Ned Kelly Hero, Victim or Villain
By Aleko Paltoglou

Ned Kelly hero, villain or victim ?

Some people think Ned Kelly was a brave courageous hero or a 'Robin Hood'. He stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Some people believe he was a victim who may have been misjudged by people. But others believe he was a vicious, cold-blooded coward, or in short a criminal. In my opinion I believe Ned Kelly was all of them in some way.

In many instances Ned Kelly was a hero, for example -as a young boy Ned saved another boy from drowning. This act made Ned Kelly a hero but he soon chose to get involved with a bad crowd. From then it was just down hill. From being a heroic and courageous boy he later turned into a vicious criminal who stole from others. In Ned Kelly's defence his father died when Ned was young and being the oldest child in the family, Ned had to step in and become the main breadwinner. Obviously Ned thought the best and easiest way to do that was to steal. Therefore Ned Kelly had the characteristics to become a hero but chose another path.

Although Ned Kelly could have been a hero he elected to become a bushranger. By starting to steal and assault members of the public Ned Kelly gave his family a bad name. In his defence Ned claimed that Ah Fook , a Chinese pig trader, had attempted to assault his sister. Although this time he was trying to defend his sister other times he stole from people for his personal gain. From stealing and assaulting others his crimes later escalated to the stage of killing 3 policemen at Stringy Bark Creek.Therefore Ned Kelly was found guilty of being a criminal.

Ned Kelly may have been misjudged as none of the people here today actually witnessed his shenanigans . Ned Kelly could have been a pleasant farmer who earned money the right way and the only killing he would have committed was to cut off his chickens heads. Besides losing his father at a young age which did cause a lack of direction in the family, he also was of Irish Catholic background and was discriminated by the English Protestants. In Ned Kelly's defence he was poor and opportunities for people back then were often unequal. Therefore Ned Kelly was a victim.

In conclusion there are varying opinions of whether Ned Kelly was a hero or a villain but one thing is certain, that Ned Kelly has gone down in history as an Australian folk hero.

Killings At Stringy Bark Creek

The police had obtained intelligence that the Kelly Gang were at Wombat Creek. Four officers were sent to apprehend the gang. The officers sent were Constable Lonigon, Sergeant Kennedy, Constable Scalon and Constable McIntyre . Three officers left the camp to apprehend the Kelly Gang but left Constable McIntyre behind to look after the camp. McIntyre heard something and shot at two birds, but by doing that the Kelly Gang heard the shot and captured McIntyre promising not to harm him. Later the three officers returned to the camp to find the Kelly's waiting for them. McIntyre fled the scene and reported the incident. The authorities later found the bodies of Scalon and Lonigon but, their was no trace of Kennedy. In the end 500 pounds was raised for a reward for apprehension of the Kelly Gang and a new law was authorised so that anyone could shoot them.

Ned Kelly Perspective

We're on the run no place to hide. My brother Dan told me that the Wombat Ranges were the quickest way to get to Glenrowan and that police never bothered to search in them. But how he was wrong! We were riding in the direction of Glenrowan when we heard a shot. We went to investigate who had fired the shot and found a police camp with a policeman waiting. The first thing Steve said was "fresh meat".We tied the policeman up and took him prisoner. We knew that he would not be alone so we hid in the bushes and waited for the rest of them to come back. We knew how many there were as we could see how many packs they had. We put a gag on McIntyre's mouth so that he could not alert the other police. When they came back we surprised them and tied them up so that we could have enough time to escape. While we were preparing for our departure McIntyre slipped out of the rope, took a gun with him and escaped. We did not feel threatend as we knew it would take time for the police to come back and we knew the bush like the back of our hands. We mounted our horses and left the camp for Glenrowan. On our way to Glenrowan we heard. three gunshots from a distance.WE WERE FRAMED!

Constable Lonigon Perspective

The policeforce were given an anonymous tip that the Kelly Gang were in Wombat Forest. We were sent to apprehend them and bring them to justice. We finally reached our destination and made camp. We needed someone to take care of our supplies as we assumed we would be there for a couple of days (searching for the Kelly Gang was not an easy thing). We decided to leave McIntyre to safeguard the camp. Constable Scalon, Constable Kennedy and I went to look for the Kelly Gang. When we found nothing we decided to go back to camp where we found McIntyre tied up. We went to help him but the Kelly Gang surprised us . They tied us up, put gags in our mouths and blind folded us. We knew someone escaped yet we didn't know who. It was all dark, the only things we heard were horses galloping away. I heard a gunshot, I knew it was the end...

Wombat Forest to Glenrowan

Ned Kelly's Best Hits

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