First Hand Accounts Glenrowan History

Robert Gibbons’ Statement

An account of the siege by one of the prisoners.

South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), Saturday 3 July 1880, page 6

I am a farmer, and have recently been stopping at Glenrowan with Mr. Reynolds. I came to the railway station about 8 o’clock on Sunday night with Mr.. Reynolds to ask about his little boy, who had not been home. When we knocked at the door Mrs. Stainstreet told us that Mr. Hart was inside, and that they had been stuck up ever since 3 o’clock on Saturday morning. We followed her in, and saw Steve Hart. She told him who we were, and he then put his fire-arms down, giving us to understand that we were not to go out. We remained then about two hours, when Ned Kelly came, and Hart ordered us to come out of the room. Ned Kelly then told us that we would all have to go down to the police barracks with him. He kept us waiting there for about two hours, he having gone for Bracken. He returned to us with Bracken. He kept us waiting there about an hour and a half. Byrne at that time was with us. There he told me and Mr. Reynolds we would have to go to Jones’s Hotel. We went to the hotel, and he told us to get into the bar parlor. It was then about 10 o’clock on Sunday night, and we remained there until the train came. During that time the Kellys were going about the place making themselves quite jolly. Byrne was in charge of the back door, the other door being locked. A little after 3 o’clock the train came. Prior to that the gang drank quite freely with others. When the train arrived Ned came and said, “You are not to whisper a word that has been said here about me. If I hear of any one doing so I will shoot you.”‘ He went to the door of the room and said “Here she comes,” and then the gang busied themselves in making preparations, but for what I did not know. They came back and said the first man who left the room in which we were would be shot. Two of them then mounted their horses and rode away, but I could not tell which two. They came back in about ten minutes’ time. When they came back I saw that Dan was one of the two who had gone away. Dan went into a back room. All four in turn went into the same room. Very soon afterwards a hurried move was made, and firing commenced. There must have been about forty men, women and children in the house then. The women and children commenced to shriek, and Mrs. Jones’s eldest daughter was wounded on the side of the head, and the eldest boy shot in the thigh. The bullets rattled through the side of the house, and we laid down. We were packed so close that we had to lay on our sides. It was those who laid next the door who prompted us to come out, and we did so because we feared that the bullets would come through faster than ever. We also feared a cannon would be used; and about 10 o’clock we ran out. I heard some of them say that Byrne, or one of the gang, was lying dead in the back. I know that Dan was alive when I left.

By AJFPhelan56

Father, writer, artist and bushranging historian residing in Melbourne, Australia. Author of 'Glenrowan' and the popular website A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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