[I] didn't think he would be out here and doing a pretty punchy job as a forward air controller," Sergeant Tom Pal recalls

By Erin Hill
Updated February 03, 2016 02:50 PM
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A new book reveals the shocking moment Prince Harry‘s camp was attacked by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2008 – and how he did a “punchy job.”

Coldstream Guards, 10 Years in Afghanistan, Guardsmen’s Stories tells the heroic stories of dozens of soldiers, many from London.

“I remember one afternoon before evening scoff or a Gurkha curry was on, I was sitting chatting with both Captain Russell and Prince Harry about random stuff when the camp was hit by a Chinese 107mm rocket… whoosh bang wallop,” Sergeant Tom Pal, from an anti-tank platoon, recalls in the book, as reported by the Evening Standard.

“We had been attacked and we just looked at each other and Captain Russell mentioned we’d better put our body armor and helmet on. Bit late, but we did,” he continues.

The Taliban attack took place on the forward base Dwyer, an outpost six miles from the front line.

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Sergeant Pal admits he was surprised to see the royal, who was 23 at the time, so close to the front lines.

“I’d seen him on pre-deployment training with the Gurkhas, but didn’t think he would be out here and doing a pretty punchy job as a forward air controller,” he adds.

After 10 years of military service, Prince Harry retired from the British Army in June 2015.

In a statement released to PEOPLE, a spokesman said, “The Prince has had a fulfilling military career and considers it a huge honor to have served his country in the Armed Forces, during which time he has undertaken two operational tours of duty in Afghanistan, qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander, spearheaded the Invictus Games and – most recently – undertaken an attachment with the Australian Defence Force.”

Harry, 31, announced his intention to leave the Army last March.

In a statement, the prince – known as Capt. Harry Wales in the Army – said, “After a decade of service, moving on from the army has been a really tough decision,” he said. “I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to do some very challenging jobs and have met many fantastic people in the process.”

The money raised from the book will go to the Coldstream Guards charity, which aids the military efficiency of the serving element of the Coldstream Guards.