Former prisoner of war to give advice on new Spielberg film

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A war hero who survived a prisoner of war camp is now giving advice to a world famous American film director.

Harold Lock, of Ashmere Rise, in Sudbury, has been asked for his opinion on a potential new Hollywood blockbuster, directed by Steven Spielberg.

The 89-year-old is one of around 100 surviving ex-prisoners of war who will be asked their views on the new film, The Railway Man, before it is released next year.

The film follows the life of recently deceased ex-PoW Eric Lomaz, who wrote a book about his harrowing experiences as he was forced to work on the Thai/Burma railway after being captured during the Second World War.

Mr Lock, who joined the Royal Navy at 14 and was himself captured by the Japanese, said he is hoping the film will be an honest and realistic portrayal of his experiences.

He said: “You never forget and even after all these years it is hard to talk about. But it is important people know how we got treated.

“When we returned home, we were told not to talk about it, it was all hushed up, and that was very hard considering what we went through.

“Previous films, like Bridge on the River Kwai, were nothing like what we really experienced.”

He added: “I’m happy to give my opinion on this new film and I hope it is accurate but it’s a bit of a shame that people are suddenly so interested in what happened after all this time, as before no-one seemed to care.

“It’s time the truth came out.”

Mr Lock was 17 in 1942 when his ship sunk near the Indonesian island of Java.

He was captured by the Japanese and spent three years doing hard labour in a prison camp on the island of Haruka.

Film-making legend Spielberg is planning to get as many ex-PoWs together as possible before the film is released next year.