I met Murder on the way
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Twenty three year old Matilda (Tilly) Pearson explained to reporters how, before she realized there was going to be shooting, she spoke to the raiders. “I asked them what was the reason for their action in burning the house, and one of them said he did not know. I pointed out that it was an extraordinary thing to burn a house without having any reason for so doing. The reply to this was: Don’t think we are doing this because you are Protestants. It is not being done on that account.” Matilda continued, “I knew they were going to burn the house, but I did not think there was going to be any shooting- I did not think for a moment that Dick ad Abe would be shot, being under the impression that they were only being questioned for cautioned…”
So why did thirty, perhaps forty armed and masked men descend on Coolacrease house on 30th June 1921 with such violent intent? The account contained here make a number of revelations, poses a few questions, and sheds new light on a dark episode of our recent history. A report on the destinies of members of this courageous family as they embarked on new lives in England and Australia is also included.