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VIDEO: New seat plaque is a fitting tribute to The Railway Man

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A brass plaque in memory of ex-Prisoner of War Eric Lomax, who died last year, has been put on his favourite seat on Berwick’s Walls.

Eric, author of best-selling book turned film, The Railway Man, loved the view out to sea from the seat in front of The Magazine.

His widow, Patti, said: “I think it’s absolutely marvellous and I think Eric would be really chuffed.

“He loved spending time here, especially in his latter years when he became more frail because it was still easy to get to from our home on Ravensdowne.”

Eric died last October at the age of 93. The Railway Man tells the harrowing tale of his treatment as a Japanese Prisoner of War during World War Two and his subsequent struggles in adapting to civilian life.

Later, he was the first president of the Berwick branch of the Royal Signals Association and members decided they should have a plaque in his honour.

Around 25 members and their families attended its official unveiling on Tuesday.

Gus Boag, branch chairman, said: “Eric was a brave man who suffered greatly as a Prisoner of War of the Japanese after being taken prisoner in Singapore in World War Two.

“By the time he was released he was in a bad way, both mentally and physically, and was probably lucky to be alive at all. I am delighted we are joined by Eric’s widow, Patti, who did so much to help him on the way to recovery. In spite of everything Eric had been through he was finally able to forgive his torturer and captor, the interpreter who he remembered above all others.

“His book and subsequent film, The Railway Man, will ensure both he and his suffering are not forgotten.

“This was Eric’s favourite spot to sit and it’s fitting that we remember him here. I just hope that Eric is looking down on us and knows the high regard that we had for him and it will never be forgotten.”

He thanked Berwick Town Council for allowing the plaque and to branch secretary Frank Dempster for organising the event.

He then read a specially composed poem about Eric.

A second plaque has been affixed to the new shelter in Castle Vale Park which overlooks the railway viaduct.

 

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