Former hostage Terry Waite recounts his experience

St Peter's School

Former hostage Terry Waite recounts his experience

Terry Waite at St Peter's School

Terry Waite, who survived 1,763 days as a hostage in Lebanon, has been speaking to a capacity crowd in a public lecture at St Peter’s.

An audience of over 400 heard first-hand about Terry’s capture in 1987, and how he managed to survive nearly five years in solitary confinement, which included torture and a mock execution.

In his lecture, entitled Survival in Solitude, Terry shared his secrets to both physical and mental endurance under such unthinkable conditions, explaining that by keeping control of his emotions and writing what would become his first book in his head, he was able to keep his faith and sanity.

Terry also recounted his experiences of working with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, in a range of capacities throughout the 1980s, from writing limericks about pigs to negotiating hostage situations with the likes of Colonel Gaddafi.

A discussion with the audience uncovered more about Terry’s incredible decision to meet with his torturers twenty years later, the rare occasions of happiness he found during his ordeal, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s fascinating theory about what his captors may have had in mind.

Ben Fuller, who hosted the evening, said: “I’m thrilled that so many people were here tonight to hear a story of exceptional bravery and wisdom. With a remarkable combination of courage, honesty and humility, Terry brought his tale to life in a way that held the room in rapt attention. It was a real honour to have him here, and I’m sure everybody here will have taken away some invaluable wisdom.”