this section we will focus on, how, why and when of when the young
Joseph Byrne was strung to the lock - up door, of the Benalla police
Station. The grave today, however has been marked by the Benalla
Historical society, and Joe's grave gets a regular visit from myself,
I lay flowers, every single time I go along to Benalla just to visit
Now read on as we enter the Journey of what as from Joe's death, until
his burial that cold and lonely night of the 29th of June. Now the
date is, 28th of June 1880, The volley that
is about to kill Joe is just about to happen
read on ....
''We were told
that Byrne had been firing, and was in great spirits, boasting of
what the gang was going to do. The work was hot, and he went to
the counter for a drink. Finding that the weight of the armour prevented
him throwing back his head to swallow the liquor he lifted the apron-shaped
plate with one hand while with the other he lifted the glass to
this attitude a chance bullet struck him in the groin, and spinning
around once he fell dead''
report came from Superintendent Sadleir, who was there during the
siege. How accurate these reports are, we will never know, but it
is more than likely true.
Joe toppled over, dropping his glass, and hit the floor as James
Reardon put it "Like a log " and Reardon said
he heard "Like blood gushing" Kate Reardon's,
pinny and dress were now stained with the blood of an outlaw, and
as Joe partly fell on her, Little Kate, could
hear a Grand Father clock, chiming like mad after it had been struck
by the same volley that had hit Joe; time had gone mad, Joe was
Joe had fallen, he cried the immortal, words:
“Here's to many more days in the bush, for the Kelly Gang!”
the mystery of all is, that did Joe see Ned as he walked in thorough
the back door of the Inn after returning to turn the sympathizer
away?, Ian Jones, Kelly Authority, believes that Joe did see Ned.
Joe was dead at 23 years of age.
Later that day, Ned Kelly, the gallant leader of the gang was
captured, Dan and Steve more than likely committing suicide, and, at
3pm the police set fire to the Inn, as flames raced through the
building, Father Gibney, a brave priest ran into the burning
building, and rescued Joe's corps.
Joe Boarded the same train as Ned and they were driven back to
Benalla, and Joe spent the cold night in the cell next to Ned's. A
English sketcher, Julian Ashton, he drew Joe's dead corps in the
cell, with a blacktracker kneeling over Joe. Joe's riding pants were
drenched in the outlaws
blood, Knee's flexed slightly, arms were half raised; Joe's fists
Ashton hurriedly exited the area, from a sight he didn't enjoy.
Next morning, at around 6:30am, Joe's body was placed on display,
strung by a flag pole rope, hanging, his soft young face, eyes, with
clenched fists, was looking on to all who had come to see the young
As the this disgusting theme put forward by the authorities, a young
girl, burst through the crowd, and leapt in front of Joe
"End the circus!" she cried.
The young girl was walked away, in tears, she was never identified.
Max Brown, a writer seemed to think it was Maggie, Ned's sister.
After a hurried inquest, that night, Joe's body was ridden out to
the top right hand corner of the Benalla Cemetery, in unconsecrated
ground, placed in a hessian bag, and buried. His grave can be seen
to the right. Only an undertaker, and
two policemen were present. No speeches, no flowers, and more
importantly, no claiming; no one claimed Joe's body; not even his
mother, Tom Lloyd asked for the body, but was declined. So, whenever
you pass by Benalla, on a holiday, caravanning, or even stopping the
night in Benalla I ask you to go down to Joe's grave, lay some
flowers, or just pay your respects to a most admirable individual.