Brunei Works Section

Hugh Cave

I joined this Works Section in July of 1963 and left in January 1964.

The Brunei Rebellion had happened in 1962/63 and this lead to a build up of British Regiments to assist the Sultan. This was followed by the Confrontation with Indonesia.

We supported the COMBRITBOR HQ and built base camps for training and relief of the troops in the jungles of Brunei and Sarawak. Our offices were on the Brunei wharf area where we worked with the local Government Department of Works.

There was a Gurkha Squadron of Sappers based in the main city and they used to ferry us about the jungle rivers. They left and we ended up on our own.

I supervised the construction of a relief camp at Tutong. At the same time the Borneo Company gave us a memorial to erect in the jungle at Long Merarap, 100 miles up the Trusan. The Gurkhas had left so I "volunteered" to join a small unit to carry out the work. This would be September 1963. The memorial covered those killed in a helicopter crash earlier in the year.

I returned to Brunei in 1994 to work as a Consultant to the Department of Public Works. The camp at Tutong had been rebuilt to a modern standard but I recognised the same layout as we put up in 1963. In this time I also visited the Long Merarap Memorial Site. I was still recognised by ex Border Scouts and local natives who were "guarding" me in 1963.

In those 30 years Brunei has changed!