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The man with the donkey

Posted by
Curly (South Shields, United Kingdom) on 6 January 2013 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

The reason why The Kirkpatrick pub bears that name. This statue commemorates John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a South Shields lad who ran away and became an Australian war hero saving many lives with his donkey.
There is a campaign underway in Australia to award him a posthuomous Victoria Cross. He was born in the same area of South Shields as I was.

After deserting from the merchant navy and travelling around Australia, prior to the war, Simpson apparently enlisted as a means to return to England. One account alleges that he dropped "Kirkpatrick" from his name and enlisted as "John Simpson" to avoid being identified as a deserter. He was accepted into the army as a field ambulance stretcher bearer on 23 August 1914 in Perth. This role was only given to physically strong men.

Simpson landed on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 as part of the ANZAC forces. 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 bear his fellow soldiers. He would sing and whistle, seeming to ignore the deadly bullets flying through the air, while he tended to his comrades. The donkey came to be named Duffy.

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."

On 19 May 1915, Simpson was struck by machine gun fire and died. At the time of his death, Simpson's father was already dead, but his mother was still living in South Shields, England

From Wikipedia

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JDY from Aberdeen, United States

Very nice Curly, enjoyed the write up also.

6 Jan 2013 6:00am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Interesting story. He did much good. Fine sculpture.

6 Jan 2013 6:11am

Veronique from France-and-, Switzerland

Thanks for the information. You have heroes in your town :-)

6 Jan 2013 6:52am

ursulakatariina from Ed, Sweden

Nice shot and interesting story to go with it.

6 Jan 2013 7:24am

J.R. from Urasoe City, Japan

Fantastic story, greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friend:)

6 Jan 2013 7:38am

Christine from Ellemford, United Kingdom

very interesting story, nice shot of the statue

6 Jan 2013 7:55am

Richard from Ellemford, United Kingdom

Is it not a donkey with a man? :) Interesting story indeed

6 Jan 2013 8:09am

wcamille from Burlington, Canada

Nice contrast... Great work!

6 Jan 2013 8:28am

PATRICK from miramas, France

splendiid capture

6 Jan 2013 8:36am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Fascinating story - thanks Curly

6 Jan 2013 9:06am

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Terrific image of this statue commemorating an incredibly brave man

6 Jan 2013 9:16am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Superbe cette sculpture, magnifique traitement. Bon dimanche.

6 Jan 2013 9:22am

Florence from Paris, France

A nice story, and I agree with Doug, an incredible brave man deserves a statue.

6 Jan 2013 9:30am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

What a wonderful story to accompany the posting, Curly. A fine example of remembering someone for what they did rather than 'who' they were.

6 Jan 2013 10:11am

Calusarus from Drome des collines, France

Really beautiful with the B&W. Thanks for the explanation

6 Jan 2013 10:22am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

Excellent shot and write up. I've always wondered what makes this kind of hero.What I mean is that here we have a man with a bit of a rebellious past, who doesn't have a known history of good deeds, but, for whatever reason, on this particular day, he's an invincible superman, I wonder what happened to make him like that? Was he someone who always had the ability to carry out these altruistic acts-and now he has a place and time to express that capability, or, maybe, something happened that day that changed him from just being a normal young man into a hero. Just to be clear, these questions don't in any way diminish his heroic acts-people like him are rare and to be cherished, it's just that I would love to know what was going on in his mind.

6 Jan 2013 10:38am

@CElliottUK: Probably just our hard wired "Geordie" characteristics, we seem to be renowned for our friendliness, hospitality, and solidarity, we are always willing to help others out in times of need.

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Nice treatment, excellent background documentary of someone certainly worthy of honourable recognition

6 Jan 2013 10:43am

helys from Paris, France

Great tribute
Great angle, details
Thanks for sharing interesting informations

6 Jan 2013 10:45am

gerard1948 from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

A wonderiful view and a great Black and White, excellent treatment. The story is sad, but beautiful, he gave his life to help others.
Curly good Sunday.

6 Jan 2013 10:47am

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

A good story and a good tribute sculpture! Best regards, Adela

6 Jan 2013 11:32am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

A PIECE OF ART, well photographed.

6 Jan 2013 1:18pm

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Fabulous POV and compo Curly! They are brought to life... love how the donkey is looking at you!:-) Thanks too for the superb background info! Have a great Sunday!

6 Jan 2013 1:24pm

Devi from Chennai, India

Fantastic image of this great hero and his donkey..
I bow to his courage and compassion...

6 Jan 2013 1:43pm

Sharon Pleasants from Monroe, Louisiana, United States

Great story! And I like the overall metallic feel to this photo.

6 Jan 2013 3:13pm

Lena from San Francisco, United States

Interesting story, gorgeous sculpture. nice frame.

6 Jan 2013 3:34pm

Willie from Obdam, Netherlands

Interesting story!
Nice photo!!!

6 Jan 2013 3:47pm

Mamyni from Argenteau-Visé, Belgium

a nice hero !

6 Jan 2013 3:49pm

Mirjam from Kyiv, Ukraine

Excellent b&w. Thanks for the text.

6 Jan 2013 4:29pm

Nitin from Shanghai, China

Superb composition and picture of one hero taken by another hero who tells great stories and shoots wonderful pictures :) Cheers!

6 Jan 2013 5:01pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

Great material for your fantastic shot of this hero's statue.
I like Chris' thinking on this too ... what was it that set him apart?

6 Jan 2013 6:01pm

@Judy aka L@dybug: Probably just our hard wired "Geordie" characteristics, we seem to be renowned for our friendliness, hospitality, and solidarity, we are always willing to help others out in times of need.

Amirreza Tavassoli from Tehran, Iran

great process

6 Jan 2013 6:33pm

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

good mono and background Curly.

6 Jan 2013 6:43pm

Robert from BOUSVAL, Belgium

It is very important for the young generations not to forget such a man and his courage! Very good image of this statue

6 Jan 2013 6:47pm

Gemma Wiseman from Melbourne, Australia

I never tire of hearing this wonderful story! There is a statue memorial to this great man outside the Melbourne war memorial + it's surrounded by a small garden! But I have never seen this lovely South Shields statue! beautiful photo!

6 Jan 2013 7:11pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

WOnderful capture and information.

6 Jan 2013 7:48pm

christine from schoten, Belgium

Interesting story and photo. Thanks for your welcome.

6 Jan 2013 8:01pm

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Great story, nice monument to him.

6 Jan 2013 8:03pm

firoozeh from kassel, Germany


6 Jan 2013 9:37pm

David from Ellemford, United Kingdom

I like the treatment here because I took a photo last time we were in Shields. Even more recently we saw the same statue i.e. person, featured on the News. I didn't feel so bad after that for not knowing about him.

6 Jan 2013 9:47pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

fine commentary. nicely done

6 Jan 2013 11:14pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

This statue is such a lovely tribute to a man who gave so much of himself to help his fellow soldiers. What a wonderful story.

7 Jan 2013 1:06am

Nelida De La Fuente from Tres Arroyos, Argentina

Genial escultura... En homenaje a ese gran soldado... Genial blanco y negro y buena luz...Saludos.

7 Jan 2013 6:03am

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

What a story to make this statue feel closer to the viwer! Not only you managed to delight us with the presentation, but you also put thoughts in our minds...admiration for a fellow who just did his part in that awful Gallipoli where so many found their death.

7 Jan 2013 8:30am

L'Angevine from Angers, France

super l'effet

7 Jan 2013 8:42am

digitalCG from Manchester, United Kingdom

Bold, contrasty mono and an enjoyable back story - a great lesson that we should all pay more attention to the statues and sculptures around us.

7 Jan 2013 12:53pm

franz from Baden, Austria

interesting info to go with this superbly framed statue !!!

7 Jan 2013 8:34pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A great photo of this monument to this heroic character. Thanks for the great information.

7 Jan 2013 9:39pm

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

Wonderful and moving history to accompany and bring your frame to life - society needs some modern day John Simpson's!

7 Jan 2013 10:13pm

This image has been featured in 1 Remix collection.

fotos deslumbrantes 2 by Nelida De La Fuente

1/1400 second
ISO 400
9 mm