Anzac Heroes – John Simpson-Kirkpatrick and his Donkey


Introduce your students to John Simpson-Kirkpatrick and the amazing story of his bravery and courage with his donkey on the battlefield.


 Anzac Heroes – John Simpson-Kirkpatrick and his Donkey

Australian Curriculum Content Descriptor: ACHASSK137, ACHASSK138, ACHASSI125

 “Then the strangest thing happened. The man led me and the donkey through trenches that were alive with explosions and gunfire. He led me past firefights and weaved through chaos all while smiling and whistling a jaunty tune. It was then that I knew he was special. That he must be a guardian angel sent to look over me.”

“When we reached the field-dressing site, he helped me down from the donkey and smiled at me. “Have a rest and a bottle of plonk on me, old mate.” He said. Then he tipped his slouch and turned back to the trenches with the donkey dutifully following him. I never saw him again.”


John Simpson-Kirkpatrick is an Anzac legend. He was a soldier in the First World War who epitomised the Anzac spirit showing amazing courage, strength and compassion in extremely difficult conditions. As a field ambulance officer, he found a donkey more useful than a stretcher. Faced with horrific conditions, Simpson worked tirelessly to transport men on his donkey to first aid. Often they were surrounded by gunfire and explosions.

Students will get to know Simpson, and learn of his courage, by reading the fictional story of Henry Williams and his encounter with Simpson. Enjoy completing the fun, hands-on activities that accompany it!

  • Mini-unit Title Page
  • Comprehension Slouch Hat foldable
  • Comic Strip – retelling
  • Describing Simpson Poppy foldable
  • Design a medal for Simpson
  • Expand your Vocabulary Activity
  • Duffy grid coordinates maths activity
  • Simpson Research Profile

An answer key is included where applicable to make marking a breeze!

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Australian Curriculum * HASS * Australian History * Anzac Day * Simpson and his donkey * John Simpson-Kirkpatrick * Year 5 * Year 6 * ACHASSK137 * ACHASSk138 * ACHASSI125 * World War 1 * Geography * Mapping * Comprehension *





Additional information


Year 5, Year 6, Year 7

Resource Type




Are Answers Included?

Yes. Where Applicable

Number of pages





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