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Railway man

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Paula+ Report 22 Jan 2014 09:01

We went to the cinema last night to see Railway man. A moving and true story very violent and emotional, a story showing true forgiveness. Not a "nice" film, take your tissues. If you haven't seen it it's well worth a visit.

My late FIL was one who survived and was liberated from Changi, the notorious labour camp in Singapore in 1945.


Sharron Report 22 Jan 2014 09:23

The father of a friend at school was a vet

He had been on the Burma railway where he had had to take out his own appendix..

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 22 Jan 2014 10:00

My FIL was in Changi before all the men were put on the HELL SHIPS that were bombed by the Americans so never came home.
Never saw his 3 children at all after 1940.not even the new baby that was born 2 weeks after he had to go back.

I am going to see the film and will take tissues with me.


AnnCardiff Report 22 Jan 2014 10:32

I just couldn't bear to see it - my lovely OH was stationed in Changi when he did his National Service in the RAF


MargarettawasMargot Report 22 Jan 2014 11:55

Great film,really enjoyed it.Colin Firth was very good in his role,as was Nicole Kidman who played his loyal wife.The violence in it was powerful,and very realistic.It was a true story,I remember reading a newspaper article about the friendship between the Japanese officer,
and Railway Man in later life.Amazing!

There's quite a few good films on offer at the moment.I would like to see Philomena,The Book Thief,the one about Nelson Mandela that has Osange County in the title,and Saving Mr.Banks, for starters. I expect that my Seniors card will get a pretty good workout over the next few months! :-D :-D



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Jan 2014 12:13

Strange co-incidence that Ann. My father in law was also a National Serviceman in the RAF at Chengi, posted about 1946/47. He was a Medical Orderly.

By the time he had arrived the British POWs had been repatriated. He did have dealings with the Japanese Officers who, he said, kept their quarters very clean and tidy.


Paula+ Report 22 Jan 2014 13:46

My late FIL in Chengi, and a POW, he he could be very difficult and was not the nicest of men who could fly into a temper at the drop of a hat. We often wondered if his war time experiences made him like this.


Joeva Report 22 Jan 2014 13:53


My uncle served in Burma and according to my mum he was never the man he was again, he changed from being sociable and outgoing to a nervous wreck. :-(


Mersey Report 22 Jan 2014 14:00

Hi Paula i have not long finished reading the book, heartbreaking but such a lovely book to read.......Poignant and puts forgiveness in a totally different light.....


Paula+ Report 22 Jan 2014 14:01

Joevea I can believe you, My FIL was a perfect gentleman until something upset him, and he would turn into an absolute horror, he took offence at the slightest things.


Magpie Report 22 Jan 2014 14:37

No thank you! not a film I want to even think about, let alone see. My S.Father volunteered to serve with the RAF in the far east. For him, aged 20 it was the big adventure! (It went BADLY wrong!) He was captured after the fall of Singapore, worked on the infamous Railroad, route marched from camp to camp in appalling conditions, finally liberated from Changi in 1945. Nightmares, berrie berrie, terminal bouts of malaria and other nasties haunted him for the rest of his life. He was a lovely man, kind and caring, dying in 1987 aged 68 , from cancer, I couldn't have asked or wished for a better 'father,' or husband for my mother.. So, thank you but No thankyou!


Paula+ Report 22 Jan 2014 14:54

I can understand and appreciate what you mean Magpie, but many people have no idea just how bad things were, they were called "The forgotten army" I think it is good that we remember them and the sacrifices they made for us.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 22 Jan 2014 15:17

I read the book when it was first published and found it very moving but do not think that I could watch a film about it.

Thank you for the review.


RolloTheRed Report 22 Jan 2014 15:53

Most of the Allied prisoners were held in a barracks near to Changi rather than the civilian prison itself. The prison was built in 1936 and demolished about 2000 though the gates have been re-erected and the Aussies took their chapel home with them.

One of my rellies was torpedoed and ended up in Burma. He survived ok and was well known for his charm and sense of humour. He detested the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai" as wildly incorrect and ( his words ) suggesting that it was more like "Butlin's" than hell on earth. I shall certainly see the movie.

Today Changi is much changed and a favorite leisure space if you are working in Singapore ( recommended ).

As to whether the Japanese have changed ... well some of them but pretty obviously not all.


Magpie Report 22 Jan 2014 15:56

I understand what you are saying Paula, and yes they were known as 'The forgotten Army' rather adding insult to injury. I'm probably over-reacting a bit, and no doubt it is a good thing for people to see and perhaps understand what an awful business this was. I can't help feeling though that it could stir up anti Japanese feeling? what with that and the dolphins! Having to get a bit of a grip not to feel that way myself!


Paula+ Report 22 Jan 2014 19:43

Rollo. Your relative sounds very much like my FIL, except that he would become very angry and aggressive. Obviously, I did not know him as a young man, his sisters adored him but they said he was never the same after he came home.

Tenerife Sun

Tenerife Sun Report 25 Jan 2014 12:51

For anyone that may be interested in reading the book have the Kindle version for just £2.99 at the moment.


Sharron Report 25 Jan 2014 12:57

We took Fred to Chatham a few years ago. They have a ship there like the one he was on in the Arctic and he found the commentary of the guide most amusing and, while he could still talk properly, would ask if we wanted our tea brought round in a bucket.

There was some embellishment about jam sandwiches that he particularly enjoyed as well. Shame I can't remember what it was now.


Annx Report 25 Jan 2014 18:44

I didn't enjoy The Railway Man at all, it seemed to be all violence and I felt quite traumatised when I came out. I usually like to see and feel I should see what kind of things happened in the past and was very moved by Schindlers List, but this film was too much for me although the acting was superb. I didn't enjoy Osage County either, but Meryl Streep's acting was brilliant in it. A film I thought was really good was 12 Years A Slave. I really appreciated being 'free' after watching that!

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 25 Jan 2014 19:21

A good Book to read is ""The Forgotten Highlander""" Author Alistair Uruquhart.

He lived through all the war in the Far East and was a POW.

Interesting read.