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Thomas Curnow (1855–1922)

The funeral took place on Thursday (reports The Melbourne Argus) of Mr. Thomas Curnow, who figured prominently in the closing days of the Kelly gang 42 years ago, when the two brothers, Ned and Dan Kelly, accompanied by Byrne and Hart, took charge of the hotel at Glenrowan in June, 1880. They sent into a room any persons who were about the place in order that news of the raid might not be spread. Mr. Curnow, who was included in the party, heard portion of a conversation between two members of the gang, which indicated that portion of the railway line had been destroyed with the object of disabling a train in which a number of police who were pursuing Ned Kelly and his associates were travelling. Mr. Curnow managed to escape from the room, and made his way towards the spot where the rails had been torn up. Having previously secured possession of a candle, he walked along the line, and saw that a disaster must follow unless he could stop the train, which he could hear approaching. Mr. Curnow lit the candle, which he held behind a red hand kerchief. The signal attracted the attention of the engine driver, who stopped the train. Mr. Curnow told what he knew to the officer in charge of the party of police, and no time was lost in surrounding the Glenrowan Hotel. A desperate fight ensued, and all the members of the gang, with the exception of Ned Kelly, were killed. Mr. Curnow was a school teacher, but retired from the education department some time ago.

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'Curnow, Thomas (1855–1922)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Cornwall, England


December, 1922 (aged ~ 67)
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.