The man with the donkey by sculptor Wallace Anderson, an iconic image of a stretcher-bearer with his donkey carrying a wounded comrade, epitomizes the courage and compassion of the Australian soldier.
Many soldiers wounded at Gallipoli owed their life to the stretcher bearers, who braved enemy fire to rescue men from the frontline and carry them to dressing stations on the beach.
The best known of the bearers was John Simpson Kirkpatrick who commandeered a donkey to aid him as casualties grew and manpower was stretched to its limits. Simpson, as he was known, was at the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and was killed on 19 May 1915. His story came to exemplify the tenacity and courage of all Anzacs at Gallipoli.
Miss Philomena Robertson of the Red Cross Society was the driving force which led to the erection of the sculpture. In raising funds for the sculpture, Miss Robertson described it as ‘a Mothers’ tribute’.
The man with the donkey 1935
by Wallace Anderson
Reviewed 22 September 2021