Shedding more light on where Man with the Donkey lived

John Simpson Kirkpatrick at Shrapnel Gully.
John Simpson Kirkpatrick at Shrapnel Gully.

SOME figures stand so large in history that a reminder that they were actually just ordinary folk, with friends and neighbours, the same as the rest of us, can be quite intriguing.

This goes back to recent events to commemorate the centenary of the death, at Gallipoli, of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, the Man With The Donkey.

I mentioned how it was becoming common to say he was born in Bertram Street in Shields, when the records actually say South Eldon Street.

An online reader remembers being told that his parents lived in, or near, Garwood Street.

And another correspondent, Urfa, said: “My grandfather, John George Fraser, was born at 91 South Eldon Street and knew John Kirkpatrick at School.

“I think he was little older than my granda, but he was born in Eldon Street and went to Barnes Road School.”

Also, I’m sure I can remember, as a junior reporter, tracking down what had been the Kirkpatrick family’s home in South Eldon Street, before it was demolished.