25 Apr 2016

Telling the story of a Gallipoli artist

8:42 pm on 25 April 2016

A book is to be published on the life of Gallipoli artist Horace Moore-Jones.

Mr Moore-Jones painted 'The Man With The Donkey', which is considered among one of the most important pieces of Australasian war art.

He was a 42-year-old in London when he enlisted with the British Section of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, shaving off his moustache, cutting his hair and lying about his age to qualify.

The New Zealand war artist Horace Moore-Jones.

'The Man with the Donkey' Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

Known as Sapper Moore-Jones, he was among the first Anzac soldiers to land at Gallipoli in 1915 and used his skills to draw maps of enemy positions.

Simpson and his Donkey, Horace Moore Jones. Jenny Haworth, 11:05

The Man with the Donkey, Horace Moore Jones. Photo: SUPPLIED

He was wounded in his hand, suffered from exhaustion and was eventually declared unfit for duty and was repatriated to New Zealand.

Upon his return, he taught art and took private commissions and also gave speeches about his work from Gallipoli, which toured the country.

He died in Hamilton in 1922 from burns after rescuing people from a hotel fire.

A statue was erected in the main street of Hamilton last year.

The Theatre of the Impossible Charitable Trust erected the statue and its chair, Bill McArthur, said the trust decided to publish a book about Mr Moore-Jones' life in response to the public interest generated by the statue.