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.