1st Battalion

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders


 Borneo 1st Tour

April to September 1964

All photographs are the property of RHQ Argylls and may not be reproduced or copied without permission from RHQ Argylls.



 Borneo Maps

April 7th 1964  The Battalion Intelligence Officer and two soldiers of the Intelligence Section flew to Borneo to begin the take-over of military commitments in the 4th Division of Sarawak from the 1st Bn King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

April 8                  The Battalion Royal Signals Detachment and Advance Stores Party sailed for Borneo aboard the LST Reginald Kerr.

April 10            CO arrived in Brunei and was briefed at Brigade Headquarters.

April 11            CO and IO tour Battalion forward areas accompanied by CO 1 KOYLI.

April 13            Bn Advance Party arrived in Brunei and staged at Seria.

April 14            Deployment of Advance Party to company areas by SRT ac and Helis began.

April 15            1 KOYLI started local patrolling with Advance Party personnel.

April 18            Royal Signals Vehicle party arrives at Labuan.

April 19            2/Lt C. R. C. Wilson and 14 Platoon disembarked from HMT Auby at Bintulu.

April 20            Vehicle party arrived at Brunei. Pipes and Drums and A Coy disembarked HMT Auby at Miri. 24 men of A Coy were ferried to Border positions.

April 21            HMT Auby docked at Brunei. Flying forward of Coys continued.

April 23            CO assumed Command of 4th Division Sarawak and the Belait and Tutong districts from CO 1 KOYLI at 1400 hrs.

April 25            L/Cpl Struthers (D Coy) cut his hand badly and was the first CASEVAC request.

April 27            Padre rejoined Bn HQ after instructing on a course in Singapore.

April 30            Brigadier H. C. Tuzo, OBE, MC, Commander 51 Brigade Group visited A and B Coys. 

Click picture to enlarge


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May 1              Landrover airdropped from a Beverley ac to A Coy. Brigadier Glennie, Deputy Director of Operations, visited Bn HQ.

May 4              Patrol led by Cpl Watson (A Coy) contacted an enemy patrol near Border and wounded one enemy.

May 5              Brigadier Tuzo and Major Carrol, Brigade Major, visited Bn HQ.

May 6              Captain Purves-Hume rejoined the Bn from Hythe.

May 7              Brigadier Tuzo visited A and B Coys.

May 9              Bn HQ moved into the Divisional Police Headquarters at Miri.  First draft of new soldiers arrived in Borneo.

May 14            General stand-to in Bn HQ and A Echelon areas in view of possible parachute landing nearby.

May 16-19       Marudi Regatta. Pipes and Drums and Military Band played every day at the Regatta, the largest native gathering in Sarawak.

May 20            D Coy complete in the Bintulu Police District.

May 21            The Director of Operations visited A Echelon and Bn HQ and was briefed by the CO in the Joint Operations Room.

May 26            The Director of Operations visited the Coy forward areas.

May 29            Twin Pioneer ac crashed on landing with Padre, MO and 4 other ranks en board. Fortunately no one was hurt. Lt Gen Sir Reginald Hewetson,

GOC-in-C FARELF visited A Echelon and Bn HQ and lunched in the Officers' Mess. 

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May 30            Gen Hewetson visited forward Coy areas. Pipes and Drums beat Retreat under floodlights on the Police Headquarters Football Ground. Officers'

Mess Cocktail Party.

May 31            Capt A. F. Bell assumed the appointment of Adjt vice-Captain A. W. Scott-Elliot who went to HQ Comlandbcr as GSO HI (OPS). Capt I.

                        C. Purves-Hume assumed appointment of Signals Officer.

June 2              Director of Defence Planning and his team visited A Coy.

June 3              CO returned to Singapore to visit Rear Party.

June 5              CO returned from Singapore after successful visit including a talk to the Wives Club.

June 6              Three 2 in. Mortar Bombs fired at 1 Platoon in the early hours of the morning. Follow up party did not contact enemy. The Minister of

                        Home Affairs for Sarawak, Dato Dr. Ismail, and the Inspector General of Police for Malaysia visited the Joint Operations Room and were briefed

by the CO.

June 9              Admiral Sir Varyl Begg, C-in-C Far East, Director of Operation, Brigade Commander, Mr D. Healy. MP, and the Commanding Officer visited A


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June 10            Maj Gen Hunt GOC 17 Gurkha Division visited A Echelon and Bn HQ.

June 13            CO attended Queen's Birthday Celebration Parade in Brunei.

June 16            Pipes and Drums left for Bekenu to spend one week river patrolling from the Police Station.

June 17            Arrangements for withdrawal of Indonesian Guerrillas from Malaysia start. Lt Spencer appointed Platoon Commander of check point. This check

point subsequently never took effect.

June 18            Lt Gen Sir Alan Jolly, new GOC-in-C, visited A Coy.

June 19            Visit by Scottish Newspaper Editors.

June 20            James Ramsden, MP. Secretary of State for War. visited the Bn and was briefed by the CO in the Joint Operations Room.

June 26            Indonesian Patrol captured three Border Scouts. Successful follow up by Lt Thomson and 3 PI led to their escape and safe return. Pte Du-Ty was wounded and evacuated by Helicopter.

July 1               The Second-in-Command was promoted Brevet Lt Col, this was a signal honour. Regimental Records believed that the last Argyll to be a Brevet was General MacMillan.

July 2               Pipes and Drums joined A Coy as local defence, in order to rehearse for Australia. Assault Pioneers moved from A Coy's position to join B


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July 8               Maj Gen Lascelles. MGGS. visited A Coy.

July 15             Maj Gen Hunt paid a three-day visit to the Bn.

July 17             Lt Col Wallace arrived in Labuan and was met by Capt Scott-Elliot. Lt Col Wallace and Lt Col Kelway-Bamber visited Bn HQ and then returned to Miri.

July 22             0900 hrs Command of the 1st Battalion passed to Lt Col Wallace. Lt Col Kelway-Bamber was drawn through A Echelon in a Landrover pulled by the Sergeants' Mess and left Lutong airfield in a Single Pioneer ac doing a final low victory run over the strip. Pipe-Major Pitkeathly played the

"Colonel's Farewell" which he had composed for the occasion.

July 23             Military Band departed for Singapore on "Empire Garnet."

July 27             Lt Spencer broke his leg cutting an LZ in the jungle and was CASEVAC to BMH Singapore.

July 30             Miri declared a Cholera infected area. All personnel in Bn HQ and A Echelon were re-inoculated. 

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 August 2           Six 2 in. Mortar Bombs were fired at 3 Platoon's position by Indonesian patrol at 2250 hrs.

August 3           0700 hrs. Follow up of previous night's contact party started with Sgt Baty and his Combat Tracker Team and half of 3 PI under Sgt Sutherland.

                        0830 hrs. Sgt Gow and his Combat Tracker Team and Sgt Robson and eight Pipers alerted into ambush position on the Border. 1 Pl under Lt

Sloane flown into ambush position by Heli.1230 hrs. Sgt Baty's team contact enemy PI and kill two. A large amount of kit, weapons and ammunition was recovered. Sgt Gow's ambush party kill a further four enemy

August 4           CO, QM and I0 of 2/6 GR visited Bn and discussed hand-over.

August 7           Julian Critchly, MP, Defence Correspondent of the "Glasgow Herald" visited Bn HQ and A Coy.

August 13         Brigadier Tuzo visited Bn HQ.


September        Handed over to 2/6 Gurkha Rifles

By 15 September the Battalion was complete back in Singapore.


During the first tour the battalion served at Lutong, Miri, Bario, Pa Main, Long Akah, Marundi, Lio Matoh, Long Bangah, Bintulu, Niah, Tatau.




Singapore 1964-1966

Second Tour February to May 1965


Borneo Pictures


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Updated: 11 October 2014