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ANZAC commemorative medal
Title : ANZAC commemorative medal ANZAC commemorative medal
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Creator : Oxer family
Source : PRG 1175/2
Date of creation : 1967
Format : Object
Dimensions : 50 x 75 mm
Catalogue record
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Donated by : Mr RE Oxer
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

This medal was awarded to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ANZAC Gallipoli landings in 1965. Issued in 1967, medals were available only to survivors of Gallipoli and their next of kin.

An image of Private John Simpson of the Army Ambulance Corps, aiding a wounded soldier on his donkey at Gallipoli, is featured on the front face of the medal. The date 1915 and 'ANZAC' are also recorded on this side. The reverse features a map of Australia and New Zealand with the stars of the Southern Cross, and the recipient's name.

Simpson became renowned for his work as a stretcher-bearer and as the man with the donkey at the Gallipoli battlefield who saved many lives. He landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and was killed less than four weeks later. Simpson used donkeys (landed for water carrying) to transport wounded men from the front line fighting to the beach on Anzac Cove, working in extreme conditions of heavy fighting. He died in action on 19 May from machine gun fire, as he was guiding down two wounded men. Simpson's actions demonstrated the qualities of courage and mateship that have become associated with the term 'Anzac'.

Period : 1914-1918
Further reading :

Bean, CEW. Gallipoli mission, Sydney: ABC Enterprises in association with the Australian War Memorial for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1990

Bean, CEW. The story of Anzac: from 4 May 1915 to the evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula, 7th ed., Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1938-1942. Official history of Australia in the war of 1914-1918; v. 2.

Cochrane, Peter. Simpson and the donkey: the making of a legend, Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1992

Robertson, John. Anzac and Empire: the tragedy & glory of Gallipoli, [Richmond, Vic.]: Hamlyn Australia, 1990

Internet links :

Australian War Memorial

Museum Victoria Coins and medals See: 50th anniversary of Gallipoli medal, 1965

Simpson, the man with the donkey [Digger History: an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Services]

South Australians at war

Visit Gallipoli: the ANZACs [Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs]



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