This is the second part of a 3-part story of the shoot-out between the police and Ned Kelly’s gang at Stringybark Creek, some 143 years ago, in October of 1878.
One policeman – Trooper John McIntyre survived to tell the story in a journal that he subsequently wrote. The McIntyre family then donated that journal and other mementos to the Victorian Police Museum, and in return were given two copies of that account.
One copy eventually was given to McIntyre’s Great grandson, Laurie Hookey. I visited Laurie and his wife Mary-Rose in their home in the Victorian town of Healesville where we discussed the murder of the three police at Stringybark Creek and the subsequent events that led to the capture of Ned Kelly at Glenrowan.
Laurie called upon both stories passed down through the family and that journal as he relates how on arriving at Stringybark Creek on Friday October 25 1878, four police camped in a small clearing in the midst of thick bushland.
The following morning, Sergeant Kennedy with Constable Scanlan left to scout for the Kelly brothers, leaving McIntyre and Lonigan at the camp they were subsequently ambushed, with Lonigan killed by a fluke shot from the gun of Ned Kelly just before McIntyre was captured.
When two other police, Kennedy and Scanlon, returned to the camp the Kelly’s ambushed and killed them both. During the confusion McIntyre escaped by horse and raised the alarm.
It is a story line that great movies are made from, but this wasn’t a movie – it actually occurred!
Click to hear: The story of Thomas McIntyre – Part 2
[Listen To Older Voices receives funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Commonwealth Home Support Program Program]