Posted on April 18th, 2013

This watercolour painting by Horace Moore-Jones is titled

To the memory of our hero comrade ‘Murphy’ (Simpson) killed May 1915. Heroes of the Red Cross. Private Simpson, D.C.M., & his donkey at Anzac. 

It is such an iconic image of  a medic and his donkey helping an injured man back to base at Gallipoli.

The Australian hero is John Simpson Kirkpatrick (he was actually an Englishman who arrived in Australia in 1912) served in the 3rd Field Ambulance and was killed on the 19th May 1915.

Despite the title, this painting was actually based on this photo.


Lt. Richard Alexander “Dick” Henderson, New Zealand Medical Corps, carrying a wounded soldier on a donkey during the Battle of Gallipoli. Photograph by Sgt. James G. Jackson (New Zealand) on 12 May 1915.

Dick Henderson was a trainee teacher when he sailed with the Main Body on the 16 October 1914. He served in the No.4 NZ Field Ambulance. He was awarded the Military Medal, not for his work on Gallipoli but on the  Somme “on the 15th September, 1916 he went out repeatedly under heavy shellfire and brought in wounded who were exposed to it. He set a fine example to the other bearers.”

In October 1917 he was badly gassed at Passchendaele and invalided home to New Zealand. As a result his eyesight deteriorated badly, he retired from teaching at the age of 41 and died in 1958.

His history and service record can be accessed via Auckland War memorial Museum’s Cenotaph  data-base.

You can read more about this remarkable story “A picture of bravery” (19 April 2008) New Zealand Herald

Images are from Wikimedia Commons

You can find an ANZAC Service near you by clicking here.




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