THE FINAL CHAPTER OF the infamous Kelly Gang began on 27 June 1880 when, after eluding the police for almost two years, their luck ran out in the small town of Glenrowan, Victoria.
The Gang, consisting of Ned Kelly and his brother Dan, and Joseph Byrne and Steve Hart, had been on the run from the police after a number of incidents.
Two years later Dan and Joe shot a police informant Aaron Smith and after a sizable police hunt, a few days later the desperate bushrangers held up the local railway station and then took 60 of the townspeople hostage at the Glenrowan Inn.
The hostages included the owner of the inn Ann Jones, her children, and other members of the town. Among them were about 20 Kelly sympathisers.
With police surrounding the building the Kelly Gang began firing, wearing armour made out of plough parts that Ned had been constructed in the aftermath of a three-day bank robbery.
One of the four gang members Joseph Byrne was soon shot in the groin and died of his wounds, while the other three continued to fight well into the night.
During a lull in the fighting, Dan Kelly and the police struck a bargain and the hostages were able to make their way to safety. With only the gang members left inside, the police set fire to the building.
When the smoke finally cleared the burnt bodies of Steve Hart and Dan were found in a back room.
The next morning Ned Kelly emerged from nearby bush behind the police blockade, injured but alive, after retreating there sometime during the night. As he walked out shooting his revolver, policemen aimed low at his legs, which were unprotected.
So, in a hail of bullets Ned Kelly was finally captured.