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Pte John Simpson Kirkpatrick

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Guest lilydalelil
The first issue of the Australian VC and to an Englishman! ;)

As improbable as a Tasmanian being created Earl Monty of Alamein, and a Field Marshall to boot!

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Jonathan Saunders
The first issue of the Australian VC and to an Englishman! ;)

As improbable as a Tasmanian being created Earl Monty of Alamein, and a Field Marshall to boot!

Whilst Monty undoubtedly spent sometime with his parents in Tasmania he was born in London and schooled at St Pauls ... however we can debate where exactly he picked up his plain speaking and sense of diplomacy :P

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Guest lilydalelil

Doh.

I was confused.

I was thinking about Errol Flynn becoming General Custer, must have been the funny hats they both wore.

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michaeldr

Nice try Lil., but Signals is correct, though only by a smidgen

BLM born 17 Nov 1887, departed for Tasmania 1889 when father became Bishop of Van Diemen’s Land no less.

Simpson’s VC

Sorry, I cannot go along with the ‘isn’t it rewriting history’ line

Rewriting history is saying we won at Gallipoli

We didn’t, the Turks did and it’s still their country

What would you call the removal of already decently buried remains to the other side of the world as in the case of the Kiwi last year?

It is not about rewriting history at all, but it is all about showing respect to the ordinary soldier (or sailor or airman)

Sutton put Simpson’s name forward and so did Monash; the latter wrote his recommendation within 24 hours of Simpson’s death, but still it did not make it

Far be it from me to suggest that there was anything amiss about the awards process at Gallipoli however, in truth, the numbers just do not add up;

For the corresponding time period:

Helles – W Beach = 6 before breakfast to the Lancashire Fusiliers

Helles – V Beach = 6 [unwin, Williams, Drewry, Sampson, Malleson and Tisdall]

Helles – Doughty-Wylie and Walford

Helles – Cosgrove

Anzac – Parker and Jacka

That’s 15 at Helles and 2 at Anzac [nb; Parker was serving with the RND in the Portsmouth Battalion of the RMLI, so some might say 16 – 1]

I think that it would be a marvellous way for Australia to mark the 90th ANZAC Day by righting this old wrong and awarding the VC to Simpson

another Geordie

Michael D.R.

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michaeldr
must have been the funny hats they both wore.

Special - for Lil.,

post-8-1110302812.jpg

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paul guthrie

It's been done in the US. Corporal Freddie Stowers of the 93d Division received CMOH for action Spetember 1918 in Champagne. He was serving with the French as did this unit. British refused these troops and their own army didn't want them either.

I can't give a full explanation but because he was awarded nothing he could get this, Army finally approved and President Clinton presented it to his sister in `1991. He is buried at Meuse Argonne Cemetery, Romagne.

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Auimfo

I can't agree with the theory that we're re-writing history. In fact, I would go as far as to say they we are doing exactly the opposite - recognising and acknowledging the truth. To re-write history would be to say that Simpson never performed the acts he did and no one here has made that allegation.

As for the argument about all those others who weren't recognised for their deeds - does this detract from what Simpson did? Is it fair that we pass up his bravery because there were others who also deserved an award? Failing to acknowledge what he did in no way balances the sheet for these others - when did two wrongs make a right! If you look at it in a positive sense it simply means that there is one LESS who SHOULD be recognised - a step in the right direction.

I also don't believe that his not being awarded the VC contributed to his 'legend'. He was recognised by the troops on Gallipoli and virtually all knew his name before he was killed and the thought of a VC considered. I also remember hearing the story of Simpson since a young lad and not once was the failure to award a VC mentioned.

Tim L.

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Guest lilydalelil

If this nation wants to set things right why not replace the Victoria Cross with the Australia Cross.

All existing VC winners could be inducted en-masse, and obvious omissions such as Simpson could be rectified, without affecting the sensitivities of other VC countries etc.

This would overcome the anomaly that relatively few of the existing holders actually resided in Victoria.

As there appears to be some importance placed on the actual location of the person's birth, perhaps there should be geographic groupings in the Award System.

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Blackblue

Yeah......if you were born in Tasmania you'd automatically qualify! :D

They seem to be drastically over represented in the VC stakes.....obviously something about the air down there!

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Guest lilydalelil

Yeah

The best solution WOULD be to institute classes of the AC.

1 Victoria

1A Ireland

2 SA/NT

3 WA

4 NSW

5 Tas

6 Qld

7 ACT

8 NZ

9 Rest of World

10 UK

This system takes into account the sacrifice already made by taking risks that would jeopardise the possible return to state of origin. Categories 8 - 10 have already recieved adequate reward. :P

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Blackblue

The following were either born in or could be considered Tasmanians. Not a Tasmanian myself...but am amazing record for a state so small:

Bisdee

Wylly

Borella

Brown

Cherry

Dwyer

Gaby

Gordon

McDougall

McGee

Murray

Newland

Statton

Whittle

Rgds

Tim D

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Guest lilydalelil

Thanks Michael

Tthats a geat help in explaining ALL the confusion.

Shame on me for not seeing things clearer.

Lil

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michaeldr

Lil., I've got to admit that Monty's had does look very Tasmanian

Very best regards

Michael D.R.

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Guest lilydalelil

Monty's had ???????????

In the grip of the DT's again matey.

Hope you noticed that Stanley Baker was depicting a RANVR bod in the Cruel Sea

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michaeldr

Too much of the cheap dry red

(and not enough of the spell check)

Sorry Sir, it won't happen again.

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michaeldr

To return to Simpson and the proposal to award a posthumous VC;

A friend has just directed me to an article in ‘The Bulletin’ of 16th March

written by Patrick Carlyon and entitled ‘Simpson and the donkey vote’

I understand that Mr Carlyon has visited Gallipoli and also written a successful children’s book [novel?] on the campaign – ‘The Gallipoli Story’ Penguin 2003.

Can any Oz Pal tell me more about Mr Carlyon, his reputation as a writer and commentator? Is he any relation to the better known and respected writer Les Carlyon?

Thanks in advance

Michael D.R.

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Guest sapper6

Far be it for a Kiwi to rain on an Aussies parade but I would like to point out that a Kiwi had a lot to do with John Simpson Kirkpatricks fame.

Check out this site.

http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/medals/warrants/f4anzacmedallion.html

While not detracting from the great bravery of Kirkpatrick and others I often wonder if posthumous awards, this long after the event, are more to do with politics of the day.

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michaeldr

Sapper6,

The NZ angle was raised on this forum a couple of years ago and below is a copy of my post at that time

April 19th 2003

“In 1937 a New Zealand stretcher bearer Private James Gardener Jackson wrote to Major Treloar, the then Director of the Australian War Memorial, confirming that he and three of his mates had also worked with donkeys in Shrapnel Gully at the beginning of May 1915. They did not do so for very long however as they were moved to the bottom of Walker's Ridge and found that there they could not get feed for their animals. In total they worked for about 5 days at most. Jackson also confirmed that they had seen Simpson working with a donkey and that they had got the idea from him.

While working between the bottom of Walker's Ridge and Anzac Cove, Jackson took a photograph of one of the other donkey-men, Private Dick Henderson, and it is this photograph which has led to some confusion. It was used by Horace Moore-Jones as the model for his painting of Simpson "The Man With the Donkey" and was accepted as a likeness of Simpson until the error was identified in 1938

Simpson was the only donkey-man working in that area in April and May. Later on in June, after the trench-way was widened and deepened, other bearers eg. Les Johnson of 4th Field Ambulance, once again adopted Simpson's idea of using donkeys. And once again there was a mix-up because of a photograph; a picture of Johnson taken by Lt.Col. Beeston appeared in the Melbourne Sun in Nov 1933 as 'Simpson.' Johnson was 'mortified' and wrote to the Sun pointing out the error.

The above info is taken from a book which I have mentioned before - 'Across the Bar' by Tom Curran and again I recommend it to anyone wishing to sort out the legend of Simpson. For my money, Brig.-Gen. Monash's letter to HQ., NZ & A Div., written only hours after Simpson had died, says it all.”

For the full thread see http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...1&st=&p=entry

I repeat my recommendation of ‘Across the Bar’

To my mind it’s the most thoroughly researched biography of Simpson

Regards

Michael D.R.

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Auzzzie

The Man and his Donkey is a name that everybody knows over here. When learning about Gallipoli in Primary School he was one of the main topics we focused on and he was definately a great bloke. I am still not sure about awarding the VC so far on though, I think there is a certain time frame for these things to occur. Without a doubt there would have been hundreds of actions in which a VC could have been awarded, but for a number of reasons, it wasn't. If we correct one wrong, then there is the obligation to correct those hundreds of wrongs, and then where do we stop?

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Jonathan Saunders
The Man and his Donkey is a name that everybody knows over here.  When learning about Gallipoli in Primary School he was one of the main topics we focused on and he was definately a great bloke.  I am still not sure about awarding the VC so far on though, I think there is a certain time frame for these things to occur.  Without a doubt there would have been hundreds of actions in which a VC could have been awarded, but for a number of reasons, it wasn't.  If we correct one wrong, then there is the obligation to correct those hundreds of wrongs, and then where do we stop?

I agree with you that the measure used to award the VC has been inconsistent, not only over time but in the same actions and you quite rightly point out that many feats of bravery went unrecognised.

However in the current instance of Australia and John Simpson Kirkpatrick then I dont see this as setting a precedent but Australia being in a unique position to right an obvious wrong.

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Goosegirdle

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