Mixed Media and 61" x 48" x 5"
Ned Kelly's "last stand" during the siege of the Jones' Inn at Glenrowan, Victoria, Australia - June 28, 1880.
Ned is shown wearing his home-made suit of armor as he returns to the siege to battle the police one last time. In the background Morgan's Lookout looms over the battlefield as the last stars of the night begin to fade as the dawn approaches.
Edward "Ned" Kelly (1854 - 1880) - Australian bushranger who was famous for wearing a suit of home-made armor in his final gun battle with the police (June, 1880).
Ned was the son of an Irish convict, John "Red" Kelly, who had been sent to Australia for stealing a pig. Obviously Ned, along with his brothers and sisters, was raised in a family who did not exactly like the English. Especially hated were the Irishmen who went ahead and joined the English police force.
Ned's police blotter shows a troubled youth who had no use for authority and who seemed to excel at boxing and stealing horses, a trade he learned from another noted bushranger, Harry Powers.
As a young boy, Ned saved another boy's life by pulling him to shore before the boy almost drowned in a creek. For this act of bravery the boy's family gave Ned a green sash; Ned kept the sash the years of his short life and was even wearing it under his armor when he was captured in June, 1880.
Ned's story was the subject of the very first recognized "feature length" film, "The Story of the Kelly Gang", which was released in 1906.
Having served three years in prison for horse stealing, Kelly came out and lived an honest life for a year or so before the law was on his case again, and again it was for stealing horses.
An arresting officer went to the Kelly homestead and emerged with a gunshot wound in his wrist. Claiming that Ned tried to kill him the law went to arrest Ned. But Ned and his younger brother, Dan, had fled into the hills. Four policemen from Mansfield went into the Wombat Range to search for the two wanted men and they made camp along Stringybark Creek. The next morning two officers rode out looking for signs of the Kellys while the other two remained behind in camp.
They were taken by surprise when Ned and Dan emerged from the trees along with two other men, Joe Bryne and Steve Hart. One officer went for his gun and Ned shot him dead. When the two other officers arrived back at camp they were ordered to drop their weapons; both men went for their guns and were shot dead. It was at that moment that the 4th officer, McIntyre, grabbed a horse and escaped.
The Kellys were now wanted men and took to the bush.
For two years nothing was heard from them except for the robbing of two banks.
When one of Ned's chums turned spy for the police, Joe and Dan went to his home and shot him dead. This act motivated the police to send a special train of armed men to the area where the traitor had been killed.
As this special train approached the mall town of Glenrowan a man was seen waving a red sash and lantern; the police train stopped and this man informed them that the Kellys had taken about 35 hostages and were holed up in the Jones' Inn. The police surrounded the inn and the siege was on.
During the siege Joe, Dan, and Steve were killed. At dawn the next morning Ned was seen lurching thru the brush clad in a suit of home-made armor! The police, confused by this strange, staggering apparition had no idea who, or even what, it was. In the ensuing gun fight this figure was seen to get shot in his legs and topple to the ground. The police approached it and, taking off the helmet, saw that it was Ned Kelly himself.
After a one-day trial in October, Ned was sentenced to death for the killing of the first policemen killed at Stringybark Creek. He was hung November, 11, 1880. From there the historians and the mythmakers took over and Ned has emerged as probably the most famous Australian of them all. In the 1970 movie, "Ned Kelly", Ned was played by the famous rockstar, M