Henderson and his Donkey

Richard A Henderson was the sole charge teacher at this school when it opened in July 1923.

He was born in Waihi in 1895 and although underage joined the NZ Army and served at Gallipoli, Passchendaele and the Somme where he was decorated for bravery.

The celebrated ANZAC paintings by Horace Moore-Jones depicting a wounded soldier on a donkey led a medical orderly is of Pvte Richard Henderson of NZEF Medical Corp.

The paintings resulted from Moore-Jones seeing a photo, taken by a New Zealand solder JG Jackson, following his return to New Zealand. There were a number of paintings of various sizes depicting the same scene. The most famous of these are held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the National War Memorial Museum in Canberra.

Although still subject to debate it is considered that the Auckland painting is the more authentic.

Mr. Henderson left Mangatangi in 1924 and retired in 1934, due to failing eyesight caused through being gassed while serving on the western front in France. He died in 1958 at 63..