[Editor: An article about Ben Hall, the bushranger. Published in The Federal Capital Pioneer Magazine, 16 November 1926.]
Mr. James Frost, of Thirroul, still “going strong” at 91 years of age, claims to be the oldest living coach driver in Australia, who, in the good days of coaching, before trains took to the trail, handled “the ribbons’’ for Cobb & Co.
Before the train puffed its way on a steel road over the Blue Mountains, he drove the four-horse coach from Penrith to Bathurst, and, later on, in gold-digging days, from Bathurst to Forbes, and Orange. He knew Ben Hall, the bushranger, leader of the Ben Hall-Gilbert and Dunn gang, intimately.
Mr. Frost states: “Ben Hall was a good man driven bad.” He used to bring the outlaws groceries and provisions, which were left at some pre-arranged place.
Once, Hall and his gang stuck up the coach driven by this veteran whip. There was only one woman among the passengers, and she had £150, which she had placed under the driver’s seat. Ben Hall, on being told that the woman was nearly blind and was going to Sydney to see a doctor and would want every penny to pay him to prevent total blindness, said: “Poor old soul, give her this,” and handed the driver a £5 note.
The Federal Capital Pioneer Magazine (Canberra, ACT), 16 November 1926, p. 27
Previously published in:
The Albury Banner, and Wodonga Express (Albury, NSW), 23 July 1926, p. 35
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