Ned Kelly Raid on Jerilderie
From Saturday evening on February 6, 1879 until Monday evening on February 10, 1879, the Kelly gang carried out an audacious raid on the town of Jerilderie NSW, robbing the Bank of New South Wales of 2140 pounds, holding more than thirty residents hostage and locking the police in their own cell.
Those taking part were Ned Kelly, his brother Dan, Steven Hart, and Joe Byrne.
The real purpose for Ned's visit to Jerilderie however, was not to relieve the local Bank of its depositors funds but to have published Ned's account of the events leading up to his present plight, and the corruption of the law.
On the Monday afternoon Ned tried to locate Samuel Gill, the editor of the Jerilderie & Urana Gazette, to have his now famous "Jerilderie Letter" published. Ned was unable to locate Gill and attempted to hand the article to Mrs Gill, who refused to take custody of it.
The teller with the Bank of New South Wales, Edwin Living, offered to take possession of the "Letter" and pass it on to Gill for publishing, only to keep the manuscript for himself, and it did not resurface until more than 100 years later.
It is now known that the four outlaws rode into Jerilderie at about sunset on the Saturday. They initially made their way to the Woolshed Inn located some 4 km upstream from Jerilderie, where they had a meal and a few drinks. Towards midnight the outlaws descended upon the police barracks in Jerilderie where they captured Senior Constable Devine and Trooper Richards, locking them in their own cell.
On the Sunday the four members of the gang dressed themselves in police uniforms and masqueraded as reinforcements who were being sent on to the New South Wales/ Victorian border to join other police patrolling the border so as to prevent the Kelly gang from entering New South Wales!
Before robbing the bank when it opened for business on Monday, February 10, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, dressed in uniform, called on the Blacksmith shop of Samuel Rae where they had their horses re-shod, booking the work up to the NSW police.
Jerilderie has more surviving authentic Kelly sites than anywhere else along the Ned Kelly National Touring Route. Jerilderie Shire Council, with assistance of local Historian Cr. Laurie Henery, has developed a Jerilderie Raid Trail brochure complete with detailed timeline, in order for Kelly aficionados if they so desire, to directly retrace the footsteps of Ned and his gang as they proceeded to carry out an event that became an icon in the annals of Australian history.