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Remembered Today:

Lt. James Henderson. NZ


bantamforgot

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Hi Colin,

Deffinitely not 'another unknown', however I would hazard a guess that he is not as widely recognised as Kirkpatrick. I don't want to upset our Australian cousins, but I believe that Henderson was the original 'Man with Donkey' at Gallipoli.

Cheers

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Many thanks NZEF, he was unknown to me until I happened on a piece in a book on the Anzacs re. Gallipoli. He didn't last much longer than "Simpson" alas.

Regards.

Colin.

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:unsure: How many Henderson's had donkeys?

Is this the same chap you are talking about, Pte Richard Alexander Henderson

he went on to use one of Simpson's donkeys called 'Murphy' after Simpson was killed.

post-49999-0-13365000-1313528798.jpg

Seems like quite a few of the streacher bearers were using donkeys to get men down.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/anzac-day/news/article.cfm?c_id=773&objectid=10504985

http://www.rsa.org.n.../article_5.html

http://muse.auckland..._search=richard

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It was Private James Gardner Jackson who took the photograph of Henderson with his donkey – see Wendy's post above

Private James Gardner Jackson wrote to the Director of the AWM, Major Treloar in 1937

"…About May 1st we moved as a unit around the top of Shrapnel Gully, later known as Monash Gully. It was here that I came into contact with Simpson, who was working up and down the gully with a donkey, carrying the wounded. I don't remember him carrying water back. I will place it on record Sir, that Simpson was the first man I saw or heard of using a donkey for the evacuation of wounded on Gallipoli." (my emphasis)

The above quote comes from 'Across The Bar' by Tom Curran [Ogmios Publications, 1994, ISBN 0 646 16524 0); see pages 285 – 286 in particular for further details of Jackson's letter and of Henderson's use of a donkey to carry wounded.

As has been suggested, others followed the example of Simpson, but not for too long, as they all had problems finding forage for the animals

regards

Michael

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Many thanks for the replies, rather curious though, the book "One long grave" states that it was Lt. James Henderson who was the Donkey man who was kia on 9th. August , his brother Jack being wounded but survived! A typo problem ?

Regards.

Colin.

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I've found Lt James Henderson on the New Zealand cenothaph site, no

mention of being with the medical corps but this is defently the man in question :poppy:

http://muse.auckland...ar+i,+1914-1918

post-49999-0-86180800-1313614628.jpg

I think it is unlikely that he was the MO of the Auckland Mounted Rifles in August.. The officer who was the MO in August 1915 was Capt McCormick NZMC who was relived by Capt P J Jory NZMC on or around the 13th-15th August. I researched Jory last months (see link here). As part of the research I looked at every available NZMC War Diary for the period. Looking at my notes, no officer of that name is mentioned in the fragments of the diary that remains. That does not mean he wasn't there, but to save you a long a fruitless search, I think the NZMC War Diaries are void.

The Auckland Mounted Rifles history is available free online HERE, as are many NZ unit histories. A cursory glance at the August chapter of the Auckland Mtd Rifle history starting on p.60 shows Lt James Henderson was a Sqn commander as a Lt due to casualties in the Officer ranks. Given he was an officer and a Sqn commander, I very much doubt he had anything to do with donkeys and it is a different Hendersaon who was associated with this. I think your ref has either made a mistake or it is a typo. James Henderson I think would certainly not be involved in evacuating men on a donkey if he was a regimental officer.It looks like he went MIA in the assault on Chunuk Bair on the 8th August 1915. Of the 288 men who went into action, only 22 survived. He had been commanding the 4th Squadron.

Regards MG

P.S. The only long shot is that I see he was commissioned from the ranks. If this happened in Gallipoli it is a long shot that he was on donkey duty in May and commissioned after this, but again I think it unlikely. His service records will show his commission date. Worth checking. MG

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Many thanks Wendy, I think your last post confirms the book details ,the articles in the links given in your post 6 do confuse a little but I presume he was Lt. James Henderson & was kia August 15. The reference to Pte. Henderson & mention of "duffy" & further service in France does lead to some confusion.

However I am pleased that he is if latterly being recognised, the statue in Oz. being of the likeness of Lt. Henderson is completely new to me.

Regards.

Colin.

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Thanks Martin for the information on the NZ history, you may well be correct in your assumptions re. the donkey etc. I doubt we will ever know for certain.

Regards.

Colin.

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Is this the same chap you are talking about, Pte Richard Alexander Henderson

he went on to use one of Simpson's donkeys called 'Murphy' after Simpson was killed.

Further details from Tom Curran's book

"Dick Henderson served with distinction in France, where he was awarded the Military Medal. He was gassed, and repatriated to New Zealand in May, 1918................

...............And as to the suggestion that Henderson had continued on in Simpson's place after he had been killed, Jackson refuted this completely. 'Henderson did not carry on in Simpson's place,' Jackson insisted in his letter to Major Treloar. 'If I remember rightly we had all got rid of our donkeys before the date of his [simpson's] death as we could not feed them.'

Whether or not any of the New Zealanders resumed their work with donkeys at Anzac at a later date is uncertain. James Jackson makes no mention of resuming his former role. What seems clear then is that, apart from a few days at the beginning of the month, Jack [simpson] was the only donkey-man operating in Monash Valley during May. Donkeys would certainly be used again in Monash Valley, to carry wounded men from the Firing Line down to the beach - notably by Les Johnson, stretcher bearer with 4 Field Ambulance. Indeed, Johnson took over Simpson's last donkey, together with another which he used in relays, resting one while he carried casualties on the other, (as Simpson himself may have done). But this resumed donkey-service would not recommence until some time in June, when conditions in Monash Valley were considerably safer than they had been in April and May; and when animal fodder was more plentiful."

The ref given by Curran for the Jackson letter is "AWM 93, 417/20/35"

The reason that Simpson was able to feed his donkey while others found getting fodder so difficult, is that Simpson was allowed to feed his donkey at the Indian mule lines. Lt-Col A C Fergusson of the 21st Kohat Indian Mountain Battery refers to 'One Australian stretcher bearer in particular attached himself to us ...' - this was Simpson. The Medical Officer of the Indian mountain battery Capt. T J Evans wrote home about Simpson using their mule lines. According to Evans the Indians referred to Simpson as 'Bahadur' (the Bravest of the Brave) and they were nearly in tears when his body was brought down.

The ref given by Curran for Capt Evans' letter is "AWM PR 83/69, 6 of 17"

regards

Michael

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That's interesting Micheal

Private Jackson re fruiting the events and use of the donkey by Henderson after Simpson's death!

Just reading 'Bloody Gallipoli' The New Zealanders Story by Richard Stowers published in 2005.

Stowers says, When Simpson died Kiwi medic Dick Henderson took over his work. Using Simpson's donkeys, Henderson carried on the same role until the end of the Gallipoli campaign. The only interruption to his good work was for a few days when he was hospitalised for gastroenteritis.

Jackson's account of the events no doubt is correct as he was there after all, and it sounds feasible.

The New Zealand/British artist Horace Millerchamp Moore-Jones who painted the famous 'Simpson and his donkey' which was really Henderson and his donkey! Died in terrible circumstances in 1922. Moore-Jones was traveling to his sisters wedding in Matamata (Nz) and stopped on the way and stayed in a hotel in Hamilton, the hotel caught on fire, Moore-Jones escaped safely but returned to the burning hotel to rescue trapped people. He died in hospital two days later due to shock and extensive burns.... Very sad.

But sheese,, there is enough rivalry between Nz and Oz without painting a picture of a New Zealander and then calling him an Aussie. No wonder it causes confusion here.

Wendy

Edited by Wendy Mac...
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But sheese,, there is enough rivalry between Nz and Oz without painting a picture of a New Zealander and then calling him an Aussie. No wonder it causes confusion here.

Wendy

And compounded even more given that Simpson was born in England.

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Very true indeed Martin

But I dont think the Brits would have wanted Simpson since he was a deserter from the Merchant Marines.

Some say this is why he dropped the Kirkpatrick off his name.

Either way Simpson sounds like bit of a lad and he did the ANZACs proud :thumbsup:

Wendy

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Very true indeed Martin

But I dont think the Brits would have wanted Simpson since he was a deserter from the Merchant Marines.

Some say this is why he dropped the Kirkpatrick off his name.

Either way Simpson sounds like bit of a lad and he did the ANZACs proud :thumbsup:

Wendy

Agreed.... I wonder if it would be appropriate to raise a memorial on the beaches of South Shields where Simpson allegedly ran donkey rides. ...as an aside, I only just discovered that there is an ANZAC Gallipoli memorial plaque in my local park - Battersea park in London....must have walked past it 100 times without noticing it.

One of the areas I always intended to research is how many ANZACs were born in the UK? I have read a lot of the Gallipoli literature and I am constantly surprised by the number of men who were not actually born in Oz and NZ. Do you know if anyone has done any detailed analysis of the stats?, or anyone who have made a good academic stab at the rough numbers?

MG

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It is getting very complicated regarding which Henderson was a "donkey" man & the statue in Oz. who's likeness is it, James the Lt. or Dick the medic, the former had a brother who survived the action where James lost his life .

As for Kirkpatrick I think his birthplace should have a statue of a donkey relating to Gallipoli, I don't think there is a picture of Simpson/Kirkpatrick, or is there?

All the above posts have been of great interest , thanks to all.

Regards.

Colin.

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Martin

Mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.uk is what you're after, for the Aussie side of things at least

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Many thanks Michael,

Looking at the photo & the sculpture, not a very good likeness, however better than nothing. Another query, several different versions of "Simpsons" death, shot or blown up with his donkey, killed by shrapnel.? Do we now have a definitive result re. "Henderson" & his donkey/s ?

Wendy, have you reached any decision re. the "Henderson" & donkey query?

Regards.

Colin.

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Colin,

I rely on Tom Curran's investigation and excellent book; like Simpson (& me) Tom was born a 'Geordie.' He qualified as a pharmacist in Edinburgh and then emigrated to Australia where he enlisted in the army. In 1969 he commanded one of their field medical supply units in Vietnam. So, all in all, he was quite well qualified to write about Simpson.

Wednesday, May 19th; Simpson and his donkey were bringing back a wounded man from the area of Courtney's when he was hit in the back by machine-gun fire. "Morris Mahoney and Teddy Langoulant, going up Monash Valley had only just passed Jack coming down in the opposite direction with his passenger. After exchanging a few words they'd carried on. Someone called after them that Simpson had been shot. The two bearers came running back and found their mate. They placed him in a dugout by the side of the track. Then later that night Jack was brought down the valley and buried at Hell Spit, at a service attended by all of 'C' section."

regards

Michael

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Thanks again Michael,

That appears to settle the story of "Simpsons" death.

It still seems difficult to place any one person in the story of "Henderson" & the donkey due to the varying accounts in the earlier posts, maybe we will never know. However some New Zealander must have filled the role, perhaps several.

Regards.

Colin.

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There's some nice photos by Kent Watson of 'Man and his donkey' (Simpson)

http://monumentaustr...d=32490ℑ=0

The statue was created by Wallace Anderson in 1935 and unveiled in 1936, this fine monument stands by the shrine of remembrance at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

There's no doubt that this is Simpson with his Aussie slouch hat on.

post-49999-0-38673200-1313793362.jpg

.... and another Simpson monument, created by Peter Colett in the late 80's, this monument stands outside the Canberra War Memorial, Australia.

post-49999-0-53852100-1313794101.jpg

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Wendy, have you reached any decision re. the "Henderson" & donkey query?

Yip...the monuments in Australia are without a doubt 'Simpson'

Both Aussie monuments have depicted the men with the slouch hat on. Where as the New Zealand 'Henderson and his donkey' show him wearing a cap (think that's what you call it) plus Henderson is much better looking :whistle:

Interesting article here about the lack of interest of the signed photo of Henderson and his donkey. What do you make of the comment "He originally decided not to clear up the mistake so as to not "detract from the great name Simpson. Is that referring to the destroyer at sea in the background or the mix-up over who actually is in the photo Simpson or Henderson!!

.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3497855/Historic-Simpsons-donkey-print-fails-to-sell

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Both Aussie monuments have depicted the men with the slouch hat on.

This must be artistic licence as there is no photograph of Simson wearing a slouch hat at Anzac

http://innopac.slwa.wa.gov.au/record=b2397172 Simpson hatless

http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/J06392 - Simpson hatless

http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/A03116 - Simpson hatless

http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/A03114 - Simpson with some sort of a hat, but not a regular Australian turned-up slouch hat

This may be the only photograph of Simpson in a regulation hat (taken at Blackboy Hill) - http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/A03117

regards

Michael

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