This week Locked Up Abroad: Breakout tracks Phil Ashby’s amazing escape through the jungles of Sierra Leone.
Ashby grew up on the West Coast of Scotland and joined the Royal Marines when he turned 18, following his Royal Navy officer father into the forces.
In 2000 Ashby found himself in the African country of Sierra Leone, where he was acting as a military observer with UN peacekeepers. The United Nations troops were supposed to be disarming rebel fighters but things quickly went downhill and Ashby was captured along with two other Brits and a New Zealander.
They managed to escape their captors and found themselves in a Kenyan army outpost where they and the other soldiers were attacked for several days by rebel troops.
They decided to make a break for it and attempt to escape through 50 miles of jungle. Suffering from hunger, dehydrations and avoiding enemy patrols, they were later picked up by the British Army and taken to safety.
Ashby received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions.
Locked Up Abroad airs on Wednesdays at 8:00 PM on National Geographic Channel.