On September 3, 1939, Australian Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies announced the country's involvement in WWII, and from 1942 until the end of the conflict in 1945, the majority of the Australian effort went to defeating the Japanese. Two-thirds of all Australian POWs were captured in the first few weeks of 1942 - including Herbert James "Ringer" Edwards. Edwards was a private in Australia's 2/26th Battalion, and he was captured only a year after enlisting.
His is a survival story for the history books. Not only did Edwards survive three years in brutal Japanese captivity, but he also miraculously survived 63 hours of being essentially crucified. And he was forced to work on the infamous Burma-Thailand railroad. Edwards managed to survive insurmountable odds - nearly 40% of Australian POWs in Japan perished in captivity before the end of WWII.
Edwards Was Essentially Crucified For 63 Hours, Just For Trying To Feed Himself
Edwards Worked On The Burma Railway
Crucifixion Was Not The Only Sentence Edwards Managed To Escape
Edwards's Upbringing Led Him To Join The Ill-Fated 2/26th Battalion
Australian Involvement In WWII Was Lesser Known – But Just As Crucial and Devastating
The Entire 2/26th Battalion Of Queensland Was Captured At The Battle Of Singapore