The Railway Man: Exclusive Clip

Watch this scene from new film starring Jeremy Irvine and Colin Firth

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The Railway Man is based on the best-selling memoir by Eric Lomax, a Signals Officer in the British Army who was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942.

Force-marched with thousands of fellow POWs to the infamous Changi prison camp, he was then put to work on building the “Death Railway”, a 415km stretch of track linking Siam (now Thailand) to Burma. The Death Railway still operates as a tourist attraction, running from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, and some 40 miles beyond.

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Jeremy Irvine, who plays the young Eric Lomax in the movie, was taken up to the mountains to a section of the line that has been reclaimed by the jungle. There, the film’s military advisor put them to work to experience a little of what Lomax and the thousands of British, Australian and Malay POWs went through.

“You’re working in 40-degree heat and 98 per cent humidity with just hand tools. We did maybe an hour and a half and I was wrecked,” says Irvine, who shed 30lbs for the part and went through the “hugely unpleasant experience” of the torture scenes.

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Nearly 10,000 British and Australian POWs are known to have died during the construction of the railway.

 


The Railway Man is released on 10 January

Get more on The Railway Men in the latest Esquire Weekly, our new iPad-only edition. Containing 100 per cent new and original content, it’s published every Thursday on the Apple Newsstand. Get your copy today by downloading the Esquire UK app to your iPad and either buying an individual copy for 99p or taking out a three-month, six-month or year’s subscription (all of which include digital copies of the monthly magazine)