Ned Kelly:His story will never truly be known
By Anna Withers
Everyone has their own point of view on the story of Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly was a criminal, outlawed by the police but he also stood up for the Irish and normal people against the harsh and unfair police force at the time. All Australians think they know the truth but someone has to be mistaken. The story of Ned Kelly will never truly be known because everyone could only hear one side of the story, the police were probably lying to cover their mistakes and Ned Kelly was picked on for being Irish.
The residents of Australia could only hear one side of the story of Ned Kelly because all the reporters that had the job of passing the knowledge to the world. The only information they could get was from the police itself. Ned Kelly and his gang were so outraged about how the press were picturing him as, so he asked his friend and gang member, Joe Byrne, to write out a document to justify his actions and to tell his side of the story. The police advised against releasing the letter to the press for publication and his story was never told. Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne tried again with the 'Jerilderie Letter' and succeeded with getting phrases of it in the newspaper but the full document was not published in full until 1930. It is a 53 page document with approximately 8000 words. If the courts, policemen and local people had a copy of this letter then we will know more about what the story of Ned Kelly is and would not have treated him so harshly. This is why the story of Ned Kelly will never truly be known.
Secondly, the police force wanted to be strong and powerful police force, but they always made their mistakes. The police wanted the people of Victoria to feel safe in their hands so they always tried to cover up their mistakes. The courts would take every word a policemen said to be 100% true. For example, the Fitzpatrick Incident. According to Ned Kelly's mother, Fitzpatrick made some 'advances' towards her 14 year old daughter Kate and the boys were defending her honour. Kate's side of the story was that she was alone and her brother arrived home just in time to witness Fitzpatrick behaving inappropriately to her. A neighbour, Brickey Williamson claimed he stood between Mrs Kelly and Fitzpatrick and took the shovel off her. Ned's brother Jim said that Fitzpatrick had accidentally shot himself in the scuffle with Dan. According to Ned Kelly he was 600 km away from home. According to Ned's cousin said that Fitzpatrick was about to shoot Ned when Dan grappled him to the floor. The constable accidentally cut himself on the door latch. According to Constable Fitzpatrick, he was going to the Kelly house to arrest Dan Kelly, even though he didn't have an arrest warrant. When the Kelly's asked if he had one and replied that he didn't and Dan Kelly and neighbors attacked him. Ned Kelly apparently shot him in the wrist. Of course the police believed Constable Fitzpatrick, even though he was drunk and the bullet wound had never came from a gun. The police cover up their mistakes so we will never know the story of Ned Kelly.
My third and final point is that Ned Kelly, his family and his class were picked on by society because they were Irish. As a boy, 18 charges were made against his family but only half of them resulted as a Kelly guilty so this proves that were unfairly targeted by local civilians and the police force. The Kelly family even had to move because they were unfairly targeted. An example of this was when, Mr James Gloucester had lost a horse and Ned Kelly found it and gave it back to him, expecting the reward he had promised in the newspaper. Mr Gloucester accused him of horse theft and brought it before the court. Mr Gloucester said that the horse was in better condition than it was before it had been stolen. This proves that the story of Ned Kelly will never truly be known.
In conclusion, nobody can be 100% sure whether Ned Kelly was a hero, villain or even a victim because his story will never truly be known. Everybody heard one side of the story, the police would cover up their mistakes and he was picked on for being an Irishman. So don't accuse others of misbelief because we will never know whether they were right or wrong.
On the 15th April, 1878, Constable Fitzpatrick was left alone guarding the police station but he wanted to be famous and well regarded so when he saw an arrest warrant for Dan Kelly in the 'Police Gazette' and went to the Kelly house to arrest him but he had no arrest warrant. The events that took place when he got there are not definite with people having different 'views' on what happened. Fitzpatrick left the house with a dented helmet and claimed to have a bullet wound but did not actually have one.
Dear Ned Kelly,
It is your sister Kate writing to you explaining some terrible events that have occurred at our homestead. It began in the evening with two sharp knocks on the door. I put my baby sister, Alice, in her cradle and walked slowly to the door. I had barely walked two steps when their were more knocks, continuing until I had reached the door.
"Please, I'm coming" I shouted to be heard over the noise. When I opened the door I saw Constable Fitzpatrick in his police uniform. I met Constable Fitzpatrick at church on Christmas Day. I feel really guilty because I think he took a fancy to me even he is drunk all the time, smells and he takes drugs. Ew!!! I shouldn't even get those idea's in my head anyway for he is ten whole years older than me. He also tore my brother Ned's sole right of his boot when he ran away from the police. Those boots cost a shilling! My thoughts were interrupted when Fitzpatrick stepped in through the door and didn't take off his helmet.
"I have come to arrest Daniel Kelly for horse and cattle theft" Fitzpatrick announced.
" He is not here right now." I was really annoyed with him. He had no proof that my brother stole the animals and of course he just wanted the police to be proud of him so he blamed on someone who didn't have the 'authority' or 'class'.
My mother, Ellen, who was cooking stew by the fire seemed to be thinking the same thoughts."Show me your arrest warrant."
At that moment Dan walked. He obviously had had a hard day because he looked pretty worn out. 'Daniel Kelly, you are under arrest for horse and cattle stealing' and before Dan Kelly could react he grabbed his hand to put his handcuffs on but before he did Dan said," I would like to have dinner before I leave" He sat down to eat.
"Kate, can you show me where Dan's identity papers are?" Fitzpatrick asked. I lead him to Dan and his brothers bedrooms are. As soon as we were out of sight he grabbed me and tried to kiss me. I screamed at the top of my lungs and I could swear the neighbours could have heard it. "Help! Get off me! DAN! DAN HELP ME"
In a flash both my mother and brother were in the room. Dan attacked Fitzpatrick and pulled him off me. The were both rolling around on the floor punching each other. My mother got the closest thing to her, a shovel, and hit Fitzpatrick on the helmet making a dint. I ran to the other room and picked up a gun before Dan or my mother hurt themselves. "Alright! Everybody stop at look at me!"
I don't think anyone heard me so I fired a shot at the ground. This had the desired affect on everyone. I gave the gun to Dan relieved that I didn't have that responsibility. While we were discussing what do to with Fitzpatrick he snuck away and I was surprised that one of those shots didn't hit him.
I am shocked about what happened a few days ago. I actually had nothing to do with it but I am caught up in this mess. I was on a successful cattle stealing project and we had a successful business going. Back to what happened last night. I got a letter from my sister Kate, telling me to go into hiding. She said that Constable Fitzpatrick had covered up his bad mistake and blamed it our family and the person he hated most in it, me. I am 600 km from home in a small town but he said that I, Ned Kelly, had shot him!
I went back to our homestead cautiously and I have found out that my mother, Ellen Kelly, has got a sentence for three years as well as some neighbours that are spending six years in jail! She even has to take her baby, Alice, with her. Kate and her sister have to look after the family until my mother has come out of prison. The tension was very high at the table. The younger children were because we were going to go to prison. Kate was quiet and embarrassed. Dan was pale and wasn’t talking much. I was angry for nobody was discussing what had happened and how we were going to fix it. I guess they were ashamed and embarrassed.
After that Kate put the younger ones to bed but Dan and I kept talking. In the end we decided it would be best to hide in the wombat ranges since we were outlaws. I guess we didn't have any choice. If we turned ourselves in, fifteen years later we would still be in prison. My friend Joe (Joseph Byrne) and and Dan's friend Steve (Stephen Heart) said they would bring us food and tools from time to time but I think in the end they will join our camp. I will always stay not far from my homestead for my mother is in jail.
One day, when we have gotten over the shock and worked on our skills( target practice, riding horses) we could become a real gang. Fighting for the people that cannot be heard so they can be heard.With my horse skills, Joe's writing, Dan's calming attitude, and Steve's determination we could become one of the most successful gangs in history. Its name:
The Kelly Gang