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National Army Museum
  • 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Transcript: Prisoner

Audio transcript

Corporal Ian Getty: ​It started off there was a wee room at the top, almost like a house at the top of the village. We just stayed in the room basically. You were allowed out, you could walk around outside the house during the day. Basically, you could do what you want during the day. And then at night you're locked in. And then we were moved... I think after the five guys got released we were moved to the middle of the village with... I can't remember what rank he had, they all had weird ranks, but... he was an idiot like, but he had psychological problems as well. He was always cutting people up and killing people. He was a maniac. So we stayed at his house I think for 11 days.

We got rice. We got some army rations too, but not many, towards the end. And this green stuff. It was like... I don't even know what it was like, it was like mushed-up leaves  they used to give us, with our rice. You got your one meal a day. And coconuts. They'd send the kids up the trees to get the coconuts. And that was it.

You could guarantee an incident every day, one incident. Usually, like I say, about four or five, you could guarantee at one stage of the day they were going to attack someone or do something crazy. You sat about waiting for that, just basically biding your time.

Things like... there was this one guy, I can't remember his name either, one of their commanders, 'Colonel GS' or something he called himself, and he wanted to be the prime minister or something. I can't remember, but he gave us half an hour to do it and numbered us  off to be shot... and one getting shot every half hour until he's the prime minster or their president or whatever it is that runs their country. So he numbered us all off and then the deadline came, there was about three minutes to go, obviously he wasn't going to be the president, and the OC [officer commanding] says, 'Can I have a last drink with you?' And he gave us all a drink of this palm wine I think it was he had. And then we all got melted. That was it over.

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