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Grave said to contain remains of Dan Kelly
AAP Brisbane

27 September 2001

Scientists have taken a DNA sample from a grave in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, believing it contains the remains of Ned Kelly's brother, Dan. Archaeological consultant Tim Anson, of Adelaide, took a sliver of bone from the grave of Charles Devine Tindall, believed by his family to have been Dan Kelly, one of the infamous Kelly gang. Mr Tindall died in July 1953 but there is no official record of his birth, his parents or any siblings.

His grand-daughter, Maureen Tyler, said today the family had long believed he was Dan Kelly, Ned's younger brother, thought to have died during a dramatic police siege at Victoria's Glenrowan Hotel in 1880. The hotel was burnt to the ground during a gunbattle with police which left Ned Kelly badly wounded. Ned was later tried and hanged.

His brother Dan and Steve Hart, another member of the legendary gang of bushrangers, supposedly died in the fire but some believed they may have escaped. Mrs Tyler said Charles Tindall had told his son, Stan, he was Dan Kelly. "I was told by my father that Pop escaped the fire and survived. He came up to Queensland," she said.

"We went researching and thought we'd better disprove that Pop was Charles Devine Tindall for a start ... so we went looking for records to find his heritage. "It stopped right there. We could not find his birth, we could not find parents, siblings, anything of him existing anywhere other than when he married Gran. That was it." Three different death certificates list his age as 99, 96 and 92 and Toowoomba Cemetery records indicate he was 85 when he died. "We really don't know what age he was," Mrs Tyler told AAP.

She said her grandfather had told his son he hid underneath the Glenrowan Hotel "in the ground" during the siege and historians have since found a one-metre square cellar, under the kitchen area, during a search of the site. "He either had to have been Dan Kelly and hid down there or he had to have been someone very closely associated to know that there was a cellar there," Mrs Tyler said.

She said her grandfather also had burn scars down one side of his body, indicating he could have been injured in the Glenrowan fire. The family believes he changed his name and moved to Queensland where he met and married a widow, Wilhelmina, who ran a dairy farm at Oakey, near Toowoomba. They wed in 1923 and had four children.

Mr Anson and Gary Dean, who runs a Ned Kelly Museum in Glenrowan, travelled to Coonabarabran in NSW today to take DNA from another grave, believed to contain Mr Hart. Mrs Tyler said it may be several months before the results were known.

While not everyone wants to read about Ned Kelly or the ANZACs or even The Great Depression, we hope they want to learn something about Australian History. From the ex-Prime Minister John Howard to a confused ex-NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt (see the ex-pattern here?) a number of politicians have jumped on the teaching history bandwagon. But at what cost? From Right Wing Liberals to the multitude of State Governments, seems everyone has an agenda. We'd like to let the readers decide what is worth learning. Here at we present the facts, the fiction and everything in between. It all adds to the experience and hopefully makes History an exciting place to be while also proving it needn't always have to be written by the victors.
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