New book to tell untold chapter of Kirkpatrick

John Simpson Kirkpatrick, Jack, the clown, with friend Pte Albert Currie, a Boer War veteran, left.
John Simpson Kirkpatrick, Jack, the clown, with friend Pte Albert Currie, a Boer War veteran, left.

AN author is returning to the roots of a South Tyneside war hero to tell an untold chapter of his remarkable life story.

The courageous actions of South Shields-born John Simpson Kirkpatrick while serving for the Australian army in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign have seen him enter folklore both in his home town and Down Under.

Who were his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles?

Author Kelso McEwan Yuill

But while thousands of words written about his heroism, less is known about the upbringing that helped him become the man still fondly remembered a century after his death.

Author Kelso McEwan Yuill has penned a new book about Kirkpatrick, detailing the lives of his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

After delving into his background, he finds tales of adventure on the high seas, Victorian middle-class life and working-class life in South Shields.

The book is entitled John Simpson Kirkpatrick; Digger or Geordie – the untold story of his family.

Mr Yuill, from County Durham, said: “There have been many books written about Simpson over the last 100 years, but there is a omission from all of them – who were his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles?

“This book repairs the omission. It ranges across death and adventures on the high seas, the gentile life of middle-class Victorian society, working–class life in Leith and South Shields, hardships in Australia and the deep long lasting love of a mother.”

The author will be meeting residents and selling copies of his book at South Shields’ Central Library, in Prince Georg Square, from noon until 4pm on Saturday, as part of the South Tyneside Remembers event.

The event is free and all are welcome.

Mr Yuill’s book is available for £15 and can be ordered by emailing kanda98@sky.com or calling 01388 488 376.