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Bushranger Ben Hall Is Dead ~ 1865


Dear Grandpa Pencil looks at early Australian development through journals, official reports and newspaper excerpts of the day. Readers should remember that these accounts are based on personal observations at the time and some have, since, been shown to be flawed.

'Bushranger Ben Hall Is Dead' is drawn from an article in The Illustrated Sydney News: 16th May 1865
Note: This material is not suitable for smaller children

The news of the event of Ben Hall's death was received in Sydney on the morning of Saturday week, and a later stage on that day the police arrived at Forbes with his body, on which a judicial enquiry was held.

Inspector Davidson, Sergeant Condell, five troopers and two black trackers came across Hall's horse near the Billabong Creek, about 12 miles from Forbes, and searched for some time for Hall, whom they could hear in the adjoining scrub.

After searching for a short time they decided to wait until morning and, believing that he would come for his horses, they secreted themselves near where the animals were feeding.

About daylight next morning Hall emerged from the scrub and proceeded across an open space toward his horses, and in doing so passed close to where Mr. Davidson was.

When he came within range Mr. Davidson emerged from his concealment and called upon him to stand.

Hall at once attempted to run off, but had only gone a few paces when Mr. Davidson fired and hit him, but he continued running.

Sergeant Condell and the black trackers then fired two shots, both of which took effect, but did not stop him.

It was not until five troopers, posted in the scrub, fired, that he appeared injured.

On receiving their fire he caught hold of a gum sapling, and supported himself by it for a few moments, called out: "I am wounded. Shoot me dead."

The police continued firing and he fell back a corpse.

On examining the body it was seen that he had received about thirty bullets, two of which passed through the brain.

On his person they found three loaded revolvers, 70 pounds in cash, three gold chains, and the miniature of a female.

Hall was comparatively a young man at the time of his death, being only twenty-eight years of age, rather above medium height, and rather stoutly built.

He was possessed of a nice cattle station about three years ago and amongst his squatting friends was always looked upon as a generous and obliging young man.

Unfortunately for himself he made the acquaintance of gardiner's gang, in an evil hour he became enamoured of their lawless life, and joined them.

What the result has been, our readers are aware.


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