CHILDREN from Forres Sandle Manor School at Fordingbridge met the wife of a former prisoner of war whose life has been dramatised in a new blockbuster film.

Patti Lomax was at the opening of a display dedicated to her husband Eric at the Royal Signals Museum in Blandford.

Eric, who was captured by the Japanese in 1942 following the surrender of Singapore, has had his life dramatised in the critically-acclaimed film The Railway Man, starring Colin Firth as Eric and Nicole Kidman as Patti.

Patti spent some time talking to the children and showed them the Australian-made poppy she carried on her handbag as a way of remembering her husband, who died in October 2012.

As the children thanked her for her time, she in turn thanked them as she felt they had supported her that morning; she thought all the press attention was “a bit wild”.

Mark Hartley, headmaster of Forres Sandle Manor, said: “While learning within the classroom is important, the children benefit enormously by taking their learning outside of the school environment as well.

“To have the opportunity to meet the people behind the story is a huge privilege and this will only go to inspire the children to find out more about Eric’s story.”

The new film is based on Eric’s autobiography.

A British officer, after his capture he was forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway and during his time in captivity he was tortured.

Years later, he returned to the scene of his torture and managed to track down his captor in a bid to deal with his experiences.