|Greta Cemetery Graves
I’ll start this post by saying I believe Dan Kelly and Steve Hart are most likely buried at the Greta Cemetery. Inspector Sadleir had released the charred bodies to the Kelly family and their friends, but there was a belief the authorities might have had a change of heart and seek to take the bodies back for the purpose of an inquest. Ian Jones’ book tells of a telegraph from the stationmaster at Benalla reporting that Hart’s brother (Richard) and about 50 armed men were at Greta intending to resist this.
A funeral was ultimately conducted at Greta Cemetery, with both bodies being reported to have been buried in a single grave. Some say the ground around the grave was then ploughed over to hide the exact location. Other commentators though have suggested that the coffins contained rocks, and that the bodies were actually buried elsewhere.
There is so much speculation.
Some of the stories handed down by the families of sympathiser (as documented by Eugenie Navarre) suggest that Dan and Steve escaped the inferno at Glenrowan, although this seems unlikely. There are other stories that Dan was buried on the Kelly property (Gary Dean apparently knows the precise location) and that Steve was buried beneath an old fig tree on the Hart property at Wangaratta (the tree concerned fell several years ago during a storm, but the location is still known).
I have heard another story handed down through a family that had connections with Richard Hart that “the boys” were buried in a gully on the east side of the Fueller Range, not far from Glenrowan. They could have been transported to this site overland through properties owned by relatives and sympathisers (and thereby avoiding the Glenrowan Road). This story came to me from someone who I would regard as a reliable source and I have spent some time narrowing down the possible location of the gully (I found three possibilities) and viewing the earliest aerial photographs (1941) of these gullies looking for possible signs of ground disturbance. One of the possible sites has since been destroyed by the expansion of an orchard (which I’d like to think would never have been allowed to have happened if it was the one!).
As I state at the outset, I believe “the boys” are most likely buried at Greta, as much as anything because I can’t imagine how the secrecy of any alternative scenario could have been maintained. The truth could be easily confirmed if the graves at Greta were exhumed, but this is never going to happen. On the other hand, if a grave was found on the Kelly selection (probably also never going to happen), or bones found at the site of the fig tree on the former Hart property, or in one of the gullies in the Fueller Range, then maybe that would be an alternative means of arriving at the truth.
The Corfield Ned Kelly Encyclopaedia and other references (e.g. Kevin Passey) mention these alternative possibilities. So I am quite interested in what readers of this blog might have to say about these stories. Has anyone looked into this further? Has there been any ground radar analysis undertaken on the Kelly property? Has anyone investigated the fig tree location?
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