The Anzac Legend. Simpson and his donkey Battle of the Nek Embracing the Enemy The evacuation. John Simpson Kirkpatrick (enlisted as Simpson).
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Simpson and his donkey
Battle of the Nek
Embracing the Enemy
- Simpson was an Australian army stretcher-bearer who risked his life at Anzac Cove. He used donkeys to carry water to soldiers at the front and collect wounded soldiers
- The picture shows one of the donkeys that Simpson used to transport more than 300 wounded men from the front line
- It shows the donkey wearing a red cross, the symbol used since 1864 to identify medical personnel
- Simpson was killed by machine gun fire in 1915, aged 22
So given Simpson’s acts of courage, do you think that he was ever awarded with the Victoria Cross?
The Victoria Cross is awarded to soldiers “who in the presence of the enemy, perform acts of the most conspicuous gallantry”, exhibiting “valor” or “self-sacrifice” or “display extreme devotion to duty."
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- Simpson was twice recommended for the Victoria Cross and once for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but these and later applications on his behalf were turned down by the British War Office.
- One of Simpson's donkeys, 'Murphy', was posthumously awarded the RSPCA's Purple Cross Award by Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer at the Australian War Memorial in 1997!
Only a few weeks after the 25th April 1915 landing at Anzac Cove, the troops of both sides organised an unofficial truce in order to pick up their wounded, bury the dead and share a cup of tea.