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Simpson and Donkey Cross Stitch Pattern

$5.99 USD

How about cross stitching this moving ANZAC Day commemoration and tribute to servicemen and women everywhere?



Simpson and Donkey cross stitch pattern was inspired by the life of Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick and a 1918 Gallipoli painting by New Zealand artist Horace Millichamp Moore-Jones. We’ve wanted to design an ANZAC Day commemoration for a long time and spent time researching Private Simpson from the Australian War Memorial and National Archives.

Here is the text we wrote up for the pattern:

Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick was a stretcher-bearer in the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance.

He came ashore during the ANZAC landing of 25 April 1915 and quickly commandeered a donkey. He named him Duffy.

Putting a medic armband around the donkey’s head, Simpson spent the next 4 weeks carrying wounded men from the fighting to the field hospital.

Private Simpson was shot and killed by a sniper on the 24th day of Gallipoli.

He remains an enduring symbol of mate-ship, courage, and steadfast purpose.

The Project

This is not a full coverage project, so you won’t be stitching any background and there are cutaway sections around Duffy and Private Simpson. The grid area is 340 x 400 and you’ll be completing 70,788 cross stitches and 3,552 back stitches. You’ll need 101 different DMC colours.

Stitching Recommendations

We recommend starting with at least 65cm x 75cm 14-count Aida cloth (plus margins) and begin  stitching Private Simpson and Duffy carrying the wounded solider through Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli. Use the Pattern Keeper chart we’ve included in your download pack to complete this section.

Once you finish the main artwork, print out the enlarged chart and complete the backstitch in DMC 310. In the pattern we’ve suggested 2 strands for backstitch, but experiment on a scrap of Aida to ensure the text has enough definition. 3 strands might be better.

Finally, stitch the Red Cross symbol in the bottom left, under LEST WE FORGET. Frame and hang somewhere special.

Australian and New Zealand Cross Stitch

If you’d like to see more cross stitch inspired by the celebrated artists of Australia and New Zealand, we have a whole category in our store dedicated to art Down Under.


The images in this cross stitch project are copyright and may not be used in any capacity without express permission from Melinda J. Irvine and MjAY Originals Cross Stitch.

Additional information

Full Coverage

Pattern Keeper


Grid Area: 340 x 400 stitches
Used Area: 57.0cm x 68.9 cm
Fabric: 14-count Aida
Cross Stitches: 70,788
Back Stitches: 3,552
Palette: 101 DMC colours

2 reviews for Simpson and Donkey Cross Stitch Pattern

  1. Debra Steed (verified owner)

    Love the pattern hope to start it soon

    • Melinda J. Irvine (store manager)

      Thanks Debra for taking the time to leave a review. This pattern is close to my heart and I hope it is a beautiful stitching experience for you. Melxx

  2. Cheryl Maughan (verified owner)

    Must admit, I am a bit daunted about stitching this one but it goes hand in hand with our business so want to use it for display purposes. Files came through fine along with the pattern keeper. Love the variety of product and service has been very good and prompt.

    • Melinda J. Irvine (store manager)

      This is a tricky pattern but it’s going to look amazing when you finish it. I’m just an email away if you run into problems. Melxx

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