I read his book a few years ago, the closing chapters had me snuffling into a tissue. I can't imagine suffering like that, and I certainly can't think that I would be able to find it in myself to meet, and forgive, my tormentor.
I do find it irksome when sportsmen are described as 'heroes'.
My uncle lies in Port Moresby having died in a bombing raid by the Americans on a little island called Ballele. He was captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He was a gunner. One of the 600 gunners party.
When my grandmother died, we found his letters. I still have them. I have had an interest in the far east prisoners of war for many years, and there is a very knowledgeable group to which I subscribe, FEPOW community. They are very knowledgeable about the history of the far east prisoners and well worth a look at for serious historians.
Eric Lomax's book is extraordinary in the vivid memories he retained as well has ultimate ability to forgive.
In stark contrast Alistair Urquhart's The Forgotten Highlander is as hard hitting due to his own experiences and far less forgiving attitude to the Japanese.
Having got to know two surviving officers from the railway some two plus decades ago, who have since passed on, they were of similar disposition: one could not abide the Japs whilst the other had found it in himself to forgive and was a happier man for it.
Living out here, I regularly visit the cemetery at K'buri to pay my respects before heading up to Hintok and 'Hellfire Pass', where one can stay at a tented camp by the river not far from where POWs had one of their camps. It is remarkably peaceful and spiritual place and have had the best nights sleep in SEA when staying there.
The ANZAC Day dawn service is incredibly moving followed by the poignant service back at K'buri - mind you, like Gallipoli, the focus is on fallen antipodeans rather than Brits or the Dutch. As for the local Asians labourers/indented workers they barely get a mention.
Reading the DT's obit of Lomax it made me change my mind as to his 'leniency' and forgiveness - he was clearly an extraordinary man, may he rest in peace.