‘I said Hail Mary’s and used by body to revive an ice-cold bleeding soldier’ … and other Ukrainian frontline heroics from a unique fighter-cum-rescuer-cum-aid-worker.19 September 2023
“I know how much the Ukrainians need us Brits. The Russians are bloodthirsty killers and torturers.
“One thing I guarantee you: me and my buddies have decided they cannot take us alive. I’m ready to die if I have to and meet our Maker — and take some of the enemy with me. If I’m completely trapped or lying helplessly injured, a grenade would do the job.”
However, these days Peter’s time on the ultra-dangerous frontlines is spent mostly rescuing injured fighters and civilians… That’s also very risky.
Recently, he told Correspondent.World, his activities have included dragging lifeless or severely injured soldiers from frontline positions into his vehicle. Often, as he and his team drive off their rescue vehicle comes under Russian shelling.
In one recent rescue, he had to use his own body in a desperate attempt to warm up a soldier dying from loss of blood that had turned the soldier’s body ice-cold. He lay on top of the soldier and was also saying Hail Marys (Peter is a believing Catholic) all the way to the nearest hospital, many miles away. Amazingly, the soldier survived.
(Above) Peter back in London to collect British vehicles and equipment, shows his declaration of defiance carried front-page by the Sunday People….and (below) in Kyiv’s main square, the Maidan, where tributes to dead foreign aid workers and soldiers are laid.
His small special unit includes a brave British woman from the English Midlands who emigrated to the UK long before the current Russian invasion. “This wonderful woman has saved more lives than any of us,” Peter told Correspondent.World admiringly.
Occasionally Peter comes back from the frontlines, sometimes to attend memorial services for fellow-Brits in the capital Kyiv. Like Samuel Newey, a 22-year-old from Solihull, who had been volunteering as a fighter in Ukraine for more than a year before he was killed in August 2023.
In a post on Facebook, his brother Daniel Newey said: “I cannot put into words how broken I feel. I also cannot emphasise how proud I am of my little brother. He’d just turned 21 when he decided to answer the call and travel to Ukraine to push back against Russian Imperialism.”
Now Peter is about to go to a tribute to the last two tragic foreign casualties, a Canadian and a unique Spaniard.
Emma Igual, 32, was killed on September 9 2023 alongside her Canadian colleague when a shell hit the rescue vehicle of her NGO ‘Road to Relief’ near the smashed hotly-contested city of Bakhmut.
Peter paid this tribute to Emma:
“One of her friends called her a beast. Yes she was a beast, a work beast. She was incredibly brave, irritatingly brave. She would piss a lot of people off because she would go into danger zones against their advice.
“But because of her, a lot of people are alive, and people in hundreds of villages have been fed.
“She was wonderfully, shockingly beautiful as well.
“I am naming one of our British-financed vehicles after Emma and Sam. We are painting their call-signs or names on the bonnet. Something to remember them by.”
The tribute, on one of Peter’s rescue / aid vehicles, to Sam. “Bollywood” is the dead British soldier’s call-sign. Emma’s name is to appear on the bonnet soon, too (we can get a photo of him inscribing that.)
Peter says he is composing his own obituary — to be published “when needed”. He hopes and prays it will not be required for many decades.
One flag for each person killed in this war, in the main square of Kyiv.