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Tracing Ned Kelly's route to and from Jerilderie

Kelly Gang in Jerilderie

Source: Jerilderie Visitor Centre

In Chapter III of the Kelly Raid on Jerilderie written by William Elliott and Published in his paper, the Jerilderie Herald and Orana Advertiser, in serial form from 4th July 1903 to 3rd April 1904 he states that according to a conversation he had with Joe Byrne, whilst a hostage in the Royal Mail Hotel, 'they crossed the river a a point above half way between Mulwala and Tocumwal'.

Elliott goes on to write 'they rode in a northerly direction to the boundary of Barooga and Berrigan. Some four or five miles to the west of the present township of Berrigan but which, at that time, was a thick, scrubby forest there they camped the night. The following day they rode in a north-north easterly direction through the forest, across old Berrigan Station and on to Wunnamurra Station passing on the eastern side of that holding, and reaching the pine rise - about 5 miles east of Jerilderie township'.

As to the departure from Jerilderie, reference is again made to William Elliott's account of the raid. In Chapter XX he states 'they [Joe Byre and Dan Kelly] rode across the common in the direction of the Berrigan Road'.

Chapter XXIII states 'after Ned Kelly rode away from the town, he overtook Hart on the Wunnamurra Road near the common gate,' and 'the outlaws then road on and overtaking Dan Kelly and Byrne. the four pulled up at the homestead. [Wunnamurra]'.

After the police were reinforced including a blacktracker, the tracks of the gang were picked up from there they left Wunnamurra Station and in chapters XXVI and XXVII Elliott writes 'went straight across country towards where the Berrigan township is now situated, and on down the boundary fence of Nangunyah past Equity Park. From Equity Park the tracks diverged somewhat to the right, where they become indistinct.'

Local historian at Berrigan, Ian Fuzzard, states on page II of his publication "Berrigan, Today and Yesterday" published in 1965, 'it is not known when Peter Aitken took up 2,300 acres know as Equity Park but records show he was in residence there when the Kelly Gang crossed to Jerilderie in February 1879.'

After further discussions with Ian Fuzzard and other members of the Berrigan Historical Society, particularly Mrs Consie Dalglesh, the study of old maps depicting station boundaries, the tracks that traversed the area, and taking into account traditional storeis handed down through generations, the following maps has emerged as the routes most likely taken by Ned Kelly and his gan, to and from Jerilderie. In perusing the map however, they reader should be mindful of the worlds written by William Elliott, in Chapter III, 'It has never been definitely known, no ever will be, where the Kelly Gang crossed the [Murray] River to enter this state when they made their raid upon Jerilderie.'

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