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Constable Thomas LoniganPrint Page Print this page

Constable Lonigan
Constable Lonigan

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The marble headstone over the grave commemorates Mounted Constable Thomas Lonigan killed in the gun battle with the Kelly Gang in 1878 at Stringybark Creek.

On 26 October, 1878, Sergeant Michael Kennedy rode out with Constables Thomas Lonigan and Michael Scanlon to arrest the outlaw Ned Kelly. The men were ambushed and never returned, killed in the line of duty by the Kelly Gang at Stringybark Creek, near Mansfield, Victoria.

According to the Benalla Standard, "some hitch is likely to arise regarding the erection of a tombstone in the Mansfield cemetery over the graves of Sergeant Kennedy and Constables Lonegan and Scanlon, who were murdered by the Kelly gang"  A number of gentlemen, with the assistance of the Government grant, have secured about £200, with which it was intended to erect a suitable tombstone over the graves of the unfortunate policemen. On account of two of the deceased being Roman Catholics and the third a Protestant, it was decided that the bodies should first be laid together, and in order to effect this the consent was obtained from Mrs. Kennedy and the relatives of the other two for the necessary removal, so that the three bodies shall be placed side by side in the ground over which the tombstone is to be erected.

To this step Father O'Reilly, the priest residing at Mansfield, has objected, and he refuses to sanction either the removal of the bodies from the Roman Catholic ground or the interment of the Protestant body in the Roman Catholic ground. We consider the Roman Catholic bishop should be appealed to in this ease for permission to sanction the request asked. It seems hard that these brave fellows, who lived, fought, and died together, should have their ashes separated under such circumstances by the mandate of one parson. If the request is not complied with, we would suggest that the three bodies be exhumed and placed under the large monument about to be erected in the cross streets of Mansfield by the Murdered Police Memorial Fund Committee. 
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW), 7 January 1880.

Location

Address:Highett Street, Cemetery, Mansfield, 3722
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.064927
Long: 146.084938
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Crime
Actual Event STart Date:26-October-1878
Actual Event End Date:26-October-1878

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1880
Front Inscription

Erected by the Parliament of Victoria to the memory of Mounted Constable Thomas Lonigan

Native of Sligo, Ireland
Aged 34 years

Who in the execution of duty was murdered by armed criminals in the Wombat Ranges near Mansfield on the 26th October, 1878.

Source: MA,VMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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