Play / pause Prisoner of War

Prisoner of War

  • John Peters
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


Got to the airfield, they were rough with us but not bad.

They tried to interrogate us but very basic stuff,

and they were more curious and had this weird standoff.

We were in this kind of ops building;

it looked like every other air force ops building.

And they were aircrew and they're trying to,

and we didn't say anything, and eventually

one guy said look, "Please talk to us

"or else we'll have to send you

"to the nasty people in Baghdad."

And we didn't say anything, so we were put in the van

and they did exactly what they said,

they took us in a van 10 hours to get us to Baghdad,

which was great because all our information was irrelevant.

And as we approached Baghdad, when they started to see

all the antiaircraft guns and the bombs going off,

because it was nighttime by then,

they started smashing our face

against the side of the lorry,

hitting around our heads with pistol butts.

And then we entered the city and there was

the bombs going off, you've got people everywhere around you

just firing Kalashnikovs into the sky.

You've got the antiaircraft guns going off.

And that's the most frightening sound,

the big guns on the top of buildings.

They are screaming noise and they're sort of

very unnerving and frightening sound.

So you've got the bombs going off, the antiaircraft guns,

people are firing machine guns around you,

they're smashing your face against the side of a lorry,

they're hitting you around the head with pistol butts

and the van came to a halt,

and we're still blindfolded and handcuffed,

they pushed us out.

It felt like we went through this corridor of troops

who were kicking, rifle-butting you and something you.

Pushed you in a room, a room about this size,

so you know, 20 feet by 20 feet

or what have you, concrete building.

And within two seconds of getting in the room

you suddenly hear a "fooo!" (makes crashing sound)

and a bomb hits the building.

And the whole of that wall goes out,

the whole ceiling comes down

and we get picked up two or three meters,

get thrown three meters, and we've been blown up

and end up under a piles of desks, rubble, and chairs.

The dust settles, they grab me,

pick me up, throw me into a side room.

It's pitch black; I manage to work,

I can vaguely see but I couldn't see

because it was pitch black anyway.

I'm trying to get my hands undone,

trying to kick my way to find the room

and if there's a way out.

And I don't know, a minute later,

a number of guys, I don't know,

I could say there were five, there were 10, I don't know,

they come in, and my world goes black.

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