John (Jack) Simpson Kirkpatrick (6 July 1892 – 19 May 1915), who served under the name John Simpson, was a stretcher bearer with the 1st Australian Division during the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. After landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, Simpson began to use donkeys to provide first aid and carry wounded soldiers to the beach, for evacuation. Simpson and the donkeys continued this work for three and a half weeks, often under fire, until he was killed, during the Third attack on Anzac Cove. "Simpson and his Donkey" are a part of the "Anzac legend".
John (Jack) Simpson Kirkpatrick
Simpson (centre) with his donkey,
bearing a wounded soldier.
|Nickname(s)||"Scotty", "Simmy", "Murphy/Murph", "Mu"|
|Born||6 July 1892|
South Shields, County Durham, United Kingdom
|Died||19 May 1915 (aged 22)|
Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli
|Service/||Australian Imperial Force|
|Years of service||1914–15|
|Unit||3rd Australian Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Mentioned in Despatches|
Simpson was born on 6 July 1892 in Eldon Street, Tyne Dock, South Shields, County Durham, England, to Scottish parents: Sarah Kirkpatrick (née Simpson) and Robert Kirkpatrick. He was one of eight children, and worked with donkeys as a youth, during summer holidays. He attended Barnes Road Junior School and later Mortimer Road Senior School.
In May 1910, Simpson deserted his ship at Newcastle, New South Wales, and then travelled widely in Australia, taking on various jobs, such as cane-cutting in Queensland and coal mining in the Illawarra district of New South Wales. In the three or so years leading up to the outbreak of World War I, he worked as a steward, stoker and greaser on Australian coastal ships.
Simpson held, or developed, left wing political views while he worked in Australia and wrote, in a letter to his mother: "I often wonder when the working men of England will wake up and see things as other people see them. What they want in England is a good revolution and that will clear some of these Millionaires and lords and Dukes out of it and then with a Labour Government they will almost be able to make their own conditions." According to former union leader Alf Rankin, there is anecdotal evidence that Simpson belonged to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or "Wobblies"), a radical international labour union, although this has never been confirmed by historical documents or other sources.
Simpson enlisted in the Australian Army after the outbreak of war, apparently as a means of returning to England, He enlisted as "John Simpson", and may have dropped his real surname to avoid being identified as a ship deserter. Simpson enlisted as a field ambulance stretcher bearer, a role only given to physically strong men, on 23 August 1914 at Swan Barracks, Francis Street, in Perth, and undertook training at Blackboy Hill Training Camp. He was assigned to the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance and the regimental number 202.
Simpson landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 with the 3rd Field Ambulance as part of the 1st Australian Division. In the early hours of the following day, as he was bearing a wounded comrade on his shoulders, he spotted a donkey and quickly began making use of it to carry his fellow soldiers. Simpson would sing and whistle, seeming to ignore the bullets flying through the air, while he tended to his comrades.
He used at least five different donkeys, known as "Duffy No. 1", "Duffy No. 2", "Murphy", "Queen Elizabeth" and "Abdul" at Gallipoli; some of the donkeys were killed and/or wounded in action. He and the donkeys soon became a familiar sight to the Anzacs, many of whom knew Simpson by the nicknames such as "Scotty" (in reference to his ancestry) and "Simmy". Simpson himself was also sometimes referred to as "Murphy". Other Anzac stretcher bearers began to emulate Simpson's use of the donkeys.
Colonel (later General) John Monash wrote: "Private Simpson and his little beast earned the admiration of everyone at the upper end of the valley. They worked all day and night throughout the whole period since the landing, and the help rendered to the wounded was invaluable. Simpson knew no fear and moved unconcernedly amid shrapnel and rifle fire, steadily carrying out his self-imposed task day by day, and he frequently earned the applause of the personnel for his many fearless rescues of wounded men from areas subject to rifle and shrapnel fire."
Other contemporary accounts of Simpson at Gallipoli speak of his bravery and invaluable service in bringing wounded down from the heights above Anzac Cove through Shrapnel and Monash gullies. However, his donkey service spared him the even more dangerous and arduous work of hauling seriously wounded men back from the front lines on a stretcher.
On 19 May 1915, during the Third attack on Anzac Cove, Simpson was killed by machine gun fire. He was survived by his mother and sister, who were still living in South Shields. He was buried at the Beach Cemetery.
Soon after his death, Simpson was being conflated with at least one other stretcher bearer using a donkey around Anzac Cove, Dick Henderson, of the New Zealand Medical Corps (NZMC). Henderson said later that he had taken over one of Simpson's donkeys, known as "Murphy".
An iconic image (right) of Dick Henderson, a stretcher bearer in the New Zealand Medical Corps (NZMC) with a donkey at Gallipoli, has often been wrongly assumed to portray John Simpson Kirkpatrick. The image originated in a photograph taken by Sergeant James G. Jackson of the NZMC on 12 May 1915 (a week before Simpson's death). The image became famous after Horace Moore-Jones, a New Zealand artist, who had been a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli, painted at least six versions of it. Following the death of Simpson, Henderson continued to rescue wounded soldiers from the battlefield and was later awarded the Military Medal. Moore-Jones' paintings have usually been referred to by titles such as Private Simpson, D.C.M., & his donkey at Anzac and/or The Man with the Donkey. Many derivatives of the image, including sculptures, have appeared and a variation of it was included on three postage stamps issued in Australia in 1965 to mark the 50th anniversary of Gallipoli – on the five penny, eight penny and two shillings and three pence stamps.
The legend surrounding Simpson, sometimes under the misnomer "Murphy" grew largely from an account of his actions published in a 1916 book, Glorious Deeds of Australasians in the Great War. This was a wartime propaganda effort, and many of its stories of Simpson, supposedly rescuing 300 men and making dashes into no man's land to carry wounded out on his back, are demonstrably untrue. In fact, transporting that many men down to the beach in the three weeks that he was at Gallipoli would have been a physical impossibility, given the time the journey took. However, the stories presented in the book were widely and uncritically accepted by many people, including the authors of some subsequent books on Simpson.
In 1965, in the lead up to the fiftieth anniversary of Gallipoli, there were calls for a commemorative medal for veterans of the Gallipoli campaign and/or the award of a late Victoria Cross to Simpson. Both proposals were rejected by the Australian Federal Government in 1965. In January 1966, Robert Menzies who had been Prime Minister of Australia since 1949 retired and was replaced by Harold Holt. The new government soon announced that Australia would present to Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy veterans of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, an Anzac Commemorative Medal. Both living veterans and next of kin of deceased veterans could apply for the medallion but only living veterans would received a lapel badge. The first medallions were issued to Gallipoli veterans shortly before Anzac Day 1967. The medallion and lapel badge featured Simpson and his donkey. They were also portrayed on a series of Anzac postage stamps issued on April 14, 1965.
In 1977, a donkey "joined" the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, under the name "Jeremy Jeremiah Simpson", with the rank of Private and the regimental number MA 0090. In 1986, this particular donkey was permanently adopted as the official mascot of the corps.
Simpson featured in an episode of the television show Michael Willessee's Australians in the late 1980s. At least two songs have been written about him: "John Simpson Kirkpatrick" by Issy and David Emeney with Kate Riaz, on the album Legends and Lovers, and "Jackie and Murphy" by Martin Simpson on the album Vagrant Stanzas.
On 19 May 2015, the Australian High Commissioner, the Hon. Alexander Downer A.C., visited South Shields as part of special celebrations marking 100 years to the day that John Simpson Kirkpatrick was killed in action.
There have been several petitions over the decades to have Simpson awarded a Victoria Cross (VC) or a Victoria Cross for Australia. There is a persistent myth that he was recommended for a VC, but that this was either refused or mishandled by the military bureaucracy. However, there is no documentary evidence that such a recommendation was ever made. The case for Simpson being awarded a VC is based on diary entries by his commanding officer that express the hope he would receive either a Distinguished Conduct Medal or VC. However, the officer in question never made a formal recommendation for either of these medals. Simpson's Mention in Despatches was consistent with the recognition given to other men who performed the same role at Gallipoli.
In April 2011, the Australian Government announced that Simpson would be one of thirteen servicemen examined in an inquiry into "Unresolved Recognition for Past Acts of Naval and Military Gallantry and Valour". The tribunal for this inquiry was directed to make recommendations on the awarding of decorations, including the Victoria Cross. Concluding its investigations in February 2013, the tribunal recommended that no further award be made to Simpson, since his "initiative and bravery were representative of all other stretcher-bearers of 3rd Field Ambulance, and that bravery was appropriately recognised as such by the award of an MID."
The following lists events that happened during 1892 in Australia.3rd Field Ambulance (Australia)
The 3rd Australian Field Ambulance was a company of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War. The 3rd Field Ambulance was deployed in Gallipoli, Turkey, on 25 April 1915. It is primarily known for being the company John Simpson Kirkpatrick was registered in. The Field Ambulance consisted of medical personnel who would treat injured soldiers on the battlefield.
During the Second World War, the 3rd Field Ambulance was part of the Militia, Australia's part-time military force, and was deployed to New Guinea, where it supported the 30th Brigade during fighting against the Japanese during the Kokoda Track campaign, deploying from Adelaide in January 1942.Beach Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery
Beach Cemetery is a small Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery containing the remains of allied troops who died during the Battle of Gallipoli. It is located at Hell Spit, at the southern end of Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
The first graves were dug on the day of the landing 25 April 1915 and it continued to be used almost until the evacuation of the Anzac area on 20 December.
The majority of the graves, 285, are from the Australian Imperial Force, including that of Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick and three New Zealanders.
It also contains 21 troops from the New Zealand army, 49 British personnel and three from the 80-strong Ceylon Tea Planters’ contingent. The tea planters were used as the Anzac commander, General William Birdwood's bodyguard. There are also 21 graves whose occupants are unknown.Bloke
Bloke is a slang term for a common man in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The earliest known usage is from the early 19th century, when it was recorded as a London slang term. The word's origin is unknown, and though many theories exist regarding its etymology, none is considered conclusive.
In Australia, a bloke is a unique masculine archetype associated with the country's national identity. The "Aussie bloke" has been portrayed in important works of art and associated with famous Australian men.
In the UK, "bloke" means "man" or "guy". "He's a good bloke" literally means "he's a good man".Jack Simpson (disambiguation)
Jack Simpson was a Scottish golfer.
Jack Simpson may also refer to:
Jack Simpson (footballer) (born 1997), English footballer
Jack Simpson (politician) (1929–2015), Australian politician and footballer
Jack Simpson (cricketer) (1920–1997), Irish cricketer
John Simpson Kirkpatrick (1892–1915), Australian soldier who served as John (Jack) Simpson
Jack Simpson (racing driver) in 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Jack Simpson (ice hockey) from 1938 Memorial Cup
Jack Simpson (motorcyclist) from 1963 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
Jack Simpson (sailor) from 29er
Jack Simpson (Prison Fellowship) from Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Unity BillJohn Kirkpatrick
John Kirkpatrick may refer to:
John Kirkpatrick (politician) (1840–1904), Australian politician
John Simpson Kirkpatrick (1892–1915), British-born Australian soldier
John Kirkpatrick (pianist) (1901–1991), American classical pianist and music scholar
John Kirkpatrick (musician) (born 1947), English player of free reed instruments
John Kirkpatrick (rugby league) (born 1979), English rugby league footballer of the 2000s
John Lycan Kirkpatrick (1813–1885), president of Davidson College
John Bayard Kirkpatrick, mayor of New Brunswick, New JerseyKirkpatrick
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In the Australian Football League, many teams contest trophies or individual awards on an annual or regular basis in individual premiership matches during the home-and-away season. Many of these awards honour a legend or legends of the competing clubs, or are used as part of events to support a charitable cause.
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Corlett studied sculpture at RMIT University, Melbourne, from 1961 to 1964. In 1975, he was awarded a special projects grant from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council. Between 1977 and 1980, he was artist in residence at Exeter University and Exeter College of Art in the United Kingdom.Richard Alexander Henderson
Private Richard Alexander "Dick" Henderson MM (26 August 1895 – 14 November 1958) was a school-teacher who served with the New Zealand Medical Corps at the Battle of Gallipoli. Like John Simpson Kirkpatrick, he used a donkey to carry wounded soldiers from the battlefield. He was later honoured with a Military Medal for repeatedly rescuing wounded from the battlefield while under heavy fire at the Battle of the Somme.Robert Olley
Robert "Bob" Olley (born 16 January 1940 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England) is an artist and sculptor best known for his mining subjects, humorous drawings and paintings of everyday life, especially his iconic painting and internationally acclaimed Westoe Netty.SS Medic
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This article presents the timeline of the Gallipoli Campaign. The period of the proper battle is considered to be 19 February 1915 to 9 January 1916; however, a number of events took place between August 1914 and January 1915 that are relevant to the battle.