Gold Escort Company

9 March 1853 The Sydney Morning Herald

Extracts of letters received from Mr. P. B. Whannell, in command of the Sydney Gold Escort; dated, Kyamba, March 3.

"We just met a Frenchman, with four others, returning from the diggings at the Ovens, and in consequence of the depredations of the bushrangers, they handed over to me twenty-three pounds weight of gold, to be taken in charge to the Ovens, and forwarded by escort to Sydney.

Afterwards, within four miles of this place, we met another party, who had been robbed by four bushrangers of everything they possessed.

I am happy to state that all under my command continue in the same high spirits.

P.S "I have opened this letter for the purpose of sending you the annexed information, which is authenticated by Mr. Smith himself.

The escort under my command had encamped almost on the very part of the bush where this affair took place, at mid-day on Saturday, the 26th instant.

"Having had a good deal of rain lately in camp, I have taken the precaution to have all our carbines and revolvers discharged, and loaded afresh, ready for any exigency that may occur; and I am glad to find the gentlemen with me in high spirits, and ready for any attack that might be made upon us. P. W. P. Sunday, 10 P.M., February 27.

"On Sunday, 27th February, about 4 o'clock P.M., W. K. Smith. Esq., J.P., of Mingay, near Gundagai, after passing Mrs. Byrne's accommodation house, about half-a mile, heard a noise resembling a stock whip; when he arrived at the top of the hill he found a man lying on the road.

He went up to him, and asked him what was the matter?

The man replied that he had been shot and robbed by bushrangers.

As he was about to leave him, four mounted men rode up to him (Mr. S.) and ordered him to dismount: at this time four other gentlemen were in the bush, having been robbed.

After dismounting Mr. S. was ordered to take the saddle off his horse; in the valise was the sum of 100 cheque, and 80 in notes, which they took.

He was then ordered to remain half-an-hour, until they returned; after remaining that time, he rode off to Reedy Creek, without further molestation.

The man appeared to be shot twice in the upper part of his thigh, and in his right arm, and was covered with blood; he was very faint and almost speechless.

Mr. S. ordered a cart to be sent out to convey him to Reedy's Creek.

There were twelve other men standing by in the bush, whom Mr. S. states that he has every reason to believe form part of the same gang-in all, sixteen men.

"I certify the above was taken down by the officer in command of the second Sidney Gold Escort, as dictated by me. W. K. SMITH, J.P." '