Ringer Edwards Military person
Herbert James "Ringer" Edwards (26 July 1913 – June 2000) was an Australian soldier during World War II. As a prisoner of war (POW), he survived being crucified for 63 hours by Japanese soldiers on the Burma Railway. Edwards was the basis for the character "Joe Harman" in Nevil Shute's novel A Town Like Alice (1950; also known as The Legacy). The book was the basis for a film (1956; also known as The Rape of Malaya) and a television miniseries (1981).Edwards was born in Fremantle, Western Australia. He spent much of his adult life working on stations (ranches) in outback Australia. The nickname "Ringer" means a stockman who works on cattle stations, alluding to the stockmen's practice of ringing mobs of cattle at night, keeping them in a tight mob, which can be easily controlled. In the morning, as the cattle are moved off, a ring of manure remains. The term is shortened from "shit ringer". A gun shearer (the shearer who shears the most in a particular woolshed during an annual shearing) is also called a ringer; however, there is no evidence to suggest Ringer Edwards was ever a shearer.Ringer Edwards enlisted at Cairns, Queensland on 21 January 1941 and was posted to the 2/26th Infantry Battalion. The battalion became part of the 27th Brigade, which was assigned to the 8th Division. As the possibility of war with the Empire of Japan increased, the main body of the division was sent to garrison the British colony of Singapore, later in 1941. The 2/26th fought the Japanese in the Malayan campaign and the Battle of Singapore. Edwards, along with the rest of the 8th Division, became a POW when the Allied forces at Singapore surrendered on 15 February 1942.
26th Australian Infantry Battalion