Notes about Eric Liddell
Posted by Rick on March 14, 2008
Most of us only think about Eric Liddell as ‘the man who wouldn’t run on Sunday’, for whom about the movie “Chariots of Fire” was made. After his running career, he served as a missionary to Shandong Province, China. He was captured during WWII by the Japanese and died in a prison camp in Weifeng, China, in 1945, just five months before the camp’s liberation. In a prisoner exchange bargain, his freedom was arranged by Winston Churchill, but he gave it up and let a pregnant woman leave instead. He was known as the “Flying Scotsman” and by his Chinese name, Li Airui, 李愛銳.
I had the opportunity to visit Weifeng in 2004. I saw the camp and hospital where he died. There is a wonderful monument erected in his memory, but someone has defaced it by scratching out the cross at the top and the Bible emblem at the bottom. During the Cultural Revolution, the cornerstone of the hospital was defaced by the Red Guard. They committed a similar act on the monument to Lottie Moon in Penglai.
One of the most moving monuments was the wall of names. It listed everyone interred by the Japanese. Liddell’s name is, of course, listed as well.
Click on a picture to enlarge.