In The News

Former PoW Eric Lomax passes away

Former PoW Eric Lomax passes away

ERIC Lomax, who wrote about his experiences as a prisoner working on the Japanese ‘death railway’ during the Second World War, has passed away. He was 93.

Mr. Lomax had been a signals officer stationed in Singapore when it fell to the Japanese in 1942.

He eventually found himself as one of the thousands of slave labourers who were forced to work on the infamous railway, which was being constructed to link Bangkok to Burma.

The conditions in which Mr. Lomax and the thousands of other prisoners were held were atrocious. More than 16,000 Allied soldiers died while working on the railway.

Mr. Lomax survived torture and beatings, including on one occasion being punished for constructing a radio for his fellow prisoners.

After the war he became a university lecturer but his experiences as a prisoner continued to haunt him. But he was to take a major step towards coming to terms with what happened when, in the early 1990s, he agreed to return to Thailand where he met the soldier who had been the interpreter present when he was being interrogated as a prisoner.

Eventually, he and Takashi Nagase, who had already written of his remorse, were to become friends.

Mr. Lomax went on to write about his his experiences in the book The Railway Man, which was published in 1995. A film based on the book, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, is to be released next year (see below).

The producer of The Railway Man film, Andy Paterson has paid tribute to Mr. Lomax. He said: “Eric spoke for thousands of men who felt their service and sacrifice had gone unnoticed. Whilst we are heartbroken that he will not be with us at the premiere, he lived long enough to see some early images from the film and to share our hopes that this new version of his story will help ensure that the men who suffered with him — and the families who had to cope with the legacy — will never be forgotten.”

To view an interview in which Colin Firth talks about The Railway Man film, click here.


View previous In the News items: Atom bomb physicist Robert Christy passes away, Great session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan passes away, Tributes are paid to historian Eric Hobsbawm, Motown producer Frank Wilson passes away, Veteran actor Herbert Lom passes away, Singer Andy Williams passes away, Former football manager John Bond passes away, Tributes are paid to Cookstown funeral director, Tributes are paid to top wine merchant, Former London gangster Charlie Richardson passes away, American poet Louis Simpson passes away, Funeral takes place of tragic father and sons, Former footballer Jimmy Andrews passes away, Man behind advances in Formula 1 racing safety passes away, Discovered remains may be those of Richard III, Film producer Jake Eberts passes away, Inventor of modern laptop computer Bill Moggridge passes away, Wildlife expert Terry Nutkins passes away, Singer songwriter Joe South passes away, Funeral of motorcycle road racer takes place, Oscar nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan passes away, Oscar nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan passes away, Comedian and entertainer Max Bygraves passes away, Former junior minister Sir Rhodes Boyson passes away, Former Royal Navy frogman Sydney Knowles passes away, First man on the moon Neil Armstrong passes away, Character actor william Windom passes away, Amy Winehouse Foundation supports hospice in Dublin, Author Nina Bawden passes away, Comedian Phyllis Diller passes away, Tributes are paid to singer songwriter Scott McKenzie, Tragic mother Winnie Johnson passes away, Science fiction writer Harry Harrison passes away, Disability rights pioneer Lord Morris passes away, Darts broadcaster Sid Waddell passes away, Special effects expert Carlo Rambaldi passes away, Astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell passes away, Art critic and writer Robert Hughes passes away, Famous violinist Ruggiero Ricci passes away, Vital equipment is donated in memory of Joby Murphy, Remains of Ned Kelly to be handed over, Irish author Maeve Binchy passes away, TV great Geoffrey Hughes passes away, Antiques expert David Barby passes away, Actress Mary Tamm passes away, First US woman in space passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Simon Ward, Former News at Ten presenter passes away, Bollywood superstar Rejesh Khanna passes away, Country music legend Kitty Wells passes away, Tributes are paid to film producer Richard Zanuck or Former jazz singer Maria Cole passes away


If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.