A “BORING Sunday in Glenrowan” that ended with the violent capture of bushranger Ned Kelly has been forensically uncovered in a new book.
Albury-based Prime7 News producer Paul Terry has penned The True Story of Ned Kelly’s Last Stand which uses the archaeological dig at the Glenrowan siege site in 2008 as a springboard to exploring the outlaw’s life and times.
“I probably didn’t really get the Ned bug until I started working on the dig and I think once you start getting involved in the Ned Kelly story you do get hooked on it,” Terry said yesterday.
The 275-page book outlines how archaeologists unearthed the remnants of Ann Jones’ Glenrowan Inn, where the siege occurred there in June, 1880, and depicts the stories of those caught in the stand-off between the Kelly Gang and police.
“We hear about the last stand and Ned’s brave fight in the armour but there were women, children, old people all crammed into this tiny, little shack with bullets punching through the walls and people dying and blood and screaming,” Terry said.
“It was actually a really horrific event, so the human side of the story, as a journo, appealed to me.
“They were just ordinary people in a bush town — they got up that Sunday morning thinking they were just having another boring Sunday in Glenrowan and they became part of this massive event that changed the whole nation.”
Click play to watch Terry's sneak peek reading.
Terry acknowledges Kelly as Australia’s most passionate historical figure but is divided in his opinion of him.
“The line I use is ‘I admire the man, if not the methods’,” Terry said.
“I think he was a remarkable guy, a remarkable person who had an immense amount of charisma, willpower and strength, but some of the things he did are debatable.
“You can debate the killing of the policemen at Stringybark Creek.
“It was probably a self-defence manslaughter at least, not murder, but I did struggle to come to terms with the fact he intended to wreck a trainload full of policemen which would have been a mass murder.”
Terry’s work is endorsed by Kelly historian Ian Jones who in a foreword states: “Few have written about Ned Kelly with such balance and with so few preconceptions”.
Terry and Jones will discuss The True Story of Ned Kelly’s Last Stand at Tanswells Commercial Hotel at Beechworth at 1.30pm Saturday during the Ned Kelly Weekend.