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Ben Hall`s Grave : 10-11-2013
Ben Hall`s Grave : 10-11-2013

Photographs supplied by Neville Brabet

The tombstone and iron railing over the grave of Ben Hall was erected by Edward Plunkett, a resident of Forbes. Ben Hall (9 May 1837 - 5 May 1865) was an Australian bushranger of the 19th century operating mainly in New South Wales.

Ben Hall married Bridget Walsh and took up 7000 hectares at Sandy Creek in the Wheogo Ranges near Forbes. Hall originally was a successful grazier and was reputedly honest and hard working, but after his marriage broke down he drifted into a life of crime and began associating with the notorious Frank Gardiner. On 15 June 1862, Gardiner led a gang of 10 men, including Hall, and robbed the gold escort coach near Eugowra of banknotes and 2700 ounces of gold worth more than 14,000 pounds. Hall and several others were arrested in July, but once again the police were unable to gain enough evidence to formally charge him. By 1863 he was regularly `sticking up` travellers mail coaches on the roads between Bathurst, Young and Yass with his gang, which included John Dunn and Johnny Gilbert.

Their exploits included occupying the town of Canowindra for three days, holding a police magistrate for ransom, and shoot outs with police during which Hall was wounded at least once, and both police and gang members were killed. On 29 April 1865, a police party led by Sub-Inspector James Davidson, with the aid of two black teackers (Billy Dargin and Charley) left Forbes. Information had been received from an informer, believed to have had close associations with the gang. On the night of 4 May the police party found their man in the bush near Billabong Creek. On the morning of 5 May 1865, Ben Hall died in a hail of bullets. Ben Hall was buried in Forbes Cemetery on Sunday 7 May 1865.

Unlike many bushrangers of the era, he was not responsible for any deaths, but was ambushed and shot dead by police acting under the Felons Apprehension Act 1865, which allowed known bushrangers to be shot and killed rather than taken to trial. The legality of his killing still remains controversial.

The death of Edward John Plunkett, one of the most dearly loved men in the West and one of the greatest of the old pioneers — he had resided in Forbes for 68 years, and was there when about 60,000 miners delved for the precious alluvial— removes, says  the local press, the most outstanding figure in the town. He had a most venturesome life, and attained fame in more than one direction.  Having met him as a child, he was a great believer in Ben Hall 's manliness, and was the person to erect the iron railing and tombstone over the bushranger's grave.
The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser (NSW ), 9th July 1929.



Address:The Bogan Way, Forbes Cemetery, Forbes, 2871
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.371673
Long: 147.995634
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In memory of Ben Hall

Shot 5th May 1865

Aged 27 years

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