What's in a name?
Private Jack Simpson (aka John S. Kirkpatrick) was 23yrs old when he was killed in the Gallipoli campaign. Since then he has become the most famous of Australian soldiers.
This came about because of his actions in bringing wounded men out of the firing line time and time again with the aid of a donkey.
Much has been written about this brawny 'strecher bearer' and as with every great story, questions come up.
E.g.: How MANY men did he rescue ? Why was he not awarded the V.C. ? Was he technically a deserter (God forbid - he had 'attached' himself to an Indian unit) ?
As I read about the character of this man and his exploits, looked deeper into the few but well known old photo's, I felt that there was a damm sight more to him than all the controversy. Today almost a century after his death, I can't help but wonder what 'the bloke with the donk' would say to all the talk about him.
I reckon it'd be something like: " I don't give a bugger - I've done my bit".
So I decided to make a figure that was not in a 'serious' pose but wearing a tired grin.
I also wanted to depict him in the unselfish act of rescuing one of the enemy.
In this case, a Turkish boy soldier, more or less typical in the Ottoman Army of the day.
The V.C. award, well if it was up to me I'd give him a posthumous hatfull, after all he did literally "lay down his life for others". Whereas others have received the medal for 'rescuing' flags.
Hopefully you've enjoyed my version of this ANZAC legend but before I 'hoof-it', I'd like to give you an answer to my question: "What's in a name ?"
This one not only sounds better than V.C. but it was 'awarded' to him by the men who knew him, served with him and bore witness to his actions - the Men of the 21st Kohat Indian Mountain
Artillery Battery called him: "BAHADUR" - which simply means: "Bravest Of The Brave".
Completed: April / 2015