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Insight into a legendary outlaw

I see the legendary Ned Kelly is in the news again ("Hundreds remember outlaw Ned Kelly", The Herald, January 19).

My great-great-uncle, Superintendent John Sadleir, knew him professionally, so to speak, being in command of the police when Ned was captured in 1880. He was commended for being kind to the badly wounded outlaw in the immediate aftermath, but chose to write these words in his memoirs many years later: "The true picture of the bushranger shows him to be a very poor and sordid thing indeed. The Kellys, in spite of a few successful enterprises, were as poor and unheroic as any of their kind" (from Recollections of a Victorian Police Officer).

Ronald Land,

21 Morven Road, Bearsden.

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