Limbang Raid 1962

Discussion in 'Medals' started by Crafty990, Jul 1, 2013.

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  1. This is actually a post about medal entitlement but I thought I'd add an interesting war story onto the front of the request.

    On 9 December 1962, as the Brunei Revolt broke out, TNKU militants led by Salleh bin Sambas seized the small town of Limbang. From the police station, they captured several rifles, Sterling submachine guns and one Bren light machine gun. This greatly enhanced their weaponry, as they only been armed with shotguns. They imprisoned the British resident and his wife, along with 12 others, and announced their intention of hanging them on 12 December.


    The task of freeing the hostages was given to L Company, 42 Commando, commanded by Captain Jeremy Moore, who were deployed from the commando carrier HMS Albion. To bring the commandos to their target, two cargo lighters were commandeered and crewed by Royal Navy personnel. One of them carried a Vickers machine gun. Moore planned to sail his force up the Limbang river, and then to assault the town directly, so as to avoid giving the rebels time to execute the hostages.

    The lighters approached Limbang at dawn on the morning of 12 December. The sound of their engines warned the rebels, and the commandos lost the element of surprise. As they moved in to their landing area, they were met by heavy fire from the police station, where Salleh himself was manning the Bren gun. The deck of the lighters offered little protection, and two marines were killed before landing. One craft provided covering fire with the Vickers gun, while the first disembarked its men.

    The commandos charged the police station, where they killed ten rebels and captured the Bren gun. Salleh Bin Sambas was injured, but made good his escape. The hostages were discovered in the hospital, where the resident was singing loudly, to avoid being mistaken for a rebel. After all the commandos had landed, they spent the rest of the day clearing Limbang house by house, during which three more marines and two more rebels were killed.

    It was during this years armed forces day that my uncle told me about his involvement in this raid among his other tales. He interestingly pointed out that the lads killed on this day were 50 years dead on 12/12/2012 and he'd written to Paddy Ashdown (who was commanding Support Coy that day) to highlight this.

    He didn't have his medals on for the church service on Saturday but when I asked what he would have been wearing he suggested that he may be entitled to more than he currently has. It occured to me this morning to pester you chaps on here about what he may or should be wearing.
    His service looks something like this:

    Royal Marine Served 1961-1970

    Brunei 1962-1964 (inc. Sarawak)
    43 Cdo 64-65
    Deal 65-67
    45 Cdo 67 (inc. Aden)
    Deal 67-70

    My limited assessment is that he shoud be sporting a GSM 1962 with Borneo and Malay Penisula clasps and a PJM? Am I right in this guess or should he have less or more? Was there a medal awarded for Aden? He currently has the GSM with one clasp (Borneo I think).
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    • Excellent Topic Excellent Topic x 1
  2. GSM 62 Borneo is correct, that would entitle him to apply for the PJM, Aden would be a clasp for his GSM.
  3. Should he have Malay Penisula clasp also for service in Sarawak?
    Doesn't look like there is a clasp for Aden:

    General Service Medal (1962) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Surely there is some recognition, by all accounts Aden was pretty cheeky. Makes my GSM for getting plastered daily in Moscow camp for 6 months a bit laughable.
  4. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

  5. The Aden campaign was marked with the 'South Arabia' clasp to the GSM.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I would say;

    1918 GSM clasp Brunei
    1962 GSM Clasps Borneo
    Malay Peninsula
    Radfan and/or South Arabia( Depending on time there

    And of course PJM if he's applied for it.

    Edit to add;

    As RM the 1918 GSM with Brunei clasp would be the Naval General Service Medal.
    Malay Peninsula because troops involved in Brunei would have been peninsula based.
    He would have been too late for Radfan clasp but certainly South Arabia
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Thanks for your input, I'll look more closely at his dates to see if he'd qualify for the GSM 1918.
  8. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    It's NGSM 1915, I think the year the ribbon changed from blue to pink. Superseded by the GSM but you will need to establish qualifying service before the changeover.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. So depending on qualifying period, we're going for NGSM 1915 with Borneo clasp, GSM 1962 with Brunei, Maylay Peninsula and South Arabia clasps and PJM. He will be made up with that I reckon. Just sorting out his veteran's badge now aswell.
  10. That should read;
    NGSM Clasp Brunei
    GSM Clasp Borneo
  11. Got it. Cheers for your help.
  12. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    • Like Like x 1
  13. Cheers I'll have a butcher's at that.
  14. Copy on order, an interesting tale.
  15. Watches this the other day, a very well put together documentary. To think L coy lost 5 blokes that morning, I really didn't grasp what kind of operation it was when my uncle was vending my ear about it. Mucho respect to him now, he dis some cheeky ops.