Editorial: Eric Lomax - a model of forgiveness


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The Independent Online

The designation "war hero" typically conjures up images of derring-do and courage in the field. Eric Lomax showed that bravery can take many forms.

As a prisoner of the Japanese in the Second World War, Mr Lomax was one of thousands of servicemen used as slave labour to build the Burma railway. He later described his experiences as a "descent into hell". Post-traumatic stress plagued him for the rest of his life. Yet, when he came face to face with his principal interrogator, half a century later, he chose reconciliation rather than retribution.

His subsequent friendship with the man who had once been his tormentor is one of the great testaments to the human capacity for forgiveness. Mr Lomax, who has died aged 93, was a man of grace, modesty and an exceptional generosity of spirit. His story was, and remains, an inspiration for us all.