On this day ………… 13th February 1868

The Greta Arson case came before the Wangaratta Police Court, North East Victoria, on this day, in 1868. James Kelly uncle of Ned Kelly was charged with setting fire to a house in a Greta, in which three women and thirteen children were living at time. He was committed to take his trail in Beechworth. James Kelly was sentenced to Beechworth Gaol then transferred to Ararat Lunatic Asylum and back to Beechworth Lunatic Asylum where he died.



On this day ………… 11th February 1897

An inquest was held at Greta, near Benalla, to ascertain the cause of the death of Ellen Skillion, 22 years of age, a niece of the notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly. A verdict that the deceased committed suicide by drowning was returned. The deceased was a daughter of the late Mrs. Skillion, whose husband is said to have started the first trouble which led to Ned Kelly and his confederates beginning the career of lawlessness which culminated in their down- fall as bushrangers at Glenrowan.


On this day …….. 27th of January 1868

How easy history can be changed. On this day in 1868 a young Ned Kelly, his brothers and sisters, their mother and her sister were rescued from almost certain death in a house fire, which had been deliberately lit. The culprit was Ellen’s brother in law, James Kelly. Kelly was sentenced to death by Sir Redmond Barry. The sentence was commuted to ten years. James Kelly however would die in the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum.


On this day …….. 23rd of January 1930

Gourdet Singh an Indian Hawker from Moyhu, in North East Victoria, died on this day in the Wangaratta Hospital. His body was taken to the Wangaratta Common off Greta Rd and placed on a pyre of sandalwood, anointed with the contents of a box of butter, and publicly cremated.



On this day …….. 29th of December 1911

John Harding escaped from Wangaratta gaol on this day in 1911. He was committed for trial at the local court on a charge of stealing £9 from Geo. Cover, and was locked up in gaol pending removal to Beechworth. In the afternoon he was missing. It was found that Harding had pulled some boards down, and securing a spike then picked out the mortar between the bricks, eventually pulling out enough to enable him. The police made a search immediately the escape was discovered. Harding travelled along the King River towards Oxley. He left the river this morning and passed through farms in the Laceby and Greta districts in the direction of Benalla, but the police were close on his tracks throughout, and Constable Ryan came upon him at midday lying asleep in a scrubby paddock near the Greta township. This paddock curiously enough is owned by the Police Department. Constable Ryan traced the man for several miles by his footprints, one of his boots having a rubber heel.