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Actor Colin Firth filmed at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

11 June 2012

The Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand was the backdrop for some filming for The Railway Man, a movie starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, to be released next year.

Firth plays Eric Lomax, and Kidman his wife Patti, in the film based on Lomax's book of the same title.

It tells of his suffering as a young prisoner of war on the notorious Burma-Siam railway and how, with the help of his wife, he travelled back to Asia to meet one of his torturers to try to let go a of a lifetime of bitterness and hatred.

During the day's filming the Commission's manager in Thailand gave Colin Firth a printout of the details of a casualty named Firth who is buried at Kanchanaburi. The actor said he came from the same part of the country.

The Burma-Siam railway was built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, and civilian forced labour. About 13,000 PoWs died, and many more civilians.  

The graves of those who died (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.

There are now 5,084 Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War buried or commemorated in Kanchanaburi. There are also 1,896 Dutch war graves.  

Take a look at our Facebook page for shots from the day's filming.