Aussie outlaw Kelly to be buried beside mom
By Amy Coopes ,AFPSYDNEY -- Legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly will finally be laid to rest beside his mother in-line with his final wishes at a plot not far from the site of his last stand, reports said Wednesday.
January 17, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Descendants of the infamous bushranger, who was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in 1880 after he murdered three policemen, said they would lay Kelly to rest beside his mother Ellen in a private burial on Sunday.
Kelly's remains were thrown into a mass grave after his execution and discovered during renovations to the jail in 1929 when they were reburied inside Pentridge Prison, save his skull, which remains missing.
Officially, their whereabouts had been a mystery until DNA testing in late 2011 on bones exhumed from the Pentridge site confirmed them to be Kelly's.
Redevelopers of the now-defunct prison wanted to reinter Kelly's remains at a museum or a memorial but the Victoria state government ordered that they be returned to the family last year.
According to Joanne Griffiths, the great-granddaughter of Kelly's sister Kate, the family would formally bid farewell to the outlaw at a Catholic service in the town of Wangaratta on Friday ahead of his burial in an unmarked grave.
“That's what he would've wanted. That's what he requested, and he wished to be buried in consecrated ground,” Griffiths told ABC radio.
Anthony Griffiths, the great-grandson of Kelly's sister Grace, said he expected a “fair percentage” of the outlaw's hundreds of descendants to be in attendance at the memorial, but stressed that it would not seek to glorify him.
“To us, it's just a family funeral service,” Griffiths said.
The Kelly family said he would be interred at a small cemetery at the town of Greta near Glenrowan, the scene of his final gun battle with police, which he famously survived due to his home-made plate metal armor suit and helmet.
“The descendants of the Kelly family wish to give effect to Ned Kelly's last wish and that he now be buried in consecrated ground with only his family in attendance in order to ensure a private, respectful and dignified funeral,” the family told The Age newspaper.
“The family wish for their privacy to be respected so that they may farewell a very much loved member of their family.”