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The Railway Man

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Rover977, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. Rover977

    Rover977 Byte Poster

    I have just read (in two days flat) a book I received for Xmas, entitled 'The Railway Man' by Eric Lomax. This is a factual account of the experiences of a second world war veteran (Eric Lomax, from Edinburgh) who was imprisoned in the Far East during the construction of the Burma-Siam railway (an insane and cruel project conducted by the Japanese military). His account of his totally horrific experiences are the most riveting I have ever read and it is unimaginable how anybody could come out alive from an ordeal like this.

    I have mentioned it on this forum as Eric Lomax was, as well as being an officer in the Royal Signals Corp, an avid enthusiast for all things technological, particularly steam engines, electronics and radios. Anyone into computers may identify a lot with his technology-oriented view of the world, as I did, and this certainly made the book all the more interesting for me.

    Ironically it was participating in the building of a clandestine radio set whilst working in the mechanical workshop of the railway that led to his arrest and subsequent interrogation and detention in a 'prison from hell'. As a signalman he was considered a serious danger to Japanese interests and was made to suffer cruelly for this.

    The Amazon link is below :-

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  2. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

    Sounds very interesting, I really enjoy reading "real life" books, some of the stories people have to tell are truely amazing.

    This sounds like one of those, I think I'll have to order that when I get a moment :)
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  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Added it to my Wish List. Thanks!
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  4. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

    Sounds very interesting!
  5. Ropenfold

    Ropenfold Kilobyte Poster


    I've been to the death Railway in Kanchanaburi, its one of those places where you really do feel a bit uneasy walking around considering how many people died, The war Cementary is hard work as well, most of the people who died were under 30. The museum next to it really brings it home how tough it was.

    A lot of people forget about the war in the pacific and in places like singapore, but thats where a lot of the Allied POWs were most harshly treated.

    I'll certainly look that book up!
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  6. Rover977

    Rover977 Byte Poster

    Kanchanaburi (aka 'Kanburi') is one of the main locations in the book, and site of the main railway workshop where the Japanese made the discovery of the radio sets the POW's had been making to keep in touch with the outside world. The Japanese 'Kempeitai' (equivalent of the German 'Gestapo') had a local HQ in Kanburi, where they conducted the interrogations. Some 50 years later Lomax returned to Kanburi to effect a reconciliation with the Japanese. Kanburi is also the site of the famous River Kwai bridge, about which the film 'Bridge on the River Kwai' was made.

    I think the story would be ideal for making into a film, similar to The Shawshank Redemption, with a mild-mannered character unwittingly drawn into a horrendous set of circumstances, and having to somehow survive.

    All in all one of the best books I've read.
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