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Survival Part 2

"It [the fire] was all over in a minute; then you go into some sort of survival mode. I said I don't want to die, I really don't want to die," Bernie says.

In the conclusion of our special two part series, Insight hears about what people did to get through extraordinarily tough times, and how they 'survived survival'. 'The moment I got burnt I didn't really believe that I'd been burnt that badly because I felt absolutely nothing. I've only since found out that once you have full thickness burns you lose all your nerve endings and you feel no pain". Bernie suffered burns to 81% of his body, and spent almost a year in hospital and rehabilitation wards. He credits his ongoing survival to his family, particularly his wife who continues to dress his wounds every day.

JENNY BROCKIE: Peter Moore in New York, you took a three month IT job in Iraq in 2007, one month in you were kidnapped along with four British guards. Do you remember the moment you realised what was happening?

PETER MOORE: Yeah, I was actually doing a training course at the time and the first thing that I heard was someone shout 'get down' and everyone in my room stood up. So I stood up, not wanting to the odd one out. The next thing that happened, there was a police officer from the Ministry of Interior stood there, bit of a stand off moment, I looked at him, he looked at me, he then puts a gun straight to my head. And he led me to the entrance of the building and I saw the team leader of the security team and he was sort of being beaten up by about five other police officers and I remember, I said to him 'what should I do'? And he said just 'do whatever they say'.

And I remember thinking great, so much for security, you know, I was inspecting them do a Jean Claude Van dam, you know, Kung Foo kick everyone and this sort of stuff. With that, I was led out to a police vehicle. We drove off with lights and sirens going, I still thought I was under arrest. And then they started taking my clothes off and throwing the clothes out of the window and that's when I thought this is odd, this is not normal corrupt police practices, this is an abduction that was the moment.

JENNY BROCKIE: And did you, did you realise who they were, who these people actually were?

PETER MOORE: Well they Van Cleef & Arpels necklace copy were real police officers, they were real Iraqi police officers. You know they showed us police ID. It was only later on that we sort of got passed on that they actually said they were also Shiah Militia. So yeah, it was a Shiah Militia that had got us.

JENNY BROCKIE: When you realised in that car what was going on, what was your response?

PETER MOORE: There was nothing really scary about it at that point. It was all very relaxed. It was only sort of later on after we got transferred out of that vehicle, we got put into another vehicle and that's when I saw the other four British guards they were put into the back of this other vehicle with me. They were all handcuffed one of them had been smashed in the head and got blood in his head. Another one had got what I thought was a dislocated shoulder, and that's when things started to get a bit scary at that point.

JENNY BROCKIE: What did you think might happen to you? Did you paint any kind of scenario?

PETER MOORE: Well at that moment in time I thought, you know, they were either going to kill us or get released and I was quite optimistic on release because I knew I had kidnap and ransom insurance, I was working for a big company. We have been briefed on the possibility of kidnapping so I didn't really have too much of a concern at that point. I thought, you know, the insurance will kick in, a negotiator will be appointed, this outcome will be negotiated, ransoms will be paid. It will, you know, it will end quite quickly one way or another.

JENNY BROCKIE: I know that you don't want to go into detail about the early part of your captivity, but can be give us a broad idea of the kind of conditions that you were held in early on?

PETER MOORE: Yeah, I mean the initial treatment was pretty rough, to be honest with you. I always say it was unnecessarily harsh. You know, we had both of our feet chained to the grille in a wall, we were handcuffed, blindfolded for most of the time. You know, there was a lot of stuff that happened, you know, I got a broken rib, I had glass smashed in my leg. I suppose, you know, the most memorable kind of point was at one point the police sergeant from the Ministry of Transport came in and he handcuffed me behind my back, took me off the chains, put a blindfold on, led me outside, knelt me down, put a gun straight to my head, cocked the gun and fired, there was a bang and I just remember thinking, you know, I'm dead. Like wow, you know, well actually that's not bad. It didn't hurt, it's okay.

Didn't end how I wanted it to end but it's alright, you know, and then reality kicked in of hang on, no, you're not dead, get a grip, get with it, you can hear people laughing, you're still handcuffed, you're still blindfolded. And with that they led me back into the room where one of the other British guards was with me and he said what happened? I said I think they just shot me in the head and I was so annoyed about it. I always said if I was going to be executed I was going to be really strong, I was going to show no fear, you know, stiff upper British lip sort of thing. You know, they put the gun to the head, pull the trigger, I just started shaking, sweating, lost it completely.

JENNY BROCKIE: How do you pull yourself together after something like that to keep going?

PETER fake van cleef butterfly necklace price MOORE: You know, replica clover necklace van cleef inspired after that point I think I sort of felt that, you know, if they were going to kill me then they're probably not going to actually kill me at all unless something bad happens. So you know, I sort of came to a logical conclusion that you know, I'd survived that and that's the closest to being killed, you know, so you've just got to get on with it. What I did was I sort of treated every day one step at a time. So my aim was just to survive the day and in my mind every day I survived was one day closer to my release.

JENNY BROCKIE: How long did you think you were going to be held for?

PETER MOORE: I thought this whole thing, dead or alive, would be over within six months.

JENNY BROCKIE: And how long were you actually held for?

PETER MOORE: Two years, seven months and one day.

JENNY BROCKIE: Did you have a sense, Peter, of what your captors wanted during that time? Did you have any sense of how you might get out of it?

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