Man With The Donkey
Public Art : Man With The Donkey Statue ( also
known as Simpson and the Donkey)
Sculptor : © Wallace Anderson
Description : The bronze Man With the Donkey
statue is desceptively smaller than you would think and comes as quite a surprise considering it's powerful and
memorable impression. The bronze depicts Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick leading a wounded soldier (on the back of
his donkey) out of Shrapnel Gully in Gallipoli during World War I. Kirkpatrick, neatly dressed in his
Australian uniform and walking proudly strongly contrasts with the dishevelled and wounded soldier who leans
heavily with his arm around him for support.
Date Unveiled: The Man With the Donkey statue
was unveiled on June 20th, 1936.
Funded : The majority of the money for the
statue was raised through public donations largely due in part to a special Red Cross appeal which contributed
Cast : Italy
Location : The Man With the Donkey statue is
located near the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Australia.
Background of John Simpson Kirkpatrick: The statue is
based in part around the legend of John Simpson Kirkpartick (1892-1936) a symbolic icon of World War I who
still to this day plays a key role in the ANZAC legend. Mr Kirkpatrick (who went by the name of
Simpson) was born in Durham, Engand but came to Australia when he was 18. He served in the merchant marines and did
odd jobs including cane cutting and coal mining before enlisting in the army as a means of returning to England.
Unfortunately instead of the returning home, he found himself being sent to Egypt and then onto Gallipoli where he
served as a stretcher bearer in the Third Field Ambulance. Despite being killed a little over three
weeks from arriving, he will always be remembered as the unarmed hero who used a donkey to transport the
wounded men from the war fields known as "No Man's Land". The dangerous journey lead him from the beach
and up to "Shrapnel Gully" and "Monash Valley". On May the 19th Simpson was returning down from Monash Valley
when he came under enemy machine gun fire and was hit in the heart. He is buried in Beach Cemetery at Anzac Cove.
For trivia buffs his three donkeys were called Duffy, Murphy and Abdul.
Simpson Legend : In 1916 the "Simpson" legend grew in
part because of a propoganda campaign designed to keep Australia involved in the war efforts especially on
the Western Front. The feats of Simpson were exaggerating in an effort to assure Australian men would
continue to fight in Europe. The supposed rescue of 300 men by Simpson at Gallipoli was virtually impossible, but
there is no denying his contribution to the war effort nor that of the other brave men who performed the same role
The "Man With The Donkey"
Gallipoli, April 25 to May 19 1915
Of The Valour And Compassion Of The Australian Soldier.