ID number REL/21665
Title Medical armband said to have been worn by Simpson's donkey : Colonel A Sutton, 3 Field Ambulance, AIF
Collection Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1914
Physical description Cotton

Description

White cotton armband with a central red Geneva cross. The band is roughly hemmed on the reverse and tapers to 15 mm wide at each end with its widest part at 75 mm. The signature of 'Alfred Sutton' is written in black ink on the front of the band. On the reverse of the band is an oval blue ink stamp of the '1st AUSTRALIAN STATIONARY HOSPITAL', overlaid by the word 'RECEIVED' followed by a line. The red cross is of wool and is machine stitched.


Summary

A red cross armband which originally belonged to Colonel Alfred Sutton, Commanding Officer of 3 Field Ambulance at Gallipoli. It is said to have been placed across the forehead of Simpson's donkey beneath its ears and attached to the the cheek pieces of its halter (variously said to have been named 'Duffy', 'Murphy' or 'Abdul') by Colonel Sutton, as a sign that it officially belonged to the unit. The armband was bought home after the First World War by Colonel Harry Nairn Butler, who succeeded Sutton as Commanding Officer of 3 Field Ambulance. There is, however, no physical evidence of a means of attaching this band to a halter.