For almost four weeks John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his team of donkeys carried injured soldiers to safety during World War 1.
He served under the name John Simpson and ‘Simpson and his donkeys’ became part of the Anzac legend.
One of Simpson's living family members is a long-time Nowra resident and hopes his memory will never fade.
Simpson was born in South Shields, England.
In the early 1900s he travelled widely in Australia, taking on various jobs, such as cane-cutting in Queensland and coal mining in the Illawarra district.
In the three or so years leading up to the outbreak of World War I, he worked as a steward, stoker and greaser on Australian coastal ships.
Simpson enlisted in the Australian Army after the outbreak of war. He enlisted as a field ambulance stretcher bearer, a role only given to physically strong men.
Simpson landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 with the 3rd Field Ambulance as part of the 1st Australian Division.
In the early hours of the following day, as he was bearing a wounded comrade on his shoulders, he spotted a donkey and quickly began making use of it to carry his fellow soldiers.
Simpson would sing and whistle, seeming to ignore the bullets flying through the air, while he tended to his comrades. His donkey service spared him the even more dangerous and arduous work of hauling seriously wounded men back from the front lines on a stretcher.
He used at least five different donkeys, known as Duffy No. 1 and Duffy No. 2, Murphy, Queen Elizabeth and Abdul.
Simpson himself was also sometimes referred to as "Murphy".
Simpson and the donkeys continued this work for three and a half weeks, often under fire, until he was killed, during the Third attack on Anzac Cove. He died on May 19, 1915 and was buried at the Beach Cemetery.
In 2007, South Shields duo Keith Ford and Errol Gibbs honoured Simpson by releasing a song, ‘The Ballad of John Simpson Kirkpatrick’ on their album ‘A thing of beauty is a thing of beauty forever’.