LETTER GIVES CLUE TO BUSHRANGER’S PERSONALITY
Ned Kelly, the famous armour-plated bushranger, had a “soft and mild looking face and eyes,” and cried, “I am done, I am done,” when shot down by police, according to a 133-year old letter.
When hit by a hail of bullets, Kelly staggered, but did not fall – probably because of his armour, a metal suit that weighed about 97 pounds. According to the letter, the bullets rained against the metal “like hail” and then slid off.
“They were firing into him at about 10 yards in the grim light of the morning without the slightest effect,” runs the letter.
It was not until the constables aimed at his legs that Ned Kelly finally and reluctantly fell to the ground.
The letter was penned by a Scotsman, Donald Gray Sutherland, who was working at the Bank of Victoria in Oxley when Kelly made his last stand.
Hearing of the affray, he went to nearby Glenrowan, to see the “desperadoes” who had caused bank staff “so many dreams and sleepless nights.”