A Barnsley soldier helped liberate a Taliban prison where captured members of the Afghan police had been shackled to a wall.
Trooper Luke Hodson, 21, who lives in Barnsley town centre, had been told to ‘expect the unexpected’ when his reconnaissance unit entered the grounds near Laskar Gah, Afghanistan, by helicopter.
But the former St Michael’s pupil, serving with the Light Dragoons, said he was shocked by what he saw inside.
“It was weird. I will never forget it,” he said.
“The building was just a normal compound. When we arrived men were having a shura, or meeting, outside.
“When we went inside there were people chained from their hands to their feet and shuffling around.
“There were about 25 people chained up and there were five people that were looking after them and a jailer in there who was in charge of the keys.
“Some were in big gangs and others were chained to the wall on their own. The oldest man there just had a T-shirt on and no bottoms. There was a kid there chained to a tree who looked about 13.
“We did what we could and asked the jailer to knock the chains off them.
“Some looked really frail like they’d not been fed and watered.”
Luke was talking to Chronicle reporter Kate Pickles, who is in Afghanistan. For the full interview and more stories from the Barnsley troops on the frontline see this week's Chronicle.