More about that donkey guy

26 Aug

I am finding Dr Nelson has inadvertently stumbled on something here. According to the above link to First World, and the Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (1995), Simpson, who jumped ship at Newcastle NSW in 1910 and joined the AIF in 1914 hoping to be sent back to England, was a raging Red, a radical socialist.

This site is good on his life, but weak on his politics. There is a Wollongong connection:

Jack ended up working in the coal mines of Coledale then Corrimal, in New South Wales, from July until December. Throughout all this time he was sending money home regularly, in postal orders.

Corrimal was an attractive little mining town on the coastal strip between the Illawara Ranges and the sea. With its beach it no doubt reminded Jack of Shields – to a limited extent. As he wrote home: “I wish I was at Canny Old Shields… for this place is so quiet in fact I can feel my whiskers turning grey.” Life at Corrimal was enlivened for Jack, briefly, though probably not in a way he would have preferred. He was set upon by a drunken landlord, and he described the incident to his folks thus:

When the man and his wife were drunk they used to scrap like hell then he started with me and putting the tale all together he smote me across the head with a poker and put a cut in my head about an inch long after that I sailed in and then you could not see anything for dust for then I broke a chair over his head and in the struggle and scuffle and broke a good few things so he got a summons against me for assault and ‘breaking hup the appy ome’ but as both him and his wife was drunk and I wasn’t the case was dismissed.

Now I really do want to tell his story!

Thanks, Brendan.

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Posted by on August 26, 2005 in Australia and Australian, Brendan Nelson, British, culture wars, education, History, Multicultural, Political, right wing politics


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