Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick
John Simpson Kirkpatrick was born in South Shields, England on 6 July 1892. After a brief association with the local Territory Army, Kirkpatrick joined the merchant navy and deserted to New South Wales in May 1910.
While in Perth in August 1914, he joined the Australian Imperial Force as John Simpson. Part of the 3rd Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps, Private Simpson landed at ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915. Simpson came across a donkey in a hut, and with it worked up and down the dangerous valleys collecting slightly wounded servicemen and carrying them to the dressing stations. Simpson soon became known to the men fighting in the tight confines of the Gallipoli beach head.
Simpson continued this work until 19 May 1915, when he was killed in action by Turkish machine gun fire. Simpson was Mentioned in Despatches for his service.
In 2011, Simpson was listed in the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into unresolved recognition for past acts of naval and military gallantry and valour. The following is a link to Chapter 15 of the Report of the Inquiry which focusses on Simpson.
The Tribunal received 23 written submissions that included reference to Simpson.
Submission 116A – Mr Grant Malcolm (withheld at request of submitter)
Photo of John Simpson Kirkpatrick courtesy of the Australian War Memorial