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column all the way down



8 June 2004
Heritage Victoria nomination of Stringybark Ck and Kellys Creek.

Kelly target tree log
recovered from Kelly Ck bog. 14 Jan 2004


1860's to recent times.
Follow the key events leading  to the shootout at Stringybark and up to the present day.



recent discovery,
photo of the  chopped trees at the 1878 Kelly camp to recover fired bullet lead.
story 8

The Kelly campfire
and bullet holed skull

See story 10

NEW, Ned Kelly Centre Glenrowan
story 11

Proposed design
concept by
architect Penleigh Boyd and Bill Denheld .



Two Huts at
Stringybark Creek.



click here


The importance of the   huts at Stringybark Ck.
The above powder flask
was found within one of the huts. floor plan.


One hut or two.
The hut site was marked on a 1884 survey map


Orientation of the
Burman photo.
The police camp then and now.


Read how an 1878 photo
lead to finding the bush hut fireplaces.


A Kelly tree history
The tree is 350 - 400 meters from where the original stood.


McIntyre's sketch and the Burman photos compared.


BLUE RANGE, crucial to the Kelly story?


The Bullets of Kellys Ck
My story 1985


The Kelly hut on Bullock Creek may not have been the only hut.

The Kelly target tree was first made public by Bill Stewart 1985.  Read about the Kelly tree on Kellys Creek.


Ned Kelly's death mask.
See it in true 3D

virtual reality.

The EK marked gun,

he Kelly camp fire.


The new proposed
Ned Kelly Centre at
Glenrowan by architect
Penleigh Boyd
and Bill Denheld

 CONTACT ME direct 

Bill Denheld
amateur  Kelly researcher

This is for your input.
If you like this website please feel free to let me know your thoughts, ideas, and contributions.
All views considered, answered and published.






Update, Aug 2017

Sergeant Kennedy was the officer in charge of the Mansfield party to hunt for the Kelly brothers. Following the fatal shootout with Ned Kelly at Stringybark Ck where two police were killed, the Sergeants body was not found till five days later about 800 yards down the creek north. The exact spot was never marked. The quest to find that conclusive spot is now more complete.


14 March 2014,
Leo Kennedy asks Bill to help him locate Sergeant Kennedy's murder site.

In 2014, I was asked by Leo Kennedy if I could help locate the likely spot where his great grandfather Michael Kennedy was killed by Ned Kelly.

In 2002, I identified the correct site of the police camp known as the Two Huts site. 
This therefore was the only logical starting point in the search for the Kennedy site. 

After a careful reading of primary sources and analysis of the 1878 Burman photo taken at the site where Sergeant Kennedy’s body was found, I set out with Leo along the east bank of Stringybark Creek in search of the site. 

 Bill (left) with Leo at SBC ready to explore every nook and cranny along the creek.

After several days of bush bashing and measuring distances, we were able to eliminate a dozen sites along the creek.  Eventually we determined that only one site was consistent with the Burman photograph and written descriptions.  The site is located some
850 metres away from the Police Camp site where Constables Lonigan and Scanlon were killed.  The photograph below shows Leo Kennedy at the site in front of a tree that I consider is likely to be the same tree which features in the Burman photo (see below). 

Click on above image to enlarge.

We initially decided not to publicize our findings in the hope that a proper archaeological investigation could be undertaken of the identified area.  In this regard, it is likely that the shot that passed through the sergeant’s body would still be embedded in the ground and that a proper archaeological investigation could pinpoint the exact location. 

However in 2015 Leo and I accompanied journalist Lisa Clausen to the site as part of Leo’s quest for proper acknowledgement to be given to the three policemen killed at SBC.  This resulted in a feature article “The true history of the Kelly victims” being published as a feature article in The Age newspaper on 11 April 2015. It was hoped as a result of this article that this would lead to the site being properly investigated and identified and ultimately signposted. 

Following the publication of 'The Age' article, we were contacted by Gene-pool, a film production company which was interested in taking on the Kennedy /SBC story.  Unfortunately as much as I would like to have been involved in this documentary given my vast knowledge and experience of SBC, Gene-pool wanted to use the TV archaeologist Adam Ford as the SBC “expert” for the purpose of the documentary. 

I understand, but hope I am wrong, that Gene-pool have also consulted with and possibly been influenced by a group which calls itself CSI@SBC (i.e. Crime Scene Investigation @ SBC) which claims to have identified another site as the site where the police were camped and where Lonigan and Scanlon were killed.  The fact that this site is totally wrong can be easily proven, because photos of the camp was taken looking Southerly where as the CSI group requires the photo to be facing North East . Refer to my explanation - Two Hut site - PDF doc

It seems to me that the Gene-pool documentary may well identify the site of Kennedy’s killing based on the work I undertook for Leo Kennedy.  Hopefully my work in identifying this site will be properly acknowledged.  It seems to me however that if the site of the Police Camp is not correctly identified, then this will make the documentary historically inaccurate.  It would be unfortunate on the one hand to correctly identify the site of Kennedy’s killing, whilst at the same time incorrectly identifying the site at which Lonigan and Scanlon were killed.

Below: Bill stands by a most likely tree as in the Burman photo of 1878/9 as we believe this is the same area.


Updated, 14 Dec 2012
Where did Sergeant Kennedy die ?

Sergeant Kennedy was the officer in charge of the Mansfield party to hunt for the Kelly brothers. Following the fatal shootout with Ned Kelly at Stringybark Ck where two police were killed, the Sergeants body was not found till five days later about 800 yards down the creek north. The exact spot was never marked. The quest to find that conclusive spot is not complete.


One may well ask why it is important to identify this site? With a major monument in honour for the three fallen police in the centre of Mansfield town, isn't it rather sad that nobody bothered to mark the actual sites where those events happened so long ago? While Constables Lonigan and Scanlan's tragic fate was at Stringybark Creek, Sergeant Kennedy is synonymous by all contemporary accounts with German's creek, and not Stringy Bark Ck, (SBC) but is that correct ?. It is important to identify the true historic sites, - if only in pursuit of truth and knowledge.

On 28 August 2004 and leading up to that time a small group ventured to locate the true site along Germans Creek, given that we accepted the site of the police camp 'bailup shooting' site was on the Eastern bank of SBC. We were, Tim Smith, Joe Dipisa, Bruce Johnson, myself and a few others. 
Image below from "Pictorial History of Bushrangers, Paul Hamlyn 1966 
Original image held by Victorian Police Museum - Historical Unit. Melbourne

The evidence. From careful examination, both these pictures have flat ground and gentle rising slope in the background, Both pictures have a ' light 'source from the left, indicating North. In the left picture, the trees are over exposed with light offering little shadow detail. However, the cloak over the body on the ground gives strong indications where the light source is a midday sun in a November's Northern sky. Note; the folds in left man's trousers, the light falling on his back show the light source coming from above left.

Picture above right. Researcher Tim Smith in a open natural clearing, examines a photo copy and  notes - the similarities of the terrain. The original image (above left) was a re-enactment by FC Burman, (taken around the same time as the SBC police camp photo where Constable Lonigan was shot dead), and shows the actual tree near where the Sergeants body was found. It was reported the tree was between the body and the police camp (some 30 chains to 1/2 Mile North). If we analyse the light we can conclude, the scene depicted is the Eastern bank of a creek looking East, but if the tree was between the body and the camp, then the photo must be looking south westerly and the light coming from an eastern morning sun
. Although photo (right), shows a clear opening on the east bank of a Creek, this site was first selected following descriptive texts as this article will consider. 

Some considerations;

In contemporary Kelly publications, we read that - the Sergeant's body was found on the other side of the Creek from their encampment ( McIntyre), this supports Kelly author Ian Jones who has the police camp on the Eastern bank of Stringybark Creek, The problem for Jones, if the body was found on the other side of the creek to the west and photographed looking EAST according to sunlight observed, then the North west is in close proximity to German's Creek and this is where the first search was focused. But nowhere in the Primary Sources does it say the body was found near German's Creek !

This then leads us to consider the police camp was actually on the west bank at the site of the two huts site and makes sense that " the body was found on the other side of the creek" on the east bank of SBC and not Germans Ck at all.

Primary sources -

Recorded at the time of finding the sergeants body;

Constable McIntyre's Manuscript Page37 quotes a telegram by Sub Inspector Pewtress within one week of the killings, 31 Oct 1878 ; "At 8 a.m. the body of Kennedy was found about a mile North East  of the camp by one of the volunteers named Henry Sparrow the overseer of Mount Battery Station. Meaning Stringybark Creek.  ( this fits with the two huts site)
McIntyre Manuscript Page 37-
The body of Sergeant Kennedy had been found 8 o'clock that morning in the midst of some ferns  over a quarter of a mile down the creek from the site of our encampment.   ( this fits with the two huts site)

It is important to note the description of the site, Pewtress wrote "in the midst of some ferns".

G.W.Hall  wrote; 30 chains ( = 660 yards). Hall actually visited the site and was the special Mansfield reporter - for the Melbourne Herald 5/11/1878. ( ten days after )

The Mansfield Gaurdian, Saturday 2 Nov 1878 only eight days later - reported
" The body was found about a quarter of a mile from the spot where the Police were camped, with his cloak thrown over him " --  He (Kennedy) was making his escape in the same direction that M'Intyre had taken " .

Mounted Constable Thomas Orr stated  " on arrival at the (police) camp the party scattered about to search in a North Easterly (crossed out and rewrote) westerly direction.

Here we have Const Orr stating the search started in a westerly direction.

When the body had been found several of the search party were to make sworn depositions-.
First was Henry Sparrow who said the search proceeded in a North Westerly direction when he discovered Kennedy's body.
"At about a quarter of a mile from the camp I discovered the body of Sergeant Kennedy, he was dead & lying on his back with a police cloak spread over his head and body. The spot was open for eight yards round about."

This may mean the search started N West of the camp but that Sparrow ventured over SBC to the Eastern bank and came across the body of Kennedy. This works when we read that McIntyre escaped on Kennedy's horse heading North, - tracks that Kennedy followed.

Constable James who with the help of Black Trackers found the Kelly camp one month later, he said from the police camp they followed horse tracks crossing the creek - swampy ground north of the police camp that eventually led to the Kelly camp some 1 - 1/2 mile North West of police camp.

James Tomkins, President of the Mansfield Shire Council - The Primary source includes a Telegram  Tomkins sent to Sub Inspector Pewtress- Telegram 31st October 1878.-  

“ To the Chief Commissioner of Police. - Since my report to you on Monday night, I organised a party of 11 volunteers and 6 constables. Started on Tuesday morning for the Stringybark Creek, and searched for Kennedy until dark without success. We returned to Mansfield at midnight. I got together another party of 16 volunteers yesterday afternoon, and with 5 constable's proceeded to Monks hut. Stopped their all night, and started for Stringybark Creek this morning at daybreak we arrived there at half past 7 AM and immediately renewed the search at 8 AM the body of Sgt Kennedy was found about half a mile and north-east of the camp by one of the volunteers and named Henry Sparrow, an overseer at the Mount Battery Station

The body of Sergeant Kennedy was found on the East side of SBC, and a large tree has been identified by myself with Leo Kennedy as the most likely spot in accordance with the Burman Photo.

What does this tell us?  Two men, Sparrow and Orr - say they started the search in a North Westerly direction from the police camp, when Sparrow came across the body of Kennedy.
Three men, McIntyre, Pewtress and Tomkins accept the body was found North or North East of the camp.
( this fits with the two huts site on the west bank)  

It should be mentioned that McIntyre said Kennedy's body was found North of their encampment - meaning Stringy Bark Creek. He also said Kennedy's body was found on the other side of the Stringy Bark Creek (SBC) from where Scanlan was shot and fell ).  Currently, we have re considered the Police camp was in fact on the Western bank of SBC at the site of the TWO HUTS some 200 metres SOUTH of the Kelly tree. We also now have a good idea where Scanlan was shot in relation to the two huts site. It now starts to makes sense that Sergeant Kennedy's body was found North EAST along Stringybark Creek and not Germans Creek at all.

So, by all this we have not yet properly identified Sergeant Kennedy's site of death?

It is important to note the description of the site,

Pewtress wrote
    " in the midst of some ferns "
Sparrow wrote -
   " The spot was open for eight yards round about."


 Some background and recent analysis on forums-

  I table the following explanation

Around August 2010, KC2000 forum had a thread posted - ' Location of Kennedy's body at German Creek' - started by Kenny T -  In this short lived forum topic debate, KennyT proposes the finding of Kennedy's death spot has great bearing on the true location of the Police camp.

By this time there had already been seven separate forum thread starts about SBC with the longest running to thirteen pages with well over 340 postings more than 13.000 reads before being ruined by heated - disgruntled participants who no longer wanted rational debate. It was apparent their motive was to swing the argument in favour of the Kelly tree location instead of all the evidence pointing to the two huts site.
See -  This thread lasted some fourteen months.

A recent series of postings on KC2000 started by Kelvyn Gill see                                       
This one on locating Sergt Kennedy's body.

So far he has taken us on a map journey to suggest the starting point for the Sergeants body found was the Kelly tree site. All evidence shows photos taken at the time of the police camp 1878 cannot be taken at the Kelly tree because there is no slope in the background comparable to the Burman photo. So the Kelly tree site cannot be the site of the police camp, or as a starting point to find the Kennedy body site.

Bill Denheld       6th Dec 2012

In response to Kelvyn Gills group I post the following article that was on the NK Forum, but was deleted -


Ned Kelly Forum hosted by Cupid and Jager.
Map showing roads and creeks around SBC and the most likely areas where Kennedy fell.

Subject - Locating Sergeant Kennedy's Body- N. East of Stringybark Ck

To all Kelly researchers.

The spot where Sergeant Kennedy finally died after the shoot out with Ned Kelly at StringyBark Creek has remained unsolved. At KC2000 Forum, thread 'Locating Sergt Kennedy's body' Kelvyn Gill is putting forward their 'new discovery' to suggest that the Sergeant's body was found along StringyBark Creek and not Germans creek. see 

Kelvyn Gill and author Linton Briggs "CSI@SBC The Report" sets out to claim the Police camp of 1878 was near the Kelly tree on the western bank of StringyBark Creek and hope their scenario will stack up by having the Sergeant's body found on the North Eastern side of SBC. In a nut shell, on KC2000 forum, Kelvyn Gill is posting his preferred scenario as if this has not previously been considered. I had already published this during Aug 2004.

At that time, a small group that included Tim Smith, Joey Dipisa, Bruce Johnson of KC2000 Forum fame, had already researched this same information that pointed to the North East of StringyBark Ck (not westerly) as a most likely place where the Sergeant was finally killed by Ned Kelly. See
In our 2004 (above) web page publication we decided to weigh up all the evidence using combined Primary and Secondary sources which when put together lean towards the North West side of SBC just as Ian Jones and Keith McMenomy in their books suggested. However this was when we still believed the police camp was on the East bank of SBC.

We can now be sure the police camp was at the Two huts site as evident by the following Burman photo 'slope', the two huts fireplaces, placement of the Bridle track, the finding of a Spencer rifle bullet recovered from the soft creek swamp 30 metres from the two huts - all solid evidence. Also McIntyre said Kennedy's body was located on the opposite side of SBC creek from where Scanlan's body had fallen.  Just immediately north of the two huts is a swampy flat that would have, could have been flooded at that time - would show horse tracks crossing the creek/swamp when Const McIntyre escaped on Kennedy's horse. Mc said after mounting the horse he headed north for several hundred yards (or metres) before heading due west.

Seconds later Sergeant Kennedy also trying to escape, and according to McIntyre Kennedy followed his horse tracks northerly. The search for Kennedy's body lasted several days mostly searching to the North West of the camp, probably because McIntyre had said he headed due west.  A search party member named Tomkins suggested they try a different search pattern this time. From the camp, a group of about 25 spread out along 50 yard lines and about half a mile (806 metres)
when a man named Henry Sparrow called out " Here is something' Here it is"  Sparrow had evidently crossed SBC because in his first telegram sent by Sub Inspector Pewtress to Melbourne read the body was found North East of the camp.

It now remains the objective to find that exact spot to the north east of Stringy Bark Creek.
Either way, North West or North East scenario works from the two huts site because the creeks swampy ground immediately to the north of the two huts would clearly show horse tracks crossing the creek heading north. To cross the creek at or near the Kelly tree would mean a horse track would first head East then North.

The confusion regarding German's Creek may have started with Ian Jones's East bank police camp site scenario. Also, a reconstruction photo of the Sergeants death site by photographer Burman shows the light coming from the upper left of the picture indicating North, so we concluded that the picture was looking East. However, early primary sources said the big tree behind the body was between the camp and the body. - Meaning, the picture was looking South Westerly with the light coming from an early morning eastern sun.

If, as proposed by Kelvyn Gill and his CSI@SBC team that the police camp was near the Kelly tree, then if the primary sources by Tomkins and McIntyre are to be believed stating that the body of Kennedy was found 1/2 a mile from the camp, then if the Kelly tree is the starting point, then 1/2 mile or 806 metres or 1 mile 1612 metres, - would be way across Ryans Creek that StringyBark Ck runs into.
Bill Denheld                                                                                                            November 2012



The following information was our search along Germans Creek in 2004,
but this is not conclusive if we take all the evidence into account.

What we are looking for is a relatively flat bit of ground as shown in images below.
We don't believe much would have changed here in the past 134 years.
( as of 2012)

Below, Tim Smith considers this site on the eastern bank of Germans Creek, and by all descriptions the clear area is typical of the area we are looking for.










Note; this clearing fits all criteria. It is 8 yards round about, in the midst of some ferns even today.

Following is a record of most ( if not all) references to the finding of Sergeant Kennedy's body circa 1878 including recent publications.

From the secondary sources - records of later publications,
a guide to where the body of Sergeant Kennedy may have been found  ;

Outlaws of the Wombat ranges by- G. Wilson Hall, 1879
Page 32 SLoV* transcript, or ( Page 29 Brian McDonald's edition)- Outlaws-- 
wrote; 30 chains ( = 660 yards). Hall actually visited the site.
Page 35 SLoV* transcript, or ( Page 31 of
Brian McDonald's publication of Hall) -, headed due west. It also says Kennedy followed similar route but at a slightly different angle. ( May mean North first then due west as Mc said) * State Library of Victoria.

In McIntyre's Manuscript – courtesy Police Historical Unit -  24 years after the event
Mc say's he,  jumped on Kennedy's horse he headed North. He also said he headed due west.
Page 37  telegram by Henry Pewtress  wrote -
the body was found about a mile North East by a volunteer Henry Sparrow.
On the same page  - The body had been found 8 Am in the midst of some ferns over a 1/4 mile down the creek from the site of our encampment.  ( Meaning SBC)

J.J. Kenneally, Inner History of the Kelly Gang 1929 -Page 59  " a farmer Tomkins crossing the 'Stringybark' came across the Kennedy's body  a quarter of a mile from where McIntyre had sworn he had surrendered "  
NOTE: Tomkins was the President of Mansfield Shire, not a farmer.

Book, Colonial doctor and his town, by J Gillison 1974 states the son of doctor Samuel Reynolds-  Willy Reynolds being in the search party states -body found 400 yards from the camp.

Keith Mc Menomy's 1984 book says,- " the body just North* of German’s Ck- about a quarter of a mile North West. The spot was open for about 8 yards around about. We had not gone 30 chains when a young man Sparrow sang out - Here is something, here it is". 
*The 2001 edition only says North west.

Ian Jones writes; in 'A Short Life', Page 137 and 2nd edition Page 122,  
" Ned crossed German's Ck and started up the flank of its gully".


Here are some scales

1/4 Mile = 440 yards is about  403 meters -  McIntyre,  McMenomy book, JJ Kenneally book
1/2 Mile = 880 yards is about  806 metres   Tomkins
1 Mile = 1760 yards is about 1612 metres   Pewtress
30 chains = 660 yards 604 Metres. This is more than 1/3 but less than 1/2 mile. McMenomy

Contradictions ; McIntyre's Manuscript is rather contradictory as it infers the body was found on Stringybark as he writes; a 1/4 mile down the creek from the site of our encampment. This means the body was found on Stringybark Ck? Even the telegram by Henry Pewtress tells us a mile North East ?
This MAYBE CORRECT ?   I believe this is correct

In J.J. Kenneally's book, P 59 farmer Tomkins "crossing Stringybark Creek came across Kennedy's body a quarter mile from where McIntyre had sworn he had surrendered". As co writer of J.J.K's book, Tom Lloyd would have known the true location where Kennedy's body was found. 

Conclusions ;
In all the original texts nowhere does it say crossing German’s creek. Nowhere in any of the original text does it say the body was found on the other side of German’s Creek except in Ian Jones and in Keith McMenomy’s books.

In J.J Kenneally’s book The Inner History of the Kelly Gang, refers to crossing Stringybark Ck. before finding the body. This again supports searching N.East if the police camp was on the Western side of SBC.

Some may conclude Sergeant Kennedy's body was found at German's Creek because McIntyre claimed Kennedy followed his direction of escape - due west,  he also said North, perhaps meaning he headed due west after first heading North. 

Ned Kelly's account, - Dan went to the creek to get some water for the Sergeant to drink. In our scenario, the creek would have been immediately behind where the Burman / Kennedy photograph was taken.

Picture below
, 23 October 2004, almost 126 years after the fatal  police shootings, a party of Kelly researchers gathered at StringyBark reserve for a guided walk.

Out front myself, from left persons 3 and 4 Gwenda and Arthur Marsh,
persons 6 and 7 Russell and Wendy Walker of Tolmie. persons 8 &10- Sally and Ben Dykstra.....       

Kelly researcher Tim Smith pictured,                       
used his instrument to locate the site.
Here Tim detects for bullet lead at Kellys Creek .



Copyright ,,   no text or images may be reproduced without written permission from the author Bill Denheld. 

The back ground image is of Kelly camp circa 1883