Jackman, Bruce (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 11125
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 240, Number Of Items 8
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: recording

Object description

British officer served with 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles in Brunei Rebellion, 1962-1963 and during Indonesian Confrontation, 1963-1964

Content description

REEL 1 Recollections of enlistment with Brigade of Gurkhas, 1962: father's service with Gurkhas; selection procedure; reception on arrival with 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles in Singapore; family connections in unit; question of potential of active service with Gurkhas; code of behaviour; relations between Gurkhas and officers; depth of experience of Gurkha; role as company officer; learning Gurkhali; jungle warfare course; period at Jungle Warfare School; situation in Far East, 1962; degree of knowledge of events outside of company; areas of responsibility for which unit could be deployed. Recollections of operations with 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles during Brunei Rebellion, 1962-1963: first news of rebellion in Singapore. REEL 2 Continues: degree of internal security duties training; procedures for crowd control; unit preparation for move to Brunei; degree of knowledge of Brunei; kitting out for move; degree of information about political situation in Brunei; character of voyage from Singapore to Brunei aboard HMS Londonderry, 9/12/1962; physical condition of troops on arrival in Brunei; reaction to hearing of shooting of David Stevens; problems of shaving under-fire; shooting of Radio Brunei announcer; sight of insurgent POWs in Brunei Town; background to initial operations by insurgents; character of unit operations; joining B Company for attack on insurgent held town. REEL 3 Continues: capture of insurgent leader; reasons for move to north Borneo; reception on arrival at airport; character of amphibious attack on insurgent held lodge; reaction to completion of operation against lodge; importance of role of mess orderly; move with 8 Platoon, B Coy to Limbang to relieve 42 Commando; role in searching for insurgent leader in Limbang area; problems with leeches, crocodiles and flooding in swamp; change in nature of role when flooding occurred; question of effect of carrying live ammunition; effect of death of David Stevens. REEL 4 Continues: Recollections of operations as officer with 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles during Indonesian Confrontation 1963-1964: deployment in Sarawak/Borneo; character of terrain; story of 6th Gurkha Rifles contact with Indonesian troops in which officer was killed; tracking Indonesian infiltrators and subsequent ambush on them; nature of firing in jungle; loss of finger during action; aftermath of ambush; initial character of early helicopter operations; evacuation and return to unit; nature of Indonesian infiltration; effect of loss of trigger finger; re-deployment in eastern end of 3rd Division; story of attack on Gurkha training section by Indonesians. REEL 5 Continues: method of operations; award of Military Medal to Gurkha NCO for actions against superior Indonesian force, 1963; follow up action to operation; character of operations until 2/1964; terrain operated in and problems of navigation; role of Special Air Service; helicopter assault carried out by A Coy; helicopter accident; initial sight of Special Air Service; reliance on helicopters of 845 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm; contrast between RAF and Royal Navy helicopter pilots; return to Singapore, 2/1964. Recollections of operations as commanding officer of C Coy, 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles during Indonesian Confrontation, 1964-1965: deployment in 5th Div of Sarawak, 7/1964; construction of company base; location of company base; relations between local population and Gurkhas. REEL 6 Continues: question of ideal nature of Gurkha troops for isolated post work; importance of hearts and minds policy; request from local population to reunite cross border community; character of border; observation of Indonesian border camp; preparations for attack on Indonesian border camp; trials of Seismic detector and Claymore mines; use of aircraft's sonic boom against Indonesians during attack on platoon, 12/1964; intelligence gathering and training for attack on Indonesian border camp; questions that needed balancing in relations to attack. REEL 7 Continues: problems with NCO who developed cough; nature of attack on Indonesian camp; number of Indonesian casualties; timing of attack; reaction to hearing screams of Indonesian wounded; death of Gurkha rifleman and other casualties. REEL 8 Continues: consolidating positions after attack; effect of adrenaline on senses; firefight with Indonesians on other side of river; return to border with casualties; helicopter evacuation of wounded and equipment; effect of action on community; reaction to leaving Sarawak, 1/1964; how Prime Minister Harold Wilson gave go ahead for cross border operation; cover story for operation; awards to unit during confrontation.

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