Allan McGregor’s grandfather William
Allan McGregor’s grandfather William "Smithy" Wood McGregor, who worked as a blacksmith in Tarrawingee, is believed to have been paid to help Ned Kelly make his armour, as well as shoeing his horses. Scottie Simmonds

Bundy's link to famous bushranger

NED Kelly continues to make news 130 years after his death, with a Bundaberg man the latest to come forward with a connection to the bushranger.

The controversial character's bones were recently identified, prompting a local woman to reveal her story of how Kelly's heroic actions saved her great-grandfather.

Now Bundaberg man Allan McGregor has come forward with information that may solve one of the remaining mysteries surrounding the bushranger - who made his famous armour, which has endured as his most identifiable feature.

Historians said the armour was the work of a professional blacksmith and it would have taken months to construct.

No blacksmith could ever have admitted to forging the steel - a hanging offence in the 1800s.

Mr McGregor, who lives at Argyle Gardens, claims not only to know the origins of the armour, but also a family connection to it.

He said the lines of the McGregor heritage were forged in the only blacksmith shops of the region, and his grandfather William "Smithy"; Wood McGregor had been paid to craft the armour that would help define a famous part of Australian history.

Smithy McGregor's blacksmith shops were at Tarrawingee and Greta, near Glenrowan, where Kelly was eventually captured.

Mr McGregor said the family were pioneers of the region, opening Tarrawingee's first hospital, running a local mill and operating the blacksmith shops.

He said his dad had first recounted the story of the armour to him when he was nine years old.

"Dad said Ned came in (to the blacksmith shop) one day with his mates, including Steve Hart, and asked my grandfather to shoe the horses," he said.

"(My grandfather) agreed to shoe the horses and, when he finished, asked the gang where they were going, Ned replied, 'we're off to Jerilderie to rob the bank'."

Mr McGregor said an alliance was born, and that was how Ned Kelly eventually got his armour.

He said only Kelly's armour was made by his grandfather, while the other gang members made their own.

Mr McGregor said he visited the site of the now demolished blacksmith shop years ago.



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