Adam Park Racing Club judges ribbon : Driver E R Davis, 2/3 Australian Motor Ambulance Convoy

Place Asia: Singapore
Accession Number REL30164
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton
Maker Unknown
Place made Singapore
Date made 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Piece of cream cotton sheeting cut to the shape of a ribbon. Marked vertically in dark blue ink 'JUDGE ADAM PARK RACING CLUB'.

History / Summary

Worn by NX41407 Driver Edward 'Ted' Robert Davis in his capacity as a judge of a Melbourne Cup meet for frog racing held by the Adam Park Racing Club at Sime Road prisoner of war camp on 3 November 1942. A frog named Triggerman won the event. The cup awarded to Triggerman's owner is also in the War Memorial's collection (see RELAWM31985).

Another POW, VX37222 Private James Purtill, later described frog racing in Singapore as 'this popular amusement did not last long, but while it was going it drew ... the whole camp in fact to the frog racing courses...The idea was simple. You chalked a big ring on the asphalt, put your candidates (suitably marked with coloured rags, papers etc.) in a box in the middle and when the betting was finished the caller lifted the box, and a dozen or so scared looking frogs hesitated a few seconds and then commenced hopping. First over the line, of course, won. The sweepstakes were small but the betting was in many cases heavy ...the crowds at the courses were two deep and money changed hands in big quantites'. According to Purtill all the frogs were given names and pedigrees, e.g. 'Gordon Bennett, out of Singapore by Capitulation'.

Ted Davis was born in 1902 and enlisted for service in the Second World War on 28 September 1940. Assigned to 2/3 Australian Motor Ambulance Convoy with 8 Division in Malaya, he became a prisoner of war in Singapore on 21 February 1942. He subsequently served with H Force on the Burma Thailand Railway. Davis was discharged from the army on 19 March 1946. He died in 2000.