Les Hall - Capture of Captain Greville

Running time
2 min 55 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well we finished the job, packed up and went to go home. I still couldn't get through. The lance-corporal leading the patrol missed a turn and walked straight into the middle of an ambush.

The Chinese were so lined out that we walked straight into the end of their flank and they had to open fire on us otherwise we would have walked over them but they were waiting for us to cross the creek and go down the other side where they had us lined up like ten pins.

So, they opened fire. I was the third man in line the captain was in front of me of course and he turned around because I had my earphones on, and I couldn't hear a thing, but I could see all the fireflies. Fireflies of course turned out to be muzzle shots.

The captain grabbed me with both hands and lifted me off the ground and through me into the long grass. He said 'Get down. We're ambushed.' And then he carried on. The lance-corporal got wounded and he went in a heap and I just lay there but before I could do anything a Chinese soldier overrun and wanted to see if I was alive. So, I thought to myself 'As far as you're concerned mate, I'm not alive.'

So, he give me a bit of a nudge with his toe and I must have flinched. Of course, he put his burp gun into the middle of my stomach, but he didn't pull the trigger and just at that moment one of his colleagues yelled out in Chinese something and he jumped up in the air and jumped over me and run down to wherever they were so I sat up to have a look at what the excitement was and they had captured the captain and they were just going to take the captain off when one of the other diggers raced up and jumped on this Chinaman's shoulders and then another bloke came up and gave him a rifle butt to the back of the head and laid him out flat and carried him out and then they disappeared and we started to reform then. I was a little bit concerned that night on my one and only patrol so needless to say I was very pleased that I wasn't doing patrols after that.

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