James Ryan (Dan Kelly)Print Page Print this page

09-January-2022 (James Ipswich)
09-January-2022 (James Ipswich)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / James Ipswich

The memorial at the grave of James Ryan, a pauper who claimed to be Dan Kelly, the brother of Ned Kelly the famous bushranger.  

Note : As at 9-January-2022, the representation of Ned Kelly`s armour has been stolen.

In 1933, an elderly man known as James Ryan, claimed to Brisbane`s Truth newspaper that he was, in fact, Dan Kelly, the brother of Ned Kelly. According to this and other articles which appeared in the newspaper, James Ryan, or Dan Kelly, escaped along with Steve Hart from the siege in the burning hotel at Glenrowan on 28 June 1880 and headed to Queensland with nothing but a new identity. The supposed bodies of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were reduced to charcoal in the intense fire and were never positively identified. Speculation has been rife for over a century that Dan Kelly and Steve Hart managed to escape during the smoke, fire and commotion as Ann Jones` hotel burnt to the ground, probably assisted by a deliberately wrong "positive identification" by visiting Catholic Priest Father Gibney. The Truth newspaper reported that hundreds of historians from all over the country and even those who had associations with the Kelly`s could not disprove that James Ryan was truly Dan Kelly.

Half a century after his gruesome death, a memorial has been erected at the grave site of a man who claimed he was an escaped member of the legendary Kelly Gang. James Ryan, buried in the pauper's section of Ipswich Cemetery, said his true identity was Dan Kelly: the brother of Australia's most famous bushranger, Edward 'Ned' Kelly. The memorial, which included a sandstone marker to identify the grave, a replica of Ned Kelly's suit of armour and a plaque recounting his story, was erected today in order to honour his memory after 50 years, says Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully. Erected on 11 November, it was also the 118th anniversary of Ned Kelly's hanging in Melbourne Gaol.
Suzanne Hall 11 November 1998. 


Address:Warwick Road, Cemetery, Row 2 Grave 27, Ipswich, 4305
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.630556
Long: 152.759722
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 11th November, 1998
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au