Out on a Limbang – Alan Shoubridge
A STORY BASED ON THE RAID ON LIMBANG BY ROYAL MARINE COMMANDOS DURING THE BRUNEI REBELLION
At dawn on 12th December 1962, 55 elite
Royal Marine Commandos and 4 Royal Navy
personnel carried out a dawn attack on the town of
Limbang, Sarawak, Borneo to rescue hostages taken
by Indonesian rebels. They included the Governor,
his wife, the Chief of Police and 11 others. They
were due to be executed that morning.
The marines were told to expect resistance from
between 100-150 well armed rebels. Statistics later
showed there were between 400-600 highly armed
rebels waiting for them.
The hostages were successfully rescued but at a
cost of 5 Royal Marines lives and 15 badly injured.
This story relates especially to the Vickers Medium
Machine Gun Section (MMGs) of Support Company.
The war in Borneo lasted a further 3 years. Little
was known in UK about this war as media focus was
constantly on the war in Vietnam.
This book is a tribute to those who lost their lives,
the injured and the professionalism of the Royal
Singapore 1962. Darkness had fallen over the Naval A ir Station,READ MORE
the silence broken only by the constant chatter of the countless
insects that inhabited the grass and monsoon ditches around the base
Occasionally, music from a transistor radio somewhere up in the
accommodation blocks filtered through to the wandering sentries as
they patrolled the four square mile complex, a welcome change from
the continual hum of the nagging mosquitoes and croaking toads.
One area however was a complete contrast. The NAAFI. Situated
above the dining hall and galley the Other Ranks Recreation Area
throbbed to the beat of the noisy juke-box that greedily consumed
the constant wave of ten cent coins it was fed. A bawdy, shouting,
swearing holocaust where the Tiger beer flowed as though there were
no tomorrows. For some there was not.
The Commando unit’s first night back in base after an operation
was always the same. While the “married fads” got home to their
families in the huge Sembawang Hills Estate, the remainder
congregated in the canteen drinking as much of the cheap beer as
they could consume whilst trying to remain sober enough to stagger
ashore when the bar closed. After a months’ compulsory abstinence
and the ensuing tiredness of the long trek back from the patrols on the
Thailand border, many had not t he tenacity to survive t he pace and
drunkenly crawled back to their billets and oblivion.