Anzac ceremony at Lawrence Public School.
Anzac ceremony at Lawrence Public School.

Lawrence Public School remembers its Anzac heroes

OUR school has held our Anzac Day ceremony this year, so that we could learn about Anzac Day before it's time to go to our local memorial. We had a special visitor from the Maclean Lower Clarence Services Club, Mr Stubbs. He told us a poem about the Anzacs and a bit about a mission that happened.

Our assembly taught us lots about why and how we remember the Anzacs. Because it is the 100-year anniversary of the great war our SRC decided to purchase commemorative coins. This coin had an imprint of one of our most recognised war heroes, Private Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey. Three students from our school read to us a bit about Private Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey. We have included that information for you to read below.

Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick

John Simpson Kirkpatrick was born in Britain but later moved to Australia. In August 1914 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, serving at Gallipoli the following year as Private John Simpson in the 3rd Field Ambulance Australian Army Medical Corps. He served from the time of the landing at Gallipoli on April 25 until he was killed in action on May 19.

Simpson became famous for his work as a stretcher-bearer. Using one of the donkeys brought in for carrying water, he transported wounded men day and night from the fighting in Monash Valley to the beach on Anzac Cove. He did so, according to Charles Bean, through "deadly sniping down the valley and the most furious shrapnel fire". He was killed by machine-gun fire while carrying two wounded men and was buried on the beach at Hell Spit.

To recognise his courage and self-sacrifice, Simpson and his donkey were featured on the medallion used in 1967 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Anzac Day.

Research by Nelson Meredith and Luke Child



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