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2 September 2011

DNA test may solve mystery Kelly Gang link to Ipswich

 THE TRUTH about whether bushranger Dan Kelly, brother of Ned, is truly buried in the Ipswich Cemetery is now one step closer to being revealed.

Cr Paul Tully standing at the site in the Ipswich cemetery where Dan Kelly, Ned's brother, is thought to be buried.   


THE TRUTH about whether bushranger Dan Kelly, brother of Ned, is truly buried in the Ipswich Cemetery is now one step closer to being revealed.

Ipswich councillor and historian Paul Tully has raised the prospect of an exhumation of the remains of James Ryan, who claimed to be the bushranger Dan Kelly until his death in 1948.

Cr Tully's call has come in the wake of news that remains exhumed from Pentridge Prison in Melbourne are those of Ned Kelly, who was hanged in 1880. Doctors and scientists at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine confirmed the find.

The standard history is that Dan Kelly died in the fire at Glenrowan Inn along with fellow bushranger Steve Hart on June 28, 1880.

But that was turned in its head when a man walked into the offices of The Truth newspaper in 1933 claiming to be Dan Kelly.

He maintained the story until his death – that he had escaped the fire and made his way to Ipswich – and convinced many locals of his story in the Fernvale area, where he lived.

Tully, who has been hot on the trail of the possible Queensland connection to the Kelly Gang for more than 20 years, said yesterday's DNA confirmation of the identity of Ned made the exhumation of the Ryan remains at the Ipswich Cemetery an issue worth exploring.

"This now gives us the definite opportunity of comparing the DNA," Cr Tully said.

"The state government needs to give approval.

"There was a claim that Steve Hart was buried in Toowoomba and there was an exhumation of a grave up there years ago – so it wouldn't be the first time a supposed bushranger's grave was reopened."

Tully said the bodies that were retrieved from the Glenrowan fire were burnt beyond recognition and never officially identified.

The man claiming to be Dan Kelly always said that he and Hart had been taken in by a German couple before heading north.

In light of other information, Cr Tully said the final resting place of Dan Kelly could well be in the pauper's section of the Ipswich Cemetery "where the Ipswich Council has erected a memorial to this man who died penniless and without any family or friends".

2 December 2010

Queensland Transport Museum

The Queensland Transport Museum at Gatton is a magnificent collection of vehicles and transport memorabilia.
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2 May 2010

Historic Plaque Bribie Island Queensland

This plaque recognises the highest rainfall in recorded Australian history near Pumicestone Passage.

In one 24 hour period on 3 February 1893, 907mm of rain fell at Beerwah.

This was after 3 weeks of continual rain.

1893 was also the year of the great Brisbane and Ipswich flood.

1 May 2010

Rare archival footage - Ipswich City Council Centenary Meeting 1960 - celebrating 100 years of municipal government in Ipswich

This rare archival film footage (without sound) has just become available.

It shows a Special Meeting of the Ipswich City Council in 1960 to celebrate Ipswich's 100th anniversary of its proclamation as a municipality in March 1860 by the Governor of Queensland.

In 2010, Ipswich proudly celebrates its sesqui-centenary - 150 years of municipal government in the city.

Ipswich was the first municipality in Queensland established by the new Queensland Government following separation from New South Wales in December 1859.


28 April 2010

Breaking News: Shock announcement - Historic Ipswich milk and butter factory set to close

Today's shock media release
from National Foods

The historic Booval milk and butter factory in Ipswich is set to close and relocate to Logan City.

The owner National Foods announced the closure today (see attached) which will result in the loss of 100 Ipswich jobs.

The factory has served generations of Ipswich residents and its closure has surprised locals.

In recent years, its key operation has been milk production.

It was formerly part of the Dairy Farmers chain.

Ipswich Planning and Development spokesman Cr Paul Tully described the closure as "totally disappointing".

"This has come without warning and will affect many Ipswich families.

"I am calling on the company to reconsider its decision," Cr Tully said.

Staff celebrate centenary of St Francis Xavier School, Goodna

The Catholic Leader

Sharing: Former teachers of St Francis Xavier's School, Goodna, Ann  Everett (left) and Lisa Boyd chat to current teacher Brenda Reynolds  about changes to the school over the past 100 years

Sharing: Former teachers of St Francis Xavier's School, Goodna, Ann Everett (left) and Lisa Boyd chat to current teacher Brenda Reynolds about changes to the school over the past 100 years

CURRENT and former staff of St Francis Xavier's School, Goodna, took a trip down memory lane as they celebrated the centenary of the school recently.

About 60 people enjoyed a night of fun and memories as they gathered at the Goodna RSL function centre for a staff reunion dinner.

Master of ceremonies and former teacher librarian Glenda Hogg acknowledged guests and shared stories as past principals and staff entertained the group with anecdotes that kept the festivities on track.

Ms Hogg, who worked at the school for 25 years, was a great source of memories.

Tables were awash with the school's colour of blue, with accents of silver, and many gasps, sighs and chuckles could be heard as guests were treated to a slide show.

A highlight of the night was the trivia competition on the history of the school, which kept everyone talking.

Current staff member Brenda Reynolds said she was "ecstatic to mingle with former colleagues and catch up with friends from times past on such a wonderful evening".

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school and the staff reunion dinner was the first of many celebrations.

Events to look forward to included the opening of the new school buildings and the creation of a school mural.

12 April 2010

Ipswich celebrates 150 years of Municipal Government

PIC: Ipswich celebrates 150 years
of Municipal Government with the dedication
of the new Mayoral chain of office.
Paul Pisasale is the 49th Mayor of Ipswich.

A special re-enactment of the first Ipswich Council meeting on 12 April 1860 occurred in Ipswich tonight.

The current mayor Paul Pisasale and councillors re-enacted the roles of the first mayor John Murphy and the other aldermen.

The main item of business was to appoint a Town Clerk on an annual salary of 200 pounds.

A large crowd was in attendance at the Ipswich Civic Centre including the great, great grand-daughter of the "Father of Ipswich" - George Thorn Snr, Margaret Nicol currently a resident of Springfield Lakes.

10 April 2010

Pictures celebrate Ipswich's Rugby League history


"RUGBY League is everything to Ipswich,mrdquo; a gruff voiced  Noel Kelly says as he reflects on the game's 100-year history in the  mining town.

MEMORIES: Jan Christison sifts through the collection.

"RUGBY League is everything to Ipswich," a gruff voiced Noel Kelly says as he reflects on the game's 100-year history in the mining town.

This year marks the century of rugby league in Ipswich and the game will be celebrated with a photographic essay at the Ipswich Art Gallery next weekend which heavily features league legends like Kelly.

The exhibition is being put together by Brassall league historians Bob and Jan Christison.

The couple's photos bare no dust and date back to 1910, where smiles were rarer than Dud Beattie walking away from a fight.

Beattie was part of the all-Ipswich Australian front-row in the late 1950's that featured fellow west Brisbane bruisers Noel Kelly and Gary Parcell who dominated the Bulimba Cup.

Kelly is the archetype old-school footballer.

He now lives in Sydney, but the former Goodna butcher still recalls his days in the Bulimba Cup playing for Brothers as some of his life's best.

"It was a great time of my life, and the Bulimba Cup was a hard comp," he said.

"Ipswich will always be league territory I think; the game has too proud a history in the city."

The Queensland Times also played a large part in the success of league in Ipswich.

One the best players in the early years of Ipswich rugby league was Charles Scott, who was also a QT reporter.

Scott fought for his country in World War I.

A decorated soldier, he made lieutenant in November 1917 but unfortunately died one week later.

In the earlier years rugby league ran on the smell of hard work alone.

Before sponsors and television revenue, Ipswich men like Gov Clark mortgaged their house to pay for the construction of North Ipswich Reserve.

"It's actually easier to get hold of photos 80 years old than some of the ones taken this decade," Ms Christison said.

"They either don't bother taking proper team photos in competitions in the IRL or they can't find them."

You can view the results of the Christisons' hard work when the incredible exhibition runs at the Ipswich art Gallery on April 17 and 18.

5 April 2010

Mihi complex in Ipswich set for heritage list


IPSWICH City Council has welcomed the decision by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) to heritage list the Mihi Creek Complex.

Planning and Development Committee chairman Paul Tully said DERM had advised council that it planned to list the Mihi Creek Complex in the Queensland Heritage Register as an archaeological place.

“This location at Mihi Junction at North Ipswich includes the Klondyke Coke Ovens,” he said.

“This area was used by Queens- land Railways for Queensland’s first main line railway to Bigges Camp (now Grandchester).

“From 1871 to 1950 a coal-mining and coke-manufacturing operation occurred in this area.”

Cr Tully said the Mihi deviation was completed in May 1868 after floodwaters caused problems with the original Mihi Creek crossing.

Cr Tully said the Mihi Creek Complex provided physical evi- dence of Ipswich’s early history.

“This site contains archaeological artefacts associated with Queensland’s first main rail line, early coal mining and manufacture.”

22 March 2010

Eddie McGuire needs a history lesson after his giant stuff-up this evening on Channel 9

Eddie McGuire
confuses his
p's and c's

Former head of the Australian Nine Network Eddie McGuire showed why he was relegated back to game show host with his historical stuff-up on tonight's Millionaire Hot Seat.

Eddie confused his amphibians with his flora, declaring the notorious cane toad had been introduced into Australia in 1935 to eradicate the prickly pear!

That would have been bloody tough eating for the little critters chewing their way through tens of thousands of hectares of the spiky, prickly pear.

And poor Eddie probably thinks the rabbit was introduced Downunder to get rid of the cane beetle.

Eddie, it was the cactoblastis cactorum caterpillar which was brought to Queensland from South America in the 1920s to devour the state's prickly pear.

Ever since his ordinary performance at the 1998 Australian Constitutional Convention as a show-pony Republican, Eddie's intellectual capacity has been widely questioned.

But tonight's embarrassing faux pas by Eddie McGuire shows Channel 9 needs someone running its high-profile game shows with more intellectualism than a failed television network CEO and failed AFL club entrepreneur.

21 March 2010

Congratulations to the Gold Coast Bulletin - 125 years old this week

This week, a true milestone in Queensland journalism occurs with the Gold Coast Bulletin reaching 125 years.

The Gold Coast Bulletin has been a dogged advocate of truth and justice for one and a quarter centuries.

The current editor Dean Gould is fortunate to be at the helm while the paper celebrates this key milestone.

Not that all politicians - past and present - would agree!


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3 March 2010

Ipswich is 150 years old today.

Pic: Channel 7

Mayor Paul Pisasale and Cr Paul Tully have their cake and eat it, in Ipswich today to celebrate the city's sesqui-centenary


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Ipswich's 150 celebrations continue

The Ipswich Town Crier Mark Overell and the Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale swap hats as the city's sesquicentennial celebrations get into full swing.

Ipswich was proclaimed a municipality by the Queensland Government 150 years ago today.

Happy birthday Ipswich!

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Ipswich celebrates 150 years today

150 years ago today, Ipswich was proclaimed a municipality by the Queensland Government.

It is a great day for Ipswich and Queensland.

The Ipswich celebrations will continue all year.


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17 December 2009

Vandals smash 19 tombstones at historic Goodna Cemetery

PIC: Vandalised statue of an angel erected in 1922

Vandals have damaged 19 tombstones at Goodna's historic, 150-year old cemetery in Stuart Street Goodna, causing an estimated $100,000 damage overnight.

Police are investigating the incident.

One of the damaged graves dates back more than 110 years.

The Goodna Cemetery was established by the New South Wales government in 1859 before Queensland became a separate colony.

Local Councillor and Cemetery Trustee Paul Tully described the vandalism as "a senseless destruction of family graves".

"Whoever is responsible should face the full consequences of the law for this appalling desecration," Cr Tully said.
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1 October 2009

Media Release: Call for bomb decontamination as Commonwealth updates UXO maps

PIC: Unexploded UXOs


Unexploded World War II bombs continue to pose a major threat to Ipswich residents following publication of updated UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) maps by the Commonwealth Government.

This has prompted a call for the Australian and United States governments to decontaminate affected sites in residential areas across Australia.

There are 307 areas in Queensland which have been assessed as containing UXO contamination with 73 officially classified as "substantial".

In Ipswich 17,219 individual parcels of land are listed as being affected by unexploded UXOs.

Thousands of residents of Redbank, Goodna, Redbank Plains, Gailes and Bundamba are living close to the affected areas.

Ipswich City Council Planning spokesman Paul Tully described the situation as "horrendous".

"It's almost 65 years since the end of World War II and we still have these bombs lying around waiting for a tragedy to happen."

"Redbank was a major Australian and American military base during the second world war and there are regular reports of UXOs being unearthed by inquisitive children or popping-off during local bushfires."

"The Yanks are responsible for many of these unexploded bombs buried around Ipswich and they should bear the cost of cleaning it up."

Cr Tully said several UXOs had been discovered at Redbank during the current upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway on former Commonwealth land which had been part of the defunct Redbank Rifle Range.

In 2006, workers unearthed a live mortar bomb near Cedar Road at Redbank Plains during the construction of the new water pipeline.

In February 1943, a 12-year old schoolboy died at Goodna after a live mortar shell he brought to the local Catholic School exploded.

He had discovered it at a nearby American war base.

Commonwealth Map link:
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14 September 2009

Minister Annastacia Palasczuk unveils historic plaque at Wacol

PIC: Minister the Hon Annastcia Palasczuk, Member for Inala is joined today by Cr Milton Dick and (left) Dr Noel Wallis for the official plaque unveiling to recognise Dr Stephen Simpson MD, MLC (1792 - 1869).

The Richlands, Inala and suburbs History Group Inc. was responsible for today's event commemorating Dr Simpson who, at various times between 1842 and 1859, was the Commissioner for Crown Lands at Moreton Bay, Protector of Aborigines, foundation member of the Royal Brisbane Hospital Board and the Queensland Legislative Council.

He was one of the most-respected persons in the colony.

In 1843, he moved to Woogaroo - the area now in the suburb of Wacol, part of The Park with former names of the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, Goodna Mental Asylum and Wolston Park.
He lived adjacent to the current site of the Wolston Park Golf Club from 1843 to 1853.

Today's ceremony included the planting of several endangered Willem Pines.

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully, representing the adjoining suburb of Goodna, attended today's unveiling.


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9 August 2009

Riverview Reunion

Memories flooded back today for former residents of the Salvation Army Home for Boys at Riverview.

It was a difficult time for many of the men who talked about their time at Riverview in the 1940s, 1950s and beyond.

Time heals all and the honesty and openness of the former Boys' Home members and Salvationists at today's event was a milestone in the lives of all involved.


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25 July 2009

Rocklea trots closes for the last time today

PIC: The last race at Rocklea!

The last race ever at Rocklea was run today.

This is truly the end of an era.

Punters - big and small - had tales to tell of decades of happy punting at the unique Rocklea track.

The big question is:

Can Marburg fill the gap?


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21 July 2009

Ipswich claims World Lamington Record

PIC: Seven years' old James
Tully from St Augustine's
College at Augustine Heights
in Ipswich about to savour
the delights of the world's
largest lamington.

It's official.

Ipswich has won the title for the largest lamington in the world.

The monster lamington weighed in this morning at the Ipswich Turf Club at a whopping 1.32 tonnes, eclipsing the previous one tonne record set in Melbourne in 2005.

The super-sized lamington is equivalent to 20,894 standard lamingtons.

The giant lamington, named after Lord Lamington Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, was made from 230 litres of water, 200 litres of eggs, 535 kg of sponge mix, plus 68kg of desiccated coconut, 75kg of jam, and 150 kg of chocolate lamington mix.

The unveiling of the lamington was witnessed by Lord Lamington's great grandchildren Alex Scrimgeour and Belinda Leigh who had travelled from the UK for the event.

Celebrity chef Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully said the gigantic lamington was a work of art which had taken three days to prepare.

"This record will be difficult to break given the culinary dexterity needed to put this giant lamington together," Cr Tully said.

The creator of the Australian icon Lord Lamington once described them as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".


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18 July 2009

World Record Lamington Attempt in Ipswich - More than a tonne!

PIC: Cr Paul Tully with a super sized lamington!

‪‪The Ipswich Turf Club will host Tuesday's record attempt to create the world's largest lamington.‬‪ ‬‪

The event is the brainchild of Ipswich Councillor and local historian Paul Tully and Mayor Paul Pisasale both of whom have secured their own claim to fame in the Guinness Book of Records.‬‪ ‬‪

As a 17 year old University of Queensland student in 1969, Paul Tully became the world potato crisp eating champion downing 30 packets of crisps in 24 minutes 33.6 seconds without a drink.‬‪ ‬‪

Eating records were removed from official Guinness records in 1990 with Cr Tully retiring undefeated as the world champion.‬‪ ‬‪

Two years ago, Mayor Paul Pisasale became the proud owner of the largest tea set collection in the world, a feat formally recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.  ‬‪

On Tuesday - Australia's National Lamington Day - the political duo's culinary skills will combine with a team of professional chefs to create a monster lamington in excess of one tonne, half the size of a family sedan and the equivalent of more than 20,000 standard size lamingtons.‬‪ ‬‪

Cr Tully has been researching the history of the Australian lamington for more than a decade.‬‪ ‬‪

"The most-plausible theory is they were named after Lord Lamington, Queensland Governor from 1896 to 1901, when a maid-servant accidentally dropped some sponge cake in melted chocolate and then tossed the concoction into some desiccated coconut to hide her embarrassment.‬‪" ‬‪

He said they were an instant hit at Government House in Brisbane with Lord Lamington once describing them as "those poofy woolly biscuits".‬‪ ‬‪

At the 1998 Constitutional Convention in Canberra, lamingtons featured in the debate on the merits of an Australian republic with Cr Tully - an elected Queensland delegate - calling Lord Lamington's gastronomic creation as the "one, solitary positive achievement of any governor since the First Fleet arrived in 1788".‬‪ ‬‪ 

Now, the humble Aussie lamington - which has raised millions of dollars over the past 100 years for scouts, schools and sporting groups - is known throughout the states and territories of Australia, New Zealand, the United States and even South Africa but is a relative rarity in Mother England!


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5 June 2009

Brisbane's Historic Norman Hotel destroyed by fire

PIC: The historic Norman Hotel goes up in flames.

It was built in 1889 when Queensland was still a British colony and the Commonwealth of Australia was still 12 years away.

The Norman Hotel has weathered 120 years of community life in Brisbane and southeast Queensland.

At lunch time today, a spark from a tradesman's tool ignited one of the biggest blazes seen in Brisbane for many years.

The Norman Hotel advertised itself as Brisbane's Worst Vegetarian Restaurant - a clever play on its well-deserved reputation as the best steak house in the state.

The beer will be flowing again soon on Ipswich Road at Woolloongabba and the oysters and steaks will be back again with customers savouring the pub's delights as they have for 120 years.

But one thing's for sure.

The steaks at the Norman Hotel will never be as well done as they were at one o'clock this afternoon.


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12 May 2009

First Electric Telegraph transmission from Brisbane to Ipswich

This is a copy of the first telegram (known then as the Electric Telegraph) sent from Brisbane to Ipswich.

It was sent on 13 April 1861.
It was a congratulatory telegram from the Mayor of Brisbane Alderman J Petrie to the Mayor of Ipswich Alderman J Murphy on the opening of the Electric Telegraph between the two towns which were 24 miles apart.

The original is a truly historic document.

St Paul's celebrates 150 years in Ipswich

St Paul's celebrates 100 years in Ipswich from 1859-2009.

There is a feature display on this historical building at the Ipswich Art Gallery at d'Arcy Doyle Place, off Limestone Street Ipswich.

This Church has been an important part of Ipswich's history from the same year Queensland separated from New South Wales and a year before Ipswich was officially proclaimed as a municipality.

13 January 2008

The Kelly Gang's Ipswich Connection!



It is widely speculated that the Ipswich General Cemetery is the final resting-place of a member of perhaps the most notorious Australian family - the Kelly Gang.

Paul Tully inspects the grave site at the
Ipswich General Cemetery of the reputed
final resting place of bushranger Dan Kelly,
brother of Ned Kelly.

Records show that in 1933, an elderly man (pictured at right) known as James Ryan, claimed to Brisbane's Truth newspaper that he was, in fact, Dan Kelly, the brother of Ned Kelly.

An article which appeared on the front page of Brisbane's Truth newspaper dated 13 August 1933 bore the headline:

"I am Dan Kelly, Declares Aged Bushman - Thrilling Confession of Days When Hold Up Terror Reigned".

The article recounted in graphic detail the adventures of the Kelly gang as told by James Ryan, or Dan Kelly.

According to this and other articles which appeared in the newspaper, James Ryan, or Dan Kelly, escaped along with Steve Hart from the siege in the burning hotel at Glenrowan on 28 June 1880 and headed to Queensland with nothing but a new identity.

The supposed bodies of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were reduced to charcoal in the intense fire and were never positively identified. The body of gang member Joe Byrne was retrieved and strung up outside the Benalla Police Lockup.

Speculation has been rife for over a century that Dan Kelly and Steve Hart managed to escape during the smoke, fire and commotion as Ann Jones' hotel burnt to the ground, probably assisted by a deliberately wrong "positive identification" by visiting Catholic Priest Father Gibney.

The Truth newspaper reported that hundreds of historians from all over the country and even those who had associations with the Kelly's could not disprove that James Ryan was truly Dan Kelly.

The alleged Dan Kelly travelled throughout Queensland eventually moving from Longreach to Brisbane, reputedly having served in the Boer War. For a time, he lived under the old Toombul Railway bridge in Brisbane where the Clayfield Police kept a close eye on him.

In 1934, he appeared in a Sideshow at the Brisbane Exhibition and recounted the tales of the Kelly Gang with an intimate knowledge of the Kelly family history. No one was ever able to successfully refute his claim that he was a member of the Kelly Gang.

He had came forward to the Truth newspaper in 1933 - more than 50 years after the famous shootout - wrongly believing that the Statute of Limitations legally prevented any prosecution for murder after more than half a century.

He eventually settled in a small hut at Fairney View near Fernvale (between Ipswich and Esk), 40km north-west of Brisbane and was well-known in the local district.

Former Moreton Shire Deputy Chairman John Harris recalls sitting on Dan Kelly's lap as a boy and being shown the deep burn scars on the man's back which he claimed he received in the Glenrowan fire when he was pinned by a burning beam.

He had the initials "D.K." branded on his buttocks.

John Harris was scared of the man and truly believes that he was sitting in the lap of the real Dan Kelly.

On 29 July 1948 Dan Kelly, also known as James Ryan, was released from the Brisbane General Hospital (now known as the Royal Brisbane Hospital) after a short illness and made his way to Ipswich that afternoon.

At 9.00pm, he was walking along the main Ipswich-Brisbane railway line at the end of Wharf Street in Ipswich when he was struck by a coal train and decapitated.

He was carrying a small suitcase with all his earthly possessions and ten pounds was found in his pockets which went towards his burial costs.

He was buried as a Roman Catholic in a pauper's grave at the Ipswich General Cemetery on 31 July 1948 under the name "J. Ryan" with Reverend Bergin officiating in the presence of only the cemetery sexton and the undertaker.

The Truth newspaper of 1 August 1948 front-page story reported:


On 11 November 1998, a memorial was erected on the site of the old pauper's grave in the Ipswich General Cemetery which now stands as a silent tribute to what may be the final resting place of one of Australia's most notorious bushrangers.

We may never know who the character known in Ipswich as "James Ryan" really was.

But one thing is certain, in the end, the death in Ipswich of James Ryan on 29 July 1948 closed another chapter on the legend of Dan Kelly and his involvement in the infamous Kelly Gang.

Debonair Dan Kelly at the age of 16.

Do you remember the man Dan Kelly in Queensland in the 1930s or 1940s?
Do you know of some untold or unusual aspect of Queensland History?
Email History Queensland with full information and any historic pictures.
Or post to: History Queensland, PO Box 1, Goodna Qld 4300