Better Late Than Never!

Earlier in the week I read a couple of posts about Anzac Day (by Guru PIG here and tehlulzpare here) and thought I’d write a quick post about a local connection to it here in the North East of England!

John Simpson Kirkpatrick, who served in the Australian Army and lost his life at Gallipoli in 1915, was born in South Shields in the North East of England. He is probably best remembered for rescuing wounded soldiers and carrying back from the front line on a donkey.

On Ocean Road in South Shields there is a statue of John Simpson Kirkpatrick (shown below).

I took this photograph earlier this week (not a great picture I’m afraid and I had to try and get it in between people walking past) and I’m assuming the poppy wreaths were laid in front of the statue for Anzac Day. The inscription on the plinth reads:

JOHN SIMPSON KIRKPATRICK

“THE MAN WITH THE DONKEY”

202 Pte. J.Simpson

Aust. Army Medical Corps

born South Shields 6, July 1892

died Gallipoli 19, May 1915

A HERO OF THE GREAT WAR

The building behind the statue and to the right is now a Morrisons supermarket. The building behind and to the left is The Kirkpatrick pub (shown below).

I think this is an impressive building for the statue to stand next to! My wife, who has lived in South Shields for most of her life, can remember standing outside it with her parents as a kid waiting to catch a bus (this part of Ocean Road is now pedestrianised) and she said it used to be the Marine School.

23 comments

  1. Thanks John. I obviously knew about the story and Simpson’s English heritage but was unaware of the statue erected in the UK to honour his exploits. Thanks for closing the loop on this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fantastic post, John. I had never heard anything of this story before. What a lovely tribute from the town to a man so bravely dedicated to saving lives and alleviating suffering. Good to see the donkeys represented there too, a number of them in his service being killed also I understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi John, thanks, this year I finally asked the family about a picture I remember as a kid – a man in a garden with a cap or soft fez-not Tommy cooper style. Turns out one of my relatives was in the dardenelles campaign. Itโ€™s interesting what a post can trigger! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for writing this up, John! It was a great read and Gallipoli was a tough battlefield, if I recall correctly. Too many young men lost their lives there as was the case throughout the Great War.

    Liked by 1 person

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