Bring me Ned’s head

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - PETER ROLFE

A NA­TIONAL cam­paign has been launched to find Ned Kelly’s long-lost skull and bring it back to Vic­to­ria.

Mys­tery sur­rounds the where­abouts of the skull of Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous bushranger.

Some say it was stolen from the Old Mel­bourne Gaol, where a skull en­graved with the ini­tials EK was dis­played un­til 1978.

A WA man be­lieves he has the skull and wants to give it a proper burial.

Oth­ers be­lieve the true skull went miss­ing soon af­ter Kelly was ex­e­cuted on Novem­ber 11, 1880, for crimes in­clud­ing mur­der and has not been seen since.

Now a group of his­to­ri­ans, au­thors and Kelly buffs has called for a na­tion­wide hunt for the unique piece of Aus­tralian his­tory.

They want to find the real skull and prove be­yond doubt it is gen­uine.

Kelly re­searcher Bill Den­held said the search had merit.

‘‘There is a huge chance that Ned’s skull is still out there,’’ he said.

‘‘No­body should just have the bloody thing dug in the ground. It should be part of the nat­u­ral her­itage.’’

Perth au­thor Lea Scott launched the cam­paign re­cently af­ter writ­ing a book based on the Kelly skull.

The mis­sion to find it gath­ered pace last week­end at a Ned Kelly fes­ti­val held in Beech­worth, the town where he was tried for the mur­der of three po­lice­man.

With next year mark­ing the 130th an­niver­sary of Kelly’s hang­ing, Ms Scott said it was time to fi­nally solve the mys­tery.

‘‘I make a plea to all Aus­tralians to band to­gether in an at­tempt to find Ned Kelly’s skull,’’ she said.

Ex­cite­ment about the pos­si­ble re­cov­ery of t he s kull has been height­ened by the dis­cov­ery of a mass grave at the Old Mel­bourne Gaol last year, be­lieved to con­tain Kelly’s bones.

The Sun­day Her­ald Sun un­der­stands the re­mains, which are un­der the care of the Vic­to­rian in­sti­tute of Foren­sic Medicine at South­bank, were found without a skull.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the where­abouts of Kelly’s skull can phone (03) 9292 2963 or email sun­dayhs@her­ald­sun.com.au.

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