Heike Mack-Behle from Destiny Boonah Donkey Farm wrote: Donkey ‘ Sir Aljoroan Henry’, was marching with the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (RAAMC) in the presentation of the new Governor-General’s Banner at the Gallipoli Army Barracks in Enoggera by her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, AC Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on the 4th of November 2011.
Henry has been awarded with a medal and a clear message:” This donkey made history today.”
More than 400 soldiers and visitors were focused on one donkey, unbelievable.
Henry was wearing a special rug and bridle, representing the old banner. He was marching simultaneously with his army donkey handler and troops. He was definitely on a mission, escorting the troops while carrying out Queen Mother’s old Banner. You could see he enjoyed every second of his famous performance.
The RAAMC have chosen a donkey as the Corps Mascot in remembrance of the heroic and humane deeds of Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick who used 5 donkeys at Gallipoli to carry wounded soldiers from the battlefield to the beaches for treatment and evacuation. He worked tirelessly under appalling conditions and without regard for his own safety. He was ultimately killed in the performance of his duty on 19th of May, 1915. Simpson and his donkey became legends of Gallipolli and his deeds stand in the highest traditions of the service.
The RSPCA National Council awarded the ‘RSPCA Purple Cross Award’ to Simpson’s donkey “Murphy” on the 19th of May, 1997. This award is presented to an animal that has performed outstanding act of bravery towards humans. The donkey continued to work carrying soldiers while under heavy fire. This is in contrary to their natural instinct which is to stand still when frightened or under threat. Simpson used a team of donkeys and the medal was awarded to “Murphy” in recognition of all donkeys.
This was the first time in my donkey career I witnessed people, truly recognizing the honesty, solidarity and loyalty of donkeys from the bottom of their heart.
There is only one beautiful donkey in the world, and every owner has it!