Letter: British troops in Brunei

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Sir: In describing British reaction to the revolt in Brunei of 1962, Stephen Vines ("Activist's release stirs hope for change in Brunei", 23 July) stated that it was "swiftly and brutally put down by British forces, mainly Gurkha troops."

In fact, only one battalion of Gurkhas (1st/2nd Gurkha Rifles) took part and apart from an encounter battle in Tutong where a British officer was killed, they played a relatively low-profile part. The Queen's Own Highlanders and 42 Commando, Royal Marines were most involved, the latter suffering five dead and six wounded during the rescue of British hostages at Limbang. Generally, we found the Brunei rebels to be fairly inept and good-natured and as one who took part I find it deeply offensive to be described as brutal.

RUPERT van der HORST

Wincanton, Somerset

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