Simpson and Donkey Stamp of Christmas Island

10 Nov 2018  Sat

On 14th April 1965, a tiny Island in the Indian Ocean issued its first commemorative stamp. Known as the Simpson and Donkey Stamp, the first commemorative of Christmas Island was issued to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Gallipoli Landing.

The Gallipoli Landing or the Gallipoli Campaign was a campaign of the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire between 19 February 1915 and 9 January 1916. Considering the involvement of the country, the 50th anniversary of the campaign is celebrated on a 10 cent stamp of Christmas Island. The stamp features a donkey and officer John Simpson Kirkpatrick.

The story of the two goes like this: On 19 May 1915 Ottoman troops launched an attack to push the Australians and New Zealanders back into the sea. As a result of their surprise attack, the Australian troops suffered heavy loss. John Simpson Kirkpatrick whose efforts to evacuate wounded men on a donkey while under fire became famous amongst the Australians.

His story became a part of the Australian narrative of the campaign and was featured on the first commemorative postage stamp of the Christmas Island which is an Australian external territory.

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