John GilbertTo People
Born in Canada, John Gilbert came to Australia with his family in 1852. Initially settling in Melbourne, Gilbert worked as a stableboy before the thrill of the gold rush had him move to the New South Wales goldfields. Initially associated with petty thieves and gamblers, Gilbert soon attracted suspicion with his boasting and expensive clothing. Yet his charm and pleasant attitude saw him take up with notorious local bushrangers Frank Gardiner, Ben Hall and eventually John Dunn.
When Gardiner fled New South Wales, Gilbert became Hall's right hand man and carried out a number of hold-ups and robberies with him, including the infamous robbery of the gold escort in Eugowra. Gilbert's associations with other bushrangers had him involved in approximately 44 robberies between 1862 and 1865 and as he continued to evade capture, his actions became increasingly reckless. In a particularly callous act Gilbert took the belt of a policeman Dunn had killed, and by 1865 Gilbert had a £1000 bounty on his head.
John Dunn and John Gilbert were eventually cornered in a paddock at Binalong and whilst Dunn was able to escape on foot, Gilbert was shot and killed. He was buried in the paddock where he was shot.