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MURPHY OF ANZAC.
. Complets Story of Simpson's J)bñkéys.
Carrying Wounded in Shrapnel (juîly.
Many times has thc story of Simp- son and his Anzac donkeys been told, but this is thc first occasion on which a comrade has supplied to the press a detailed account of the doings of Simpson (or Murphy as he was called on the Peninsula) from the time he joined the A.I.F., until he was shot through the heart by a Turkish sniper between The Bloody Angle and Shrap- nel Corner, at the head of "Shrapnel Gully. Driver Moroney, who was a member of the same stretcher-bearer section, and who had always been a close comrade of Simpson, is now in Cairns, and is staying at thc Post Office Hotel,'passing through to New Guinea, where he is taking cn a -posi- tion under the Hampden-Cloncurry mining syndicate. Dvr. Moroney cor- rects several inaccuracies that appear- ed'in the history of Simpson in thc London "Times" and thc "British Australasian." Here :s thc story as he gave it in conversation with a rcp hesentativc of thc "Post" on Wednes- day morning:
Simpson .was a .native of-. South Shields, England, and, ' when war , broke out he'was in Fremantle. His
true name was John Simpson Kirk- patrick, and he had been a fireman on deep-sea boats. For reasons ot his own he joined thc A.I.F. under the name of John Simpson. He was allot- ted to-C. section of the 3rd Field Am- bulance, a unit of the Australian Army Medical Corps, comprising men from Queensland, South Australia, West Australia and Tasmania. :.Moroney, who hails from Mount Morgan, .was put on the strength of A. section; and the two men met for the first, time on December 8. 1Q14. at Mena Camp, near the Pyramids, in Egypt.
Simpson as a Stretcher-Bearer.
As a stretcher-bearer, Simpson, whose number in the section was 202, chafed bitterly at the hard discipline of the desert training. ) He'refused to drill, and refused to salute. Sergeant Gunn, of Brisbane, - under" whose im- mediate charge he 'was, could make nothing of him,: with the result that Simpson was allowed lo take a stret- cher into the desert, accompanied by a mate, and carry,on with his own training. He seems to have fallen foul at an early stage of his career whir a warrant officer that had pre- viously been a staff instructor in Aus- tralia. No comment is here offered in regard to the sternness of the warrant officer, who is now a captain, or. the waywardness of Simpson. It is just a matter of setting down* à fact that
.Moroney says was'. notorious in the:! unit, and which caused Simpson to rely more and more on himself, and to assert he would never obey a com- mand from the Field Ambulance. He perfected himself in-thé.art of render- ing-first aid,'"and Moroney was his companion frequently- on these strange visits to the desert.
_ Simpson sailed from Alexandria on february 27 on the Malta, and landed on March 4 at Lemnos. The Qth Bat- talion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, arrived simultaneously. There was also the First Field Company ot En- gineers (New South Wales), the Jjth Army Service Corps, under Major Light, a Queenslander, the yth Bat- tery, under Lieut-Colonel (now Major-General) Charlie Rosenthal, and Major (now Colonel) Hughes, A.FA. Moroney's chief recollection of the Lemnos days were of the bitter cold, and of visits paid to the mill for sugar and cognac, of trips to Castro and Mudros with Simpson, and of en- deavors to understand the language of the French Moroccans ,who were on the island. They also made a, trip to
the Queen Elizabeth for stores_ ¿nd rations. They embarked on April 20, and left- with a convoy comprising several infantry transports for Anzac on Saturday, April 24.
Murphy Carries Wounded in Shrapnel !
Just before dawn on that memor- able Sunday in April, Simpson landed in the first tow. Moroney landed in the second. Simpson found a donkey on the' Anzac Beach, that had be- longed to the Turks. It is not true, says Moroney, that he took a donkey with him from Egypt, as was reported in the Sydney "Sun's" account. : This was not only impracticable, but was impossible in view of the stringent transport regulations. It is not known whether Simpson named ' thc donkey
Murphy, but both the donkey and ( Simpson got " that' name from thc troops. "Murphy, commenced carrying: wounded from Shrapnel Gully to the hospital on: the beach controlled bv
Major Richards, of Mount Morgan. This gallant doctor practically- worked himself to death on thc beach in these
dark days, and when at last he was j
stricken down with illness he did not I
survive to reach hospital in Alexan- j
dria. He was buried at sea In the Eastern Meditterar.eah.
Simpson tied a Red Cross brassard round Murphy's head, and - used him
carrying men that had been wounded , in the legs. He also affixed a small '? stretcher pillow on thc donkey's* with-
ers, and thus fashioned something ot a resting place for the patient's'head ¡ when he was.too weak to hold it up. He,was known everywhere. He had no regular camping place,, and never went near his unit except for an oc- casional yarn and a game of cards when there was a spell in the fighting.
"At Quinn's Post,", says the "British Australasian," it was almost certain death for thc stretcher-bearers to ven- ture out in search of the wounded. Simpson and . Murphy- went out day after day through a murderous fire and carried back? many a man into safety." For five', weeks'the-Man with the Donkey trudged up and down the gully-with, wounded. , He. ate his meals' where he happened to be at the time. Everyone knew him, and rea- lised that here was a man who was sacrificing his life more gallantly, than \ could any hero of the Dardanelles His donkey was fed by thc Indian mountain battery, who also stalled him on occasions. Other times Mur- phy just snatched sleep when his master did.
Simpson was charged as a deserter by his unit. He came up before the orderly room, and was sentenced to be court-martialled. '- He : was liberated to open arrest, and told to report-for duty with his unit. ; Simpson said he had no Unit,'and'his? parade ground was No Man's Land, and to No Ma;i's Land-he accordingly went. He had many very narrow escapes, for throughout his trips up and down the gully bullets and shrapnel fell con- stantly round him. ' He laughed at them,-and' took no more notice than if they had ' been a summer shower. Seven days after the landing Murphy was killed by a shrapnel bullet, wuile bearing a wounded man.' Simpson pulled him off the track-there was no time to bury him-and left him. .Later in the day he stole a donkey from the Indian mountain battery, and shortly after came across another that had been carrying.: mmunition when iiis driver w-as killed. He commandeered this one too,- and .now set to work carrying wounded with two Murphys'. A British officer, two days after, identified the battery's donkey in Simpson's novel : cavalcade, : and took him away, saying he would report Simpson to the Colonel. Simpson's reply is unprintable. He then carried on with Murphy II. He always ren- dered first aid to his patients, and Moroney often saw him carrying a second patient, on his back.
Simpson Killed by a Sniper,
. There was an .open clearing that connected two, saps at the head of Shrapnel Gully. "It was regarded as one of the most 'dangerous . :>pots on "Anzac. Hidden snipers brought abcut the death ol.many a;: ri a wa ry fellow who did, not, duck and run rapidly across the. open.'"spáci. Latterly a sniper guard,was placed at each end of the sap. Simpson had passed thc place often before, but scorned the advice of the guards, saying that' no ? Turk 'could possibly get him.. On a
day in'the first week in June. Simpson j ' and : Murphy caine along Tho guard j warned him that the Turkish snipers i were particularly active chat morning. Simpson's only reply was to hit his donkey on the ramp with his hat. Thc donkey went oh and got across safely. The sniper was evidently expecting someone to follow the animal. When Simpson appeared the Turk took aim, and the gallant 'stretcher-bearer fell, shot through "the heart. He lay on
the ground arid never moved. On his j face was à "smile," just such as had j ^brought comfort and consolation to ¡ many a wounded comrade." The guard ¡ called to him, but rio answer came, j It was two o'clock, in broad daylight, ' and it meant sudden death to attempt !
tb move him. Air the afternoon he lay there", smiling up at the blue sky. Bullets fell unheeded around him. Murphy' continued, on his way and arrived at. ' the hospital " with " his wounded, freight. Inquiries were at once set on foot, and the hews soon reached the troops tl.at the Man with the Donkey had gone to a new battle- field, where, by Heaven's gates, he was helping the "soldiers through.
"So/me of us;" -says Captain Bean, in one ;of ? his',.letters,1 "we're, sitting yearning one evening," while the sun was setting over the scai turning the. craters of. Imbros into a. dull grey, set against a -background, of .the most delicate rose.- "1 suppose you. have heard that the Man .with the Donkey" is dead," said a passer-by. The news came as a terrible shock. For five weeks he came up'.and down the val-
ley, through thc aimed bullets of sni- pers, and through the unaimed bullets coming-over the ranges, as well as the shrapnel.that was always with. us. On this day : he .was engaged as usual, clearing thc wounded. ' ric came to a guard position and. asked for lunch, lt'wis not ready ,and he said, "Niver mind; have a good " dinner for me ,when;. Income ; back.'. But he never
came back.". ..'".'. .
When" night fell, they buried Simp- son in a corner of the hills, near where -Lieutenant. Owen Smyth, of a Queens-
land ', battalion, found a last resting place. They fashioned a rude cross over ' his .' gravel ;. Thc "wholf" of the A.I.F. mourned him as a brother. Many a. soldier passed on his way in arid out of the linc and gazed at the simple little", cross, 'with its meagre inscription, and felt.tliat one .of. God's best men lay .beneath it. With, thc Battalion!.bf ..the .Dead, at - Shrapnel Gully, he lies,. awaiting the last bugle call..' ';v:..^: :-.'.; .- ; ;V'V~-. ";
Simpson's mother.1' Mrs. Kirkpat- rick, of . South Shields,. was soon ap- prised of i the death or her. sou. ; Jie was the only surviving son, "and was greatly' ! devoted . to hie- . riio.:her. and sister/who hf.d depended on his carn . ir.gs as a ship's iireiuau. Writing to a J friend . in Melbourne, Mrs. .simpson j said: "Tell, the Australians from me,
his mother, that ¡my heart is bur .'ling' ' with, sorrow, but also wUhT;pp>K. to
know"that iny1 beloved son . and light of my . life ^died 'with the brave. Aus- tralians.". , . V-'""'*?'?,'. ,'- '':- . " ?
- "Australia v.-iil not forget óimpson," otherwise Murphy, . of. . >vhora it has been nobly-written that the last of men he saved
Saw, from the. veil of the breathless .?? night," .' :? '."'"???'.:?'.;..'? ??. A liaif-drcssed shade that stale ; Sorrowful, seated upon an ass On a colt, an ass's foal ;..
Lingered ^and looked, and went, and a
. flame, . . .,',;?.':'';"; . .',.'- - "'.,,., ?"
In thc cicad eyes, diui!y glassed. ; Í ' Shone for, a second and sank again 'As thc man on the donkey passed.
Ne'.vs of thc week in beck form-." the "Norihsra Herald." .