenrowan. It wasn’t part of the original plan but they had no choice but to take them all hostage and imprison them at the nearby Inn, along with its owner Ann Jones and her family.
The Gang then waited for the train to arrive, anticipating that it would derail at speed at the place where the tracks had been lifted, and then the Gang, protected in their armour would kill or take hostage any survivors. It was going to be a bloody massacre of a couple of dozen police, a dozen horses and anyone else on the train – the driver and engineer, several journalists, and a few women.
What they intended to do after the train had wrecked itself is still unclear. However, back at the Woolshed Dan Kelly and Joe Byrne lingered for some hours, taunting and threatening the four armed policemen who were inside the Sherritt house when Aaron was killed. The Gang members weren’t prepared to go into the house to get them and the policemen weren’t prepared to come out until they were sure it was safe and as a result they didn’t emerge to sound the alarm till Sunday morning. It took most of the rest of the day for the news to reach Melbourne and for a police train to be organised and finally head north late in the evening. As a result, as the day wore on the gang were obliged to add steadily to the numbers held hostage at the Inn, as unwary passers-by were rounded up and added to the growing crowd which eventually numbered over 60. One of the hostages was Thomas Curnow, a local school teacher who set about gaining the confidence of the garrulous Ned Kelly after learning what was planned, and successfully persuaded Kelly to let him go home well after midnight. However instead of going home to bed, in fear of his life Curnow set off down the line with a candle and red scarf just in time to alert the approaching train which stopped well short of the damaged track which was further on past the station. It was 2.30 am and pitch black outside. Effectively at that point it was game over for the Kelly Gang because the police quickly surrounded the Inn and cut off all escape routes. They called on the Gang to surrender, but the gang, now wearing their suits of armour responded with gunfire and so the Siege began.
Ned Kellys exposed legs and arms were soon injured, and he headed out of the rear of the Inn to the bushland behind where he collapsed and remained unseen for three or four hours. Inside the Inn, the other three gang members engaged the police who returned fire, and though the hostages all lay on the floor and the police aimed high, two of them were killed by police bullets as was Joe Byrne. Close to sunrise, the wounded and weakened Ned Kelly roused himself and advanced through the mist towards the police, firing as he went but hitting no-one. Police return fire found its mark but didn’t bring him down until it was realised his body was protected by armour but his legs weren’t. In less than fifteen minutes his immortalised and greatly exaggerated ‘Last Stand’ was over : he was arrested and taken to the railway station and administered the last rites because it was wrongly thought he wouldn’t survive.
Meanwhile, hostages had been fleeing the Inn in groups, braving the police guns in the dark and the chaos, and eventually by mid-morning they were all out. Sporadic fire continued from the Inn and then in the afternoon it was set alight to flush the remaining Gang members out. A passing priest, horrified at the prospect of two young men being burned to death rushed in, saw Joe Byrne’s corpse in one room and in another the bodies of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart lying side by side, having earlier taken their own lives. A couple of policemen helped to drag out Joe Byrnes corpse and the wounded hostage Martin Cherry who died not long after receiving the last rites, but the rapidly advancing fire prevented them from getting back to the other two gang members. Two horribly burned bodies, presumed to be those of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were dragged out of the ruins after the fire had burned out: they were unrecognizable.
This nightmare weekend in 1880 had been a terrifying ordeal for scores of people and resulted in innocent deaths and injury. Ann Jones the Innkeeper lost her livelihood when the Inn was set alight but more tragically her son was one of the two innocent people killed. The other was Martin Cherry, one of the railway workers who died a lingering death. It was a tragedy for the Kelly family and no less a tragedy for the Sherrits the Byrnes and the Hart families who all lost sons in a weekend of almost unimaginable horror and violence. A few months later, after a trial that found Ned Kelly guilty of the murder of Lonigan at Stringybark Creek the final act of the Outbreak was the hanging of Ned Kelly at the Melbourne Gaol.
Part XI will tackle the challenge of explaining what this diabolical horror was supposed to be all about. Why, after successfully managing to evade capture for more than two years, and with the police hunt almost at a dead end did the gang decide to jeopardise their freedom by engineering a confrontation that quickly turned into a horror show that ended in 36 hours with the death of three of them and the capture of Ned Kelly? Was it suicide by cop? Was it a political insurgency that failed before it had started? Was it a criminal monstrosity or something else?
31 Replies to “The actual true story of Ned Kelly : Part X : Glenrowan”
It seems strange that even if Sherritt was absolutely proved to be a turncoat, the plan was left to rely on word getting out that he had been murdered by the Kelly gang in order to get a police train sent up. There seems something NQR about that as a plan. Even if they decided to murder him anyway, why make that the lynchpin of the train derailment attempt? Why not commit some other outrage guaranteed to draw a police train up? A threatened major outrage at Wangaratta might have done the job just as effectively.
The idea of the plan as outlined comes straight from the Royal Commission Second Progress Report, chapter 15 (page xxiv) , where it says, “It seems manifest that they had carefully thought out and matured their plan of operations”. That is how it looked to the Commission in retrospect, as a plan. But was it? And how sensible was it? It depended entirely on Sherritt being home that night and not hanging out at some pub or having gone off to visit one of his mates for the night, or be off on a weekend of work elsewhere, as he was a bit of a rambler by nature.
Was that all the plan they had for a town capture and train derailment? Is that the best that Ned the general could devise? The more I think about what Kelly writers, Jones in particular, said about that rather half-baked excuse for a plan, the more I can’t see that it holds much water.
Thanks Stuart. Some have argued that Ned Kelly didnt know that Aaron was going to be killed – he is reported to have made some commentary somewhere that suggested he didnt know – but I am inclined to think this was more likely dissembling on Kellys part, once again trying to deny responsibility for what he had arranged.
Like you Ive also wondered why they allowed such an important part of the plan to be something they had no control over – the presence of Aaron at his home I had not thought of before, but having no control over the timing of the alert going from Aarons place in the bush to Melbourne left them every vulnerable – fatally, as it turned out.
The fact they didnt have any idea how to rip up railway tracks, and hadn’t thought to find out what tools would be needed was also a major blunder right at the start….and it went downhill from there.
In fact, the way in which the weekend is currently celebrated is a total denial of the fact that rather than being a magnificent and heroic last stand, for the Kelly Gang it was actually an unmitigated and disastrous failure by Ned Kelly in the vein of Custers last stand or the space shuttle disaster – an absolute catastrophe.
Another repulsive Kelly Gang murder in full view of Aaron Sherritt’s wife and mother-in-law, not forgetting the deception by neighbour and passerby Anton Wicks who Dan and Joe involved in the killing.
I wonder about George King who suddenly disappeared after marrying Ellen Kelly.
Please men get some logic into your comments about a plan v no plan.
Of course Sherritt would be home, he was host to four police who spent their days at his place and went out at night to watch the Byrne place and Sherritt was vital in this endeavor.
Ripping up the rails (one as it turned out) of course required tools to do the job and they were in the railways tool box which would be known to the local residents as there were two railway platelayers/line repairers residents of Glenrowan who once captured were the men with the skills of line repair or line removal or line installation so Ned’s plan to use them is what any sane person would devise.
Killing of Sherritt served two purposes. 1. the elimination of what no doubt the Kelly gang considered a turncoat or a collaborator and 2. it meant that police would make all haste using a train to get to the nearest town to the Sherritt property.
It would seem that Neds MO was to bail up people as part of his strategy – Euroa bank people off to Faithful’s Creek, Jereilderie people held at the pub and Glenrowan people held at the Jones place – and if the news of Sherritts killing had been more timely, the train hitting the railway gate at Craigieburn, etc etc , then the plan to derail a fast moving train made eminent sense to Kelly and Glenrowan provided a strategic place – men who could remove railway lines and a strategic place on the curve of track running on an embankment with a steep slope to ensure the train not only left the rails but would have fallen down and over on the decline.
He needed to use the main line as I would posit that the train then from Wangaratta to Beechworth would not be running as fast due to the upward lay of the terrain (in fact different engines were used on this spur line than the main line engines because of this)
Kelly had no idea how many police would be on the train. It turned out 8 police and the Queensland men (O’Connor and his blacktrackers) another 6.
A reading of the Royal Commission evidence tends to give a picture of the Inn not being well surrounded by the first lot of police. its not until the parties led by Sadleir and Steele arrive 2 hours later that the Inn was well surrounded. Ned left the Inn after the first early volleys were fired so it would seem that he got away from it undetected.
Three -not two – innocent people died as a result – Cherry, Anne’s son a day later and later still George Metcalfe.
This birds eye view drawn by Carrington is very simplistic in its layout of the Inn and its surrounds . Fences referred to in royal commission and shown in photographs are not shown, in particular a fence running from the Wangaratta side of the inn down towards the railway station, at least two bridges also referred to by witnesses, the placement of the station buildings relative to the end of the platform etc etc.
And David why do you not acknowledge from where you copied the Carrington hand coloured birds eye view from?
Hi Anonymous, you have some good points in there, and I suppose it is possible that Dan and Joe might guess that Sherritt may likely have been home; but he equally might not if he had been out with one or more of the police scouting around. Or he might also have potentially been elsewhere trusting that the (not exactly secretly concealed) police in his small house would have provided adequate security for his wife and mother when he was out. On the other hand Dan and Joe might have had information from a sympathiser that same night to confirm that Sherritt was home. But how certain would that have been when such a plan was made presumably some days before? So there are still questions there.
I agree that it would be certain that the tools to rip up the track were available at the station; however Ned seems not to have been aware that their use was not understood by anyone but the plate layers, who had to be sought out. That seems not like a serious deficiency in planning, more of a blunder.
And yes, Kelly had no idea of how many police would be on the special train, or that anyone other than police and the train crew would be on it. He later said nevertheless that anyone who was on it would have deserved what they got in the intended derailment and massacre. I don’t see any wiggle room in the fact that a psychotic mass murder was planned and attempted. The Last Stand was the accidental result of its failure…
Stuart the other thing that was an accidental result of Ned Kelly’s failure at Glenrowan was the entire Kelly mythology. If he had succeeded he would undoubtedly be remembered only as one of the world’s greatest psychotic mass killers. I don’t think ANYONE would be able to defend any other interpretation. The plan revealed what was in his heart.
This truth exposes the utter absurdity of all forms of Kelly sympathy.
A few responses are in order : FIRST : You say it was Neds PLAN to use plate layers – but he first tried and failed himself, then woke up Piazzi et al who couldn’t help, then woke up Stanistreet who couldn’t help and then FINALLY he got Reardon and Sullivan the actual platelayers….no evidence there that he had actually PLANNED anything …..it was quite obviously a blundering failure to plan that resulted in that series of unnecessary missteps. SECOND: Again there is no reason to think taking hostages at the Inn was part of his “MO” at Glenrowan though it obviously was for Euroa and Jerilderie.He made it clear the plan was to kill survivors of a train wreck – how would that be possible if the four gang members were keeping hostages? The taking of hostages only became necessary AFTER the failure of the first step, which was to quietly and secretly rip up the rail.THIRD Ive stopped counting Metcalfs death as anything to do with the siege because what he died from was peritonitis which is very far from a recognised complication of an eye injury which was actually improving the last time he mentioned it some weeks later.FOURTH I am sorry I have no idea where I got that image from. Its an illustration not a court room exhibit.
MAYO Clinic: Injury or trauma may cause peritonitis by allowing bacteria or chemicals from other parts of your body to enter the peritoneum.
Yes I am aware of that. However there are other more likely causes of peritonitis such as a gangrenous appendicitis, than a very peculiar non-local spread from an eye to the abdomen. If the eye got worse infection would be much more likely to cause meningitis than peritonitis. From memory the death certificate makes no mention of eye disease.
Metcalf’s eye injury was caused by Ned’s gunshot. Who can tell how much damage or infection it caused. Medical records of the eye wound are non-existent.
According to Ian MacFarlanes book ‘The Kelly Gang Unmasked’ just over a month before he died in a letter to his sister Sarah, Metcalf wrote “My eyes are getting on very well”. Thats all we have to go on in respect of the eye injury, and if the death certificate mentions ‘peritonitis’ and nothing else where is the evidence to link the two? If he had written my eye is getting worse and the side of my face is swelling up and I am in terrible pain that might make a credible link but if it was getting better theres nothing. I realise that for 140 years Ned Kelly or the Police have been blamed for his death and nothing I say or do is likely to change that perception but I do believe this is another one of the myths that nobody has bothered to think carefully about before.
Anonymous, you claim “let’s get some logic into your comments.” So, let’s do that shall we? If ever there was a hair-brained plan, Kelly’s efforts pre Glenrowan just about take the cake. It was ill-thought-out, had no effective plan B or C, and it failed miserably. No other logical conclusion could be drawn.
Firstly, if Sherritt had not been home it would have immediately failed. Ned Kelly saying he did not know they were going to murder Sherritt had to be a bare-faced lie. No question in my mind that he was a principal in the plan to murder Sherritt to bring the police, where Kelly and his gang could murder them all. Why else would he take over the hotel and hostages in Glenrowan? The murder was an integral part of the overall plan. Just imagine if the murder had been thwarted and the police had been able to overcome Byrne and Dan Kelly, it would have failed. Numerous scenarios could be dreamt up that could have destroyed the plan during the first stages. Had the murder failed, where would that leave Ned Kelly and his hostages?
The plan was for Ned and Steve to pull up the tracks. Kelly had put no thought into how this was to be achieved, and it took several attempts to find men who could carry out the deed. Again, absolutely no effective planning at all. I believe it took three attempts to get that problem solved for Kelly.
Kelly expected that the police would come by train, but that was an assumption based on conjecture. He may well have been correct in that assumption, but the police could have relied on police dealing with the murder from Beechworth. How could Kelly have known how the police would react? The police at that time had no idea that Kelly had taken over Ann Jones Inn and was holding some 62 hostages. It could have all been for nought had the police responded differently.
It is clear from the evidence that there were few police approaching Ann Jones Inn in the initial stages when Kelly opened fire wounding Supt Hare. The RC found that after Ned Kelly was wounded in the initial scrap he walked almost immediately out the back of the hotel and went some 150 metres and lay down behind a log and remained there for some four hours before he rose and approached the police from the rear. The police who were first on the scene took some time to surround the precinct, and it was probably nearer to 5 am when reinforcements arrived that a full cordon was in place, although it was clear that the hotel was surrounded as soon as was safely possible.
If the plan is critically examined, it could only be described as bone-headed, idiotic, imbecilic, and inadequate. It failed miserably, bringing the Kelly scourge of North East Victoria to an ignominious end, and not before time.
Glenrowan was very strategic in Neds plan apart from what anonymous has already said because it was the nearest place to Benalla and the banks that Ned was going to rob after he had disposed of the police.
Professor John Moloney, “I am Ned Kelly” 1980 p. 178: “The four who rode back across the river from Jerilderie bore the badge of outlawry lightly on their youthful shoulders.” On ya Prof.
The good professor omitted to mention in his write-up of the adventures of the gang at Euroa that Kelly the murderer had shoved his revolver into the traveller Dudley’s face, and shortly afterwards into another traveller Tennant’s mouth, while rounding up these reluctant captives at Faithfull Creek station prior to the bank raid. What drongos so many of these academics and would-be historians are.
Ned’s assaults by revolver are omitted by Kenneally, Brown, Clune, and most disgracefully Jones, all of whom are engaged in a clearly deliberate effort to sanitise Kelly’s story by omitting parts that were well known to readers of the daily press in 1878. Specifically, the Age, Argus, Herald, O&M, and Dudley’s prosecution file statement are all referenced by Jones in Short Life. But as with so much of these much lauded “historians”, what they tell is a tissue of lies akin to those of Kelly himself. No wonder general readers walk away with such a phenomenal ignorance of history and a belief that they have a good grasp of the story. They know next to nothing. They know essentially only Kenneally’s wildly skewed and twisted framework, full of omissions that lets their hair brained distortions survive.
Kelly history has been written by rank amateurs and deeply pro-Kelly biased researchers since 1929. It has taken almost a hundred years for the cracks to show. The pathetically uncritical state of Australian historical studies should be a national embarrassment.
David, you say you have no ideas where the picture you have chosed as the leadin to your part X on Glenrowan. comes from Well thats pretty ordinary from someone professing to write about the Kelly story.
You would be considered a publisher and as such it behoves you to acknowledge the creator of original works and this I wouls suggest that although drawn by Carrington someone has spent the time and maybe published the hand coloured image you have decided to use. It would be nice if you spent a bit of time to find the origin of the illustration you must have found it at some time so have another go and find it again.
The fact it was not a court room exhibit is irrelevant.
So i spent some time looking for it and you can get a copy for $195
at this place
Thanks its a lovely print but I wont be buying it.
Hi David, I’ll get my crayons and pencils out and make you a nice coloured copy of Carrington’s free public domain sketch for nothing. Would you like Ned to be shown as a little brown poo pile? I’ll use blue for the trees, purple for the ground, yellow for the railway line, red for the tents and buildings, and some other colours for other things. The sympathiser army will be in invisible ink. I got a gold star for art at kinder, you know..
Bang! Bang! No more Kelly gang!
Back to some serious history now: Practically everyone who visits this blog knows of or has a download of GW Hall’s February 1879 book, “Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges” , the first narrative account of the Kelly gang. If you are on this page and you haven’t read it, you can download the transcript free from Bill Denheld’s website here, https://ironicon.com.au/gw-hall-the-kelly-gang-1879.pdf
The transcript is accurate and paginated exactly as per the original copy in State Library Victoria against which it was carefully checked. I think it is also downloadable from SLV.
It has always been a mystery who GW Hall worked with in writing this book. The preface and elsewhere refer to “we” and “the authors”, but as far as I know, no-one has ever identified his co-author, an intrepid enquirer who at one point went out into the ranges and spoke first hand with the gang as related in chapter 25.
From an accidental find in Trove today, I suggest that Hall’s mystery co-author could have been the widely read and respected journalist who wrote under the pen-name Garryowen. Garryowen was well known, intrepid – going into many unusual places for his stories – and had a solid reputation for both plain speaking and discretion.
This thought occurred while reading an 1880 Herald article, “THE CAPTURED AND EXECUTED BUSHRANGERS OF 1842. BY GARRYOWEN”, on Trove here, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/244692924/26609304#
Two phrases stuck out when I read it: “In preparing my narrative I sought the most reliable sources of information, to which were added some personal recollections”; and “My purpose was to present a plain unvarnished tale— and the incidents in themselves were of such a nature as to require neither rhetorical coloring nor word-painting from me”.
Compare the similarity of phrasing, approach, and the general writing style of this article by Garryowen with the Preface in Hall’s Outlaws book. I think there is a good basis in this for speculating that Garryowen was Hall’s co-author, and possibly justifying more research in this direction. Thoughts?
Tom Lloyd junior is in the frame as a possible collaborator with Hall
No, this is not about collaborators or informants. A co-author is what is being discussed here. Hall’s Preface is signed “The Authors”, and the plural “we” is used several times in the Preface and elsewhere to refer to co-authorship. TLJ may have been an informant to the author as it is well known that he was close to the gang, but that is not the question. We are looking for someone with high written literacy, sufficient funds and willingness to go travelling about for information, well connected in journalistic, police and government circles, etc., as shown by some of the information relayed, and most importantly known well enough to GW Hall to be his co-author in this fast tracked book production venture. The book ends with coverage of the Jerilderie bank robbery which took place on 10 February, and the completed book rolled off Hall’s press on 22 February. An intrepid journalist fits the bill; one of the gang’s Greta Mob mates doesn’t.
In 2004, Hall’s book was republished by Brian McDonald of Australian History Promotions.
The question of the “we” was raised with Brian Mc in 2013 and Brian’s response was –
That George Wilson Hall was the sole author of the material is 99% accurate When I re-published his book I did undertake considerable effort in establishing that he was in fact the author. The final piece of evidence came when I compared his account of Stringybark Creek in “Outlaws” with the original “Mansfield Guardian” newspaper (Hall’s nespaper) of the shootings and its word for word in many places. The only variations are when he added more information whilst writing thee “Outlaws” book.
I’ll take Brian’s comment as being the most likely one for the use of the “we”
Brian also points out that the preface of the original book is dated 22 February 1879. Thats only 12 days after the Jerilderie raid and that Hall knew all the characters police and the Kellys intimately. Chapters 24 and 25 clearly show that Hall visited the Kelly hideout for a personal interview with the gang.
Hall was the sole author of the book, using “we” is like people asking the question “How are we” when in a dialogue of twp persons. A literary technique I would suggest in Hall’s case.
Thanks for that. Brian MacDonald is an acknowledged expert on Kelly writings so his opinion is certainly worth taking note of.
Thanks Anonymous, that’s great. There is still room for speculation in that Hall’s research was presumably in progress some time before he began publishing serially in his “Mansfield Guardian” newspaper, and all we know of the “stranger” in chapters 24 and 25 is that it was either Hall or a colleague.
I accept Brian’s comparison of the book with the serialised Guardian text to showthey are very similar – there is no reason to doubt that – but that doesn’t establish that Hall did all the background leg work himself. Chapters 24 & 25 on which the stranger meets the gang are set between the Euroa raid in mid December and the Jerilderie raid in early February. It is plausible that he had a co-author working with him at some point or points before or during the Guardian’s serialisation, not necessarily just near the end when the book was set up….
Brian may be right and Hall may have been the sole author, hiding this with a misleading reference to plural authorship. Or there may have actually been a co-author as Hall says in his preface. Brian left a small percentage of room for speculation there, and I continue to think it is warranted at this point. Maybe it’s unsolvable, but maybe not.
Didn’t much like Edmund Finn as co-author, Stuart. He was by then involved in Victoria’s Upper House. Journo The Vagabond was a better bet, who mentioned Ned. But also agree with David
Hi Anonymous, good points from both you and David. I think the Vagabond is worth further investigation.
Bear in mind this is pure speculation on an interesting question: did Hall have a co-author and if so who was he? Brian’s argument is reasonable, that there was no co-author and in effect that Hall was misdirecting by signing as “The Authors” and using some plurals (“we”) regarding authorship.
But why not then have a pseudonym? Or call it an anonymous work provided to him?
Brian could have said we don’t know, which is my position. However, he came down on the side of rejecting co-authorship. One would have to review all his reasons for that, not just what he mentions in the above extract as the final piece of evidence that convinced him. As I don’t have his edition of Hall, I don’t know if he put all his evidence in it. Unless domeone can upload his discussion on that point it will have to wait until SLV or another library is open after Premier Dan the Man deigns to lift his anti-business coronavirus restrictions so we can live like human beings again and go about our normal activities.
Prolific ‘historian’ Peter Fitzsimons Ned book wasn’t that popular on this blog. His latest effort “Breaker Morant” about an incident in the Second Boer War is thus reviewed by another group of which I am a member:
“I do not want to prejudge this publication but those of you familiar with Peter Fitzsimons’ work know that he likes to ‘recreate’ history by using a measure of dramatic licence by putting words into the mouths of people who were known to be present at an historical event. After all, this is what was done for the film ‘Breaker’ which so many people still consider to be an authentic record of events. It is a very popular form of recreating history and Peter Fitzsimons has thrived on it”.
With hindsight, Pete shoulda avoided Ian Jones altogether when writing about Ned.