Man With The Donkey

Man and the Donkey Statue, Melbourne

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 £400.

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 .

Inscription :

The "Man With The Donkey"
Gallipoli, April 25 to May 19 1915
In Commemoration
Of The Valour And Compassion Of The Australian Soldier.




RSS  Public-Art-Around-The-World


If All Else Fails, Search!