Play / pause Capture


  • John Peters
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


On the ground for about two to three hours

and then about 15, 20 soldiers

stopped off on a dump truck about a half mile away.

They spread out, starting marching towards us,

and they knew the desert like the back of their hands;

obviously, it's their country.

And you're lying there thinking, "Shit."

As they're about 200 yards away, you knew they,

and they were coming straight for us

in a big line with Kalashnikov machine guns

and I thought (sighs).

So I wore lenses at that time,

because I didn't like wearing glasses.

You weren't meant to wear lenses

but lots of people did it then,

because glasses when you're there in combat

just fell down your face.

But I thought, I know what's going to happen.

Whatever happens now, I don't want my lenses in.

So I remember flicking my lenses out

and putting my glasses on.

And I was lying there, behind nothing;

I mean it was like lying on the flat.

And the lens was there, and the moment I flicked it out,

the little crescent in the lens, and the next thing "Pchoo!"

And bullet hit just there.

And you are consumed in hundreds and hundreds

of bullets around your head.

And from, I don't know, 100 yards down to 50,

they were just wasting bullets; we were buried in the sand

with the number of bullets bouncing around our heads.

And then it became a bit farcical.

We thought, you know, we've got two pop guns.

John said, "Shall we kill each other?"

Because we all knew what was going to happen to us.

And we had talked about it in the pub before the war.

And I turned to him with all these bullets bouncing

and we were nose to nose like this, all right?

So really quite, and we said no.

I turned to him and I said no, there's always hope;

why do their job for them?

And that was our decision, to give ourselves up.

And then you have this farcical sense:

we were trying to give up; every time we'd try to give up

they shot at us, so we went down.

And it was just ridiculous.

And I still don't know how they missed;

that's why they lost the war,

because they couldn't hit a bloody barn door!

You know, 15, 20 soldiers firing machine guns,

they should've killed us.

But they didn't, and eventually got up.

And they got to us; they were frightened of us,

I mean they took our guns,

first thing took my glasses off and the watch,

very first thing, beat us up a bit.

But there was an Iraqi Air Force officer who stopped them.

And then we were basically blindfolded,

handcuffed, and taken off to the airbase we had just bombed,

or our formation had just bombed.

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