THE LATE GOLD ROBBERY AT THE IRON BARKS

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Post  Guest on Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:14 am

THE LATE GOLD ROBBERY AT THE IRON BARKS

DEATH OF GERMAN DAN.

FEBRUARY , 1866 {From our correspondent to the S. M. Herald.}

At an adjourned magisterial inquiry, held this 8th of February 1866, at Iron Bark’s in the colony of N.S.W, touching the death of one John Garvey, who was found dead on Tuesday, the 6th instant-present: Messrs. J. Milburne Marsh, P.M; and G. Kroff, J.P.- Henry Laurence, being dully sworn, deposed: I am a licensed butcher residing at Iron Bark diggings, near Wellington; I recollect some time in the evening of Tuesday the 6th February, being occupied killing an ox at the back of my house; my partner W. Bragg, was with me at the same time; I saw several men coming from Mr. Smith’s engine, amongst whom I recognized James Osborne, German Dan, {the man now wondered} and another, a partner of theirs called Jack, who was carrying the gold in his two hands; just at the same time I saw two men on two bay horses, whom I took for blackfellows, coming towards the men at full canter, and I heard these two men call out either “put it down,” or “drop it;” immediately afterwards I heard a shot fired, and saw the dust fly from the bullet striking the ground. The shot was fired from the two horsemen towards the men with the gold; at the same time I heard shouts from the diggers calling out “help Murder,” bushrangers!
I turned to my partner, William Bragg, who was standing by me and said; where’s the gun? He went inside his house, and said “it’s not loaded,” and I said load it, by this time, whilst my partner was inside his house loading the gun, I heard several shots fired by the bushrangers towards German Dan {that is Daniel Heinzberg}, and the last shot with a rifle, about ten yards distance, at German Dan, by the tallest of the bushrangers, who was then dismounted, and standing near Dan, as if to pick up the gold; and after the shot was fired I heard a cry from German Dan, who staggered back a few paces and got behind a stump on his hands and knees; all the other men {the Diggers} were scattered in all directions, and all unarmed; I then saw the bushranger who shot Dan mount his horse, as if he picked up the gold and had it before him; I was about one hundred yards off; by this time the other bushranger had turned his horse’s head up the hill east ward towards Muckerawara; he was about twenty paces ahead; by this time my partner had come out of his house with his gun, which he had just loaded {one barrel}; I said to him “look sharp”; we both went towards the gully which divided us from the bushrangers; by this time the bush rangers had got from thirty to forty yards from where they had taken the gold;
I said to my partner, “now is the time”; “let them have it,” or “give it to them”; I meaning thereby and my partner understanding that he was to fire at the bushrangers who were then about one hundred and twenty yards off; I do not recollect telling my partner which to fire at; the tallest of the two who shot Dan was the nearest to him by two or three paces; I saw my partner {Mr. Bragg level his gun at the nearest bushranger; I heard the report of the gun, and I watched the bushranger to see what effect it had taken; immediately afterwards I saw the horse he was riding gather himself up as if he was shot; of frightened with the report; I did not see the bushranger move in the least, nor did he appear to be shot; at this time the house was going at full speed; the other bushranger was further ahead than ever; I saw them both for about fifty yards further, when they were lost to sight on account of the scrub; I then went over to the wounded digger, Dan; I saw him sitting on the bleeding from a wound in the right breast, with some of his mates around him; I stayed some little time – it might have been half-an-hour; by this time the police had come, and I then showed them the direction the bushrangers had taken; my self and several others followed the police up the hill, when we heard that a house with saddle and bridle on was galloping round the hill, and some of the party said “lets go and search, we might find the man;” we went a little farther; then I heard a shout, saying “here he is”; I went up and saw the bushranger whom I had previously seen shoot German Dan, the gold-digger, and whom I believe my partner shot at as he {the bushranger} was ridding up the hill; he was then lying dead, and I perceived he was not a blackfellow, as I originally thought, but a white man, with his face and hands disguised with a blue color; I saw the rifle he shot German Dan with, which was just taken I believe from alongside him; I did not recognize him, as I did not know him, but I heard others identify him as the old man at Bell’s crushing-machine, and who has been sworn to as John Garvey; I saw the dead bushranger {John Garvey} removed in a cart shortly after to the lock-up, where I saw the dead body the next morning, previously to the magisterial inquiry being held; I helped to carry home German Dan, the wounded digger, who was not expected to live, owing to the wounds he had received from the bushranger now dead. Viz.; John Garvey; I was present at the inquiry yesterday, but was not called; the bullet with which I believe my partner loaded his gun and fired at the bushranger John Garvey was molded by him-self, and was an ounce weight, and used for killing bullocks; I saw the bullet taken from the hoses neck by Dr. Rygate, and it corresponded in size with those my partner was in the habit of using; the gun out of which my partner fired was a smooth boar, and not rifled, and fired at a distance of. I believe one hundred and thirty yards, which I stepped afterwards.



From James well what a yarn! You know I could see the butcher at work killing the ox. I could feel his partners anxiety as he tried to load his gun. I could feel the fear from the Diggers as they were shot at, and the haste in the Bushrangers as they carried out there task.
When reading this yarn I was transported back in history to a time when a person could and would look after his mates. Can you pitcher the mate of the butcher taking aim a hundred and thirty yards with an ounce slug out of a smooth boar, what a shot! Glad it was not me that got hit with that slug. James

Link
http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/

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Post  Billy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:30 pm

As always James, a great read!
I spend a bit of time (its never enough) in the general area described in this story and just being there always gets the imagination going. Trying to picture what it must have been like in the "days of gold".
For those that don't know the area there is some quite rugged country about the place and like in all goldfields of the time those buggers must have been bloody fit! They may well have had one leg shorter than the other to compensate for the angle of the hills Very Happy
While I have no sympathy for the alleged gold thief I reckon he was a bit unlucky to get tagged from that distance Neutral
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Post  Guest on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:01 pm

A hundred and thirty yards with an ounce slug out of a smooth boar, what a shot!
Man that is saying it all.
cheers

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