The Gilbert-Hall Gang: An Overview

Beyond the Kelly Gang, only one other bushranging gang has truly cemented its place in the culture of Australia so firmly to become synonymous with bushranging. The early 1860s belonged to a rotating roster of brigands that operated mostly on the Lachlan Plains and came to be known popularly (for reasons that will become apparent) under the name of Ben Hall, though the contemporary press preferred to take their nomenclature for the gang from it’s most prominent figure, Johnny Gilbert. They were said to have committed hundreds of crimes ranging from robbery to murder. The following is not a detailed account of their career as the sheer scale of their depredations makes for heavy reading, but rather it is a summary of the career of the most legendary bushranging gang of the 1860s.

The origins of the Hall Gang are quite ephemeral. There was no definitive incident that forged the gang as it would come to be known, rather it evolved from the vestiges of other gangs. The one element that brought the key players together was the Prince of Tobymen, Frank Gardiner. Gardiner had been on the run after violating his ticket of leave, and after having worked the roads with companions such as The Three Jacks and John Peisley, he decided to set his sights on a bigger score than what mail coaches could yield. Gardiner wanted to have a crack at the escorts taking the gold from the diggings. He soon realised to do so he would need a lot more men to help him out. So in 1861 Gardiner began forming a gang to help him rob the Orange gold escort. This would become a defining moment for the core members of what would eventually become the Gilbert-Hall Gang.

The gang Gardiner had formed consisted of Johnny Gilbert, the flash Canadian who had been his off-sider on and off during his time in the bush; John O’Meally, a volatile Australian-born who had proven to be a reliable and enthusiastic underling; Charlie Gilbert; Henry Manns; Alex Fordyce; John Bow; and Patsy Daley. These men were to be the shock troops who would attack the escort but Gardiner needed more assistance. To hold the horses and scout he had Jack “The Warrigal” Walsh, the teenage brother of his lover, Kitty Brown. It was also rumoured that among those helping to look after the horses was a young stockman named Ben Hall and his brother-in-law John Maguire, who had turned to crime as a way of getting easy money to counter the hardships of farming life.

Ben Hall in more lawful times.

On 15 June, 1862, the Gardiner gang bailed up two bullock teams near Eugowra Rocks. They tied up the teamsters and left the drays on the road to act as a blockade. The bushrangers were disguised with their faces masked or blackened. When the wagon came up the road from the Lachlan diggings, it was forced to stop because of the blockage. As it did, Gardiner emerged and the gang opened fire and riddled the coach with bullets, injuring two of the police. Sergeant Condell was shot in the ribs, while Constable Moran was shot in the testicles. The horses were spooked and bolted, causing the wagon to strike a boulder and topple, flinging the driver and police across the road. Once the victims had escaped, the gang descended upon the wreckage and picked it clean, stealing around £6000 worth of gold and cash.

The booty was split among the bushrangers but the celebrations were short-lived as police led by Sir Frederick Pottinger soon found the gang’s hideout. Their sudden arrival forced the bushrangers to split up. Gardiner and Walsh narrowly avoided capture, but lost their share of the gold when their over-burdened packhorse was seized. The bushrangers tried to hide their booty and keep quiet but the police were quick to make arrests. Charlie Gilbert and Henry Manns were captured by Pottinger but rescued by Johnny Gilbert and Frank Gardiner. Manns set off alone and was soon recaptured. Bow and Fordyce were arrested as were Ben Hall, John Maguire and Daniel Charters, an associate of theirs. The Gilbert brothers successfully managed to escape to New Zealand to lie low. Gardiner took Kitty Brown with him and escaped New South Wales, eventually being arrested at Apis Creek in Queensland.

When Johnny Gilbert returned from abroad he started bushranging with a number of off-siders including Fred Lowry. As each of them left, John O’Meally was the only one who remained. The pair did not exactly like each other but it was a marriage of convenience that allowed them both to enjoy the lawless adventure they craved.

When Hall got out of remand he had a chip on his shoulder. He promptly found his way to Johnny Gilbert and John O’Meally and joined them in bushranging. The trio hit the highways with considerable success. Nobody was safe and the police could not catch up to them. Eventually they decided that they needed extra help as their operation became more prolific.

In 1863, the gang recruited John Vane to source horses for them. Vane and his cousin Mickey Burke acted as scouts for the gang but soon managed to become fully fledged members. Vane was a tall, quiet young man who was a fearless rider and a skilled bushman but not as ruthless as the others. Burke was young and feisty; itching to go on the adventure of bushranging but not keen to use violence willingly. This latter quality seemed to make him a target for bullying.

In late September, 1863, the gang began a spree of lawlessness that caused a stir throughout the colony. On 22 September they bailed up three troopers and stole their weapons and uniforms. The next day, the gang bailed up Hosie’s store dressed as police. The gang took supplies and stole all of Hosie’s sweets. It was not the first time the gang had robbed him.

On 26 September they raided John Loudon’s house at Grubbenbong dressed in their stolen police uniforms. They went through the building in search of police they believed were staying there. The search turned up nothing but the gang bragged that if any troopers came after them, they would handcuff them and march them back to Carcoar. They forced Loudon’s wife to prepare food for them. Once they were satisfied, the gang left.

The following day the bushrangers, still in their stolen uniforms, went to William Rothery’s Cliefden Station at Limestone Creek, where they engaged in a standoff with Rothery’s staff. Rothery ordered his men to stand down and the bushrangers bailed up the household, ate lunch, drank champagne then played piano. As with their visit to Grubbenbong, they left quietly after having their fill. They moved on to the township of Canowindra. They robbed Pierce’s store then quietly rounded up the townsfolk, including the local constable, into Robinson’s pub and held an impromptu party. The party continued into the morning and the gang left without fear of police intervention.

The success of the Canowindra raid bolstered the gang’s confidence and they set their sights on Bathurst, one of the biggest cities in colonial New South Wales. With John Vane on watch, the gang entered town at dusk on 3 October, 1863. They went to the gunsmith and looked at what he had in stock but could not find anything to their liking. They attempted to rob the jeweller but the screams of female onlookers roused attention. Suddenly Vane called out to signal the arrival of troopers. They mounted and bolted through the streets, escaping without a scratch. They took refuge in the house of a man named De Clouet, from whom they intended to steal a racehorse named Pasha, but the horse was not there. The gang were able to leave town without further incident after the search had been called off.

The gang decided to stick to what they were good at and once again headed to Canowindra. Again the townsfolk were rounded up into the pub and festivities took place. In the morning Mickey Burke proved difficult to rouse, his drinking having been rather excessive, but even though they were delayed in leaving, there was no sign of the police until long after the gang had left.

The reward for the gang was sitting at £4000 and things were becoming serious as police drew heavy criticism from the press over their inability to stop the bandits. On 24 October, 1864, they headed to the Keightley farm on Dunn’s Plains on a vendetta to take the flashness out of gold commissioner Henry Keightley. Keightley had bragged about his part in helping the police hunt the gang and his readiness to shoot them down. The bushrangers arrived at sunset whereupon they were spotted by Keightley and his friend Dr. Pechey. The bushrangers dismounted and opened fire as the men sheltered inside. There was a vicious shootout during which Mickey Burke was shot in the belly. Keightley and Pechey took refuge in a barricade that had been made on the roof but were low on weapons and ammunition. Burke refused to allow his wounding to lead him to be captured and he determined to take his own life. He shot himself in the head but only succeeded in further wounding himself. He shot himself in the head again, finally succeeding in committing suicide. John Vane was grief stricken and when Keightley and Pechey were captured he bashed Pechey with his pistol, mistaking him for Keightley, and was fully prepared to execute them in retaliation. Mrs. Keightley intervened and convinced them to hold her husband to ransom instead of murdering him. Dr. Pechey rode into town and fetched £500 – the equivalent of the reward money offered for Burke – from Mrs. Keightley’s father and returned to the farm. The bushrangers entrusted Keightley’s servants to convey Burke’s corpse to Carcoar then left.

In the wake of the tragedy tensions were high and Vane left after a fight with Gilbert. He turned himself in and was imprisoned at Darlinghurst Gaol. Once again the gang was a trio, but they were determined not to lose face. They continued to rob travellers at an alarming rate and soon heard about a magistrate named David Campbell who had been talking about his eagerness to capture the bushrangers.

On 19 November, 1863, the gang rode to Goimbla Station, where the Campbells resided. They spread out to find a way inside. O’Meally went to the back door where he was met by Campbell. O’Meally discharged his shotgun and narrowly missed Campbell’s head. O’Meally ran to the front of the house, chased by Campbell who doubled back when he saw the others. The bushrangers began firing into the house. Campbell took cover by the kitchen and his wife, Amelia, ran under fire to fetch ammunition and weapons from the drawing room. Campbell’s brother had been roused by the firing and was shot and wounded. He ran and hid in a crop field until there was a safe moment to get help. The bushrangers took cover behind a fence and O’Meally set fire to the barn. Campbell called out for the bushrangers to set his horses free but they refused out of spite and the animals were burned alive. As O’Meally stood to admire his handiwork, Campbell shot him in the neck. Hall and Gilbert dragged him to the bush on the edge of the property and propped his head up but the wound was fatal. When O’Meally died they looted his body and evacuated, leaving the grisly find for the Campbells to deal with.

Hall and Gilbert slowed down after Goimbla but found two new recruits very quickly. James “Old Man” Gordon and John Dunleavy were inducted into the gang and soon they were up to the same old tricks. The new outfit was put through the ringer when they were ambushed at the Bang Bang Hotel and engaged in a shootout with police. The bushrangers narrowly escaped but it clearly rattled Gilbert who left the gang to return to Victoria for a spell.

Hall continued on with Gordon and Dunleavy but they were hardly alike the outfit Hall was used to. During a shootout in the bush at Bundaburra, Dunleavy was injured. He surrendered himself and was soon tried and sent to Darlinghurst Gaol. Hall and Gordon continued together briefly before Gordon also split and was arrested near the Victorian border. He too was imprisoned.

Hall now faced the daunting prospect of bushranging solo. He kept a low profile, preferring to avoid confronting police or making his presence known. From time to time police would stumble upon where he had been sleeping and he would barely escape, but the lifestyle was beginning to impact on his health. Fortunately for Hall he was soon reunited with Gilbert.

Ben Hall was just as eager to recapture the glory days as Gilbert, but they knew that they needed at least one extra set of hands. Gilbert recruited John Dunn, a teenaged jockey and Gilbert’s former bush telegraph. Dunn was wanted for skipping bail and saw bushranging as a viable alternative to honest work or gaol.

John Dunn

The trio hit the roads and bailed up as many people as possible, their exploits reaching new heights of audacity with each event. At the end of 1864 the gang went to work at Black Springs near Jugiong. They bailed up scores of people travelling the road, robbed them and kept them prisoner behind a large hill while they awaited their true goal: the mail coach. The coach arrived as expected and the bandits bailed it up, but when Ben Hall spotted the police escort catching up the trio galloped away and doubled back once they had sized up the threat. All three demonstrated their incredible horse riding abilities by steering the horses with their legs while double-wielding pistols. The gun battle was frenetic and vicious. Sergeant Edmund Parry became locked in one-on-one combat with Johnny Gilbert. They exchanged fire and a bullet from Gilbert hit Parry in the back, killing him.

A dangerous precedent had now been set and the gang had become elevated from audacious highwaymen to murderers. Undeterred, the gang continued to go about their depredations. At Christmas the bushrangers visited their girlfriends, Christina MacKinnon and Peggy and Ellen Monks, and decided to have some fun at the Boxing Day ball in Binda. They bailed up a former policeman named Morriss and robbed his store before heading to the Flag Hotel. They sang, danced and drank with the patrons while Morriss plotted to take the wind out of their sails. As the night wound on Morriss managed to escape through a window and tried to set the gang’s horses loose. When Hall discovered Morriss missing, he tried to find him outside. In an act of vengeance the bushrangers and their girlfriends burned down Morriss’ store. The women were arrested for their role in the arson but not convicted.

On 26 January, 1865, the gang bailed up several travellers on the road near Collector before heading to Kimberley’s Inn. The occupants were marched outside and robbed while Hall and Gilbert raided the interior. As the local police were in the bush looking for the gang there was only one constable in town – Samuel Nelson. Nelson heard that the inn had been bailed up and set out on foot to confront the bushrangers. When he arrived there was a brief standoff between himself and John Dunn before Dunn shot him in the stomach and head, killing him.

The raid of Kimberly’s Inn as portrayed in The Legend of Ben Hall.

In response to the murders and countless other offences committed by bushrangers in the colony, the New South Wales government passed a legislation called the Felons Apprehension Act. This would render any person declared an outlaw to lose all protections of the law, and anyone could kill them without provocation and with no fear of punishment. It literally rendered the proclaimed outlaws as exempt from human society and encouraged people to treat them as vermin. The act allowed the wanted people 30 days to turn themselves over to police before being officially declared outlaws.

Things became very treacherous for the gang. Several ambushes occured where the gang narrowly escaped alive. The decision was made to do one last heist and get out of the colony before they were officially outlawed. They recruited John Dunn’s mate Daniel Ryan to help strike at a gold escort. The gang lay in wait on a stretch of road in the bush at Araluen and when the gold escort arrived they opened fire. The heist was a poor imitation of what Gardiner had masterminded and the end result was that the gold remained untouched and the gang was forced to retreat. Daniel Ryan would carry out several other robberies with the gang before disappearing from the line-up.

Back down to a trio, the gang attempted to rob a wagon full of teenage boys – the Faithful brothers. What the gang did not anticipate was that the brothers, who had been out hunting, would resist with firearms. A gunfight broke out wherein Gilbert accidentally shot his own horse and was trapped under it. The brothers succeeded in getting to safety, leaving the gang to lick their wounds.

The Faithful brothers

The gang decided the time had come to call it quits. Ben Hall took care of some business around Forbes before heading to a rendezvous with the others at Billabong Creek. Unfortunately Gilbert and Dunn had seemingly gotten spooked by teamsters they mistook for plainclothes officers and Hall decided to set up camp near the home of police informant Mick Coneley. On 5 May, 1865, Hall was ambushed as he fed his horse. He ran to escape but was shot over and over until, as he held a sapling, he died from around 30 bullet wounds, two passing through his brain. Coneley would earn £500 for selling Hall out.

The death of Ben Hall from a contemporary illustration.

Gilbert and Dunn continued to run from place to place before seeking shelter at Dunn’s grandfather John Kelly’s place near Binalong. In the wake of Hall’s death they had learned not to trust harbourers, especially as the date to turn themselves in by was rapidly approaching. Unfortunately the belief that Dunn’s family was a safe bet was another poor judgment and Kelly sold them out as well. A team of police surrounded the house and the bushrangers were forced to escape through a window. As they ran Gilbert was shot through the heart and killed. Dunn sustained a leg injury but managed to escape.

Death of Gilbert

Dunn by virtue of being the only survivor of the gang at large became the first person to be declared an outlaw in New South Wales. Rumours abounded that he had joined up with Captain Thunderbolt, but in fact he had gone into hiding on a farm under an assumed identity. He was soon discovered, however, and once again tried to escape. He shot a trooper in the leg but was himself shot in the back, the bullet lodging in his spine. He fought off the police as much as he could but the pain was too intense and he was captured.

He was taken to the lock-up in Dubbo but managed to escape despite his crippling injuries by climbing out of a window. He crawled along the ground, unable to walk from his wound, but was soon recaptured. He was tried for the murder of Constable Nelson and sentenced to death. He was hanged in Darlinghurst in January 1866. With Dunn’s death the Gilbert-Hall Gang had finally been snuffed out for good.

Even in their own lifetimes, the bushrangers who formed the roster in the gang were something akin to celebrities. They developed a reputation as daring highwaymen and folk heroes that robbed from the rich but would never molest a needy person or woman. The truth was far from this lofty ideal and the gang had its fair share of indiscriminate robberies to their name. It has been estimated by some that the gang committed hundreds of crimes in their short career. Indeed, the number of bail ups attributed to them is probably far and away the largest of any organised gang of bandits in Australian history. It was the inefficiency of the police that helped seal their reputation and turned this band of robbers into glorious rebels, rather than incorrigible ne’er-do-wells. What pushed them into this life of crime is hard to pinpoint as most members of the gang came from respectable backgrounds. Perhaps the allure of reaping the benefits of the gold rush without having to engage in the back breaking labour was just too big a temptation to refuse.

The Eugowra Rocks Robbery 

For months Frank Gardiner had been plotting a big heist. He knew that the key to a big haul was to attack one of the gold escorts from the diggings but they would be heavily guarded so he would need to be able to overwhelm the security. So, as 1862 trundled along Gardiner built up a gang for his heist that could hardly be rivaled by any police escort. Among his men were Gardiner’s wingman Johnny Gilbert and his brother Charlie, Ben Hall, John O’Meally, Henry Manns, Alexander Fordyce, Daniel Charters, and John Bow. In that time Gardiner had been bouncing ideas around with Gilbert and O’Meally, finally devising a plan as winter set in.

The first stage of the plan was simple – create a blockade. Choosing a sparsely forested area along the coach route dotted with cypress, myrtle and gums with rocks jutting out of the soil near Eugowra Station, the coach would be stopped in its tracks and made vulnerable. To this end the gang bailed up two bullock teams and took the teamsters prisoner. Placing their drays across the road near a granite boulder on the slope just around the bend, the bushrangers proceeded to ensure the prisoners were tied up and placed out of sight. The gang bristled with nervous energy, nothing on this scale had been executed successfully. Gardiner geared himself up, checking his watch, running the ends of his waxed moustache through his fingertips. His men had blackened their faces with  boot polish or black crepe to obscure their identities. Gardiner tugged the brim of his cabbage tree hat low over his eyes to block the sun and gazed out over the vista, the road winding down through the bush into Araluen toward the diggings. Suddenly he heard hooves…

Frank Gardiner

As the afternoon settled in on Sunday 15 June, the Ford & Co. coach departed for Bathurst with an impressive cargo. Within the coach was 2067oz of gold and £700 from the Oriental Bank; 521oz of gold from the Bank of New South Wales; and 129oz of gold and £3000 from the Commercial Banking Company. At 3.30pm, with two mounted troopers riding as escorts for the coach they took the road up through the rocks. Here they discovered the bullock drays blocking the road. The driver, Jack Fagan, was ropeable!
“Get your bloody drays off the road, you cretins!” he shouted as he tried to take the horses around the obstacle. The coach drove close to the rocks and all Hell broke loose.
Gardiner signalled to his men from behind the rock. The crack of gunfire lacerated the tranquillity of the bush and bullets tore through the wooden coach hitting Constable Moran in the groin, the unfortunate policeman overwhelmed with confusion, pain, and terror. A bullet whipped Fagan’s hat off his head. As the bushrangers who had fired the first volley reloaded the next lot took shots at the coach. Sergeant Condell was shot in the ribs and the escort horses tried to bolt. The bullet riddled coach lurched and snagged on the rocks, overturning in spectacular fashion and tossing the occupants and driver across the road like rag dolls. As Fagan and Haviland collected themselves, spitting out the mouthfuls of dust they had collected on landing, they took up their rifles and let off a shot as the bushrangers descended upon the stricken vehicle. The constables were no match for these devils with red shirts and black faces. Frank Gardiner had led his men like a true captain, cool under pressure and giving directions with clarity and precision that left the police totally blind-sided. As the police scurried away the gang descended like carrion birds and the coach was picked clean. The gang knew that they had struck it rich, but little did they know the extent of their haul. Within half an hour the Gardiner gang had made history.

The distressed troopers were found by a squatter named Hanbury Clements, who had been roused by the gunfire and ridden towards the commotion. Seeing Condell and Moran struggling and bleeding, propped up by their colleagues, he immediately assisted them in getting to the Eugowra homestead where his wife Edith was entrusted with attending the injuries, to her great trepidation – after all, she was no doctor.

Escort Rock, Eugowra (Source)

The victors secured the coach horses and secured the loot to them before they retrieved their horses from the scrub and allowed the teamsters to go free. They rode to Noble’s Lagoon and redistributed the booty and sent Charters off to gather food supplies before heading to their camp north of the Lachlan River. At camp the bushrangers regrouped and had a proper look over the spoils. The elation of the men was not shared by Alex Fordyce, however, who had been far too overcome by nerves and downed a bottle of gin and passed out. Fordyce, a craggy faced stockman and bartender, was not well-suited to the high risk undertaking of robbing a gold escort. When Gardiner tried to revive the forty two year old he noticed that Fordyce had a fully loaded revolver – he had not fired a single shot. The Darkie was furious and shook the man into a terrified awakening.
“You bloody coward! You were too much afraid to fire. I’ll cut your rations for that!” Gardiner roared with his distinctive burr. True to his word, Gardiner ensured that Fordyce would only receive a cut of the cash and not the gold. The others took little notice of the outburst, far more involved with their own afterglow. Gardiner was a man with the temper of Zeus and you didn’t want to get on his bad side.

Night closed in tight in the winter and as darkness closed its grip on the world Hanbury Clements mounted and rode the almost 30 mile journey into Forbes to alert the police. The response was immediate and the police and a team of civilians set out under Sir Frederick Pottinger with trackers Billy Dargin and Jimmy the Dealer to find the bushrangers while the trail was fresh. All night the men scoured the country for the robbers, finally locating a lead at daybreak when they discovered the gang’s tracks separating, indicating that they had split to baffle pursuit. The pursuers also split, one group headed by Sub-Inspector Sanderson who headed straight for Ben Hall’s run on Sandy Creek. This would prove to be a fateful move for the wily Sanderson.

While the gang had been moving through the district towards the Weddin Mountains, Fordyce, Gilbert and Manns had taken their cuts and gone home while Dan Charters had stopped by Sandy Creek to visit Ben Hall’s brother and sister-in-law. The moment he heard the dogs barking to signify an unexpected arrival he went outside and sensed the impending arrival of police. He mounted his horse and galloped away towards his comrades. Sanderson saw this and immediately knew that was his man and directed his team to pursue Charters like hounds. The police kept on Charters’ like the angel of death shadowing a starving man, following him right into the Terrible Hollow. At camp, Gardiner sat with O’Meally, Bow, Hall and Hall’s brother-in-law “Warrigal” Walsh, a sinewy eighteen year old who idolised The Darkie as a highwayman hero and had been acting as his telegraph. Their peace was disturbed by Charters riding up and bellowing,
“Here come the police, boys!”
The men scattered, Gardiner attempting to escape with “Warrigal” Walsh and the pack horse carrying Gardiner’s and O’Meally’s cut of the gold. Hall split from the group and planted his haul before returning home. The others all took off on horseback while The Darkie and The Warrigal tried to push the pack horse on, prodding it with sticks to make it move faster. The thunder of police hooves became apparent and Gardiner could feel his heart in his throat as his prodding became more urgent.
“Go you blasted thing! GO!”
Sanderson peered down from the saddle at the bushrangers’ camp fire and sensed that his target was near and pressed on. Ahead of him the pack horse huffed and puffed with the strain of carrying the gold and Gardiner climbed in the saddle of his mount – Walsh doing the same – and spurred it on leaving his valuable prize behind where it was found by the police. Gardiner had narrowly avoided capture at the cost of his and O’Meally’s gold.

But it was not over yet…



It was 68 years on Saturday last, (according to Tom Lovett in “Temora Star”) since Johnhy Gilbert the bushranger, was shot dead, at Binalong, by Constable Bright. Dunn (his Companion) escaped, but was wounded in three places, evading capture until January 9, 1866, having recovered from his injuries, which were attended to by sympathisers in different parts of the, bush.

Gilbert’s grave can be seen from the roadside just outside Binalong, on the main road to Harden.
Creek goes Dry for First time In 70 Years.
On Saturday last Mr. Sunderland, of Temora Station, handed an interesting relic of the bad old bushranging days, in the shape of a pair of handcuffs to the Temora police.
He found them in the bed of a creek, below the junction of the Trigalong and Walladilly creeks, near the old station property. It is. said that this creek had not beeh previously dry for something like 70 years. The handcuffs are very much rusted, of course, but they are in a sufficiently good state of preservation as to show, the kind of “bracelets’ used in the early days.

19th century darbies
Mr. Tom Lovett’s Story
Mr. Tom Lovett, Temora’s memory man, who knows more about the history of the  bushranging days than any other man we know, and can recite all the outstanding deeds of the outlaws from memory, was asked by representative of “The Star” to give readers the history of these handcuffs, and how they came to be thrown into the creek.
Mr. Lovett readiiy consented, and here is his story, and he challenges anyone to refute it:—
“When Gilbert, Bow, Fordyce and Manns made a rush to get away to Victoria,” said Mr. Lovett, “they reached somewhere between Ariah and Warri Stations (both big properties) now known as Ariah Park and Ardlethan respectively. While riding along a track, Sir Frederick Pottinger, Constables Mitchell and Lyons overtook the outlaws, and rode along the track for some distance; the police were unknown to the bushrangers
but Potiingèr knew Gilbert and pulling his horse up along side Gilbert he said, ‘That’s a nice looking horse you are riding, young man., Gilbert said ‘Yes,’ Pottinger said, ‘Is he your own?’ to which Gilbert replied ‘Yes.’ Pottinger said, ‘Have you got a receipt for him?’ Gilbert was now suspicions, and said, ‘Yes: I’ve got it here in my pocket,’ and put his hand
into his pocket, and stood up in the stirrups, pretending to feel about for the receipt, till Pottinger got a step or two ahead of him. Then Gilbert wheeled his horse round, put the
spurs into him, and galloped on before the surprised police realised what had happened.
  “The police let Gilbert go, but arrested Bow, Fordyce and Manns, handcuffing them took them to Quandry Station, near ‘Little George which was then owned by the Harmons, Mr. Don Harmon, of Temora being a dsecendant of that family. They stayed there the night. Searching the bushrangers, the police found over 100 oz. of gold in one man’s swag, and £438 in notes in another.
 “The next morning the party left Quandry and started for The Old Rock Public House, which was nine miles from where Temora now stands, and is now known as ‘Narraburra
Hills.’ They got to within 100 yards of Sproule’s Lagoon, which stood between The Old  Rock and Trungley Road.
 “Gilbert had travelled fast and got back ahead of the police and persuaded three men to help him to rescue his mates from the police.
 “Gilbert and his three companions came out of a scrub of saplings, with veils over their faces, and at a convenient place on the track, bailed up the police.
 “Pottinger had the gold strapped on in front of him, and got away, back to Quandry, and so did Mitchell, but Lyons, who had the notes had his horse shot in the neck and fell with him. Gilbert regained the £438 in notes and secured his mates, handcuffs, and the men could not get them off their wrists.
 “However they went, to Sproule’s Lagoon house and got a tomahawk and cut the chain across a fence, the ‘bracelets’ still on the wrists.
 “Gilbert then went back to the Weddin Mountain. Bow, Fordyce and Manns hid in the hills close to the Sproule’s Lagoon house and got the handcuffs off each hand, though it is
not known how they did it, and threw them into the creek.”
That was in August, 1862 and they remained there till found by Mr. Sunderland last week.
A fortnight later Bow was arrested in a pine scrub on the Lachlan River; eight days later Fordyce was arrested in an abandoned shaft under the Pinnacle mountain, near
Grenfell ; and a fortnight later Manns’ was arrested in Ryans stables at Murrumburrah,
and 80 odd ounces of gold which had been planted in the dirt floor finder his bed was found.
 “Manns was sentenced to death for the part he played in the Gold Escort Robbery of the Eugowra Mail, and was subsequently hanged; Bow and Fordyce were sentenced to 15
years’ imprisonment each, and Gilbert was shot dead at Binalong.
Source: “WHEN JOHNNY GILBERT AS SHOT AT BINALONG” The Gundagai Independent (NSW : 1928 – 1939) 25 May 1933: 2.