The Loan Soldier
- Authors Bruce Duncan
- Language English
- Published First Edition. August 2015
- ISBN 978-1-908663-23-8
Born with a taste for adventure and travel, Bruce Duncan was drawn to explore the challenges offered by the British Army’s overseas loan service. So, as a 23-year old lieutenant, he found himself on his way to Brunei in 1964 to join the Brunei Malay Regiment.
As a young acting captain, Duncan was given temporary command of B Company, the first Bruneian troops to deploy on active service, before being appointed as aide de camp to the Sultan of Brunei.
What then followed was an extraordinary career encompassing secondments to Sudan, Nigeria, Oman, and Kuwait, and a final assignment as Defence Attaché in Jordan.
In the decades between the end of World War II and the close of the twentieth century, Britain’s position on the world stage was dramatically recalibrated. Its once mighty colonial presence was diminished and its military reach and influence across the globe was also on the wane.
Bruce Duncan found himself at the heart of this period of transition, often as part of a small advisory team designed to assist countries in the development of their own armed forces.
Accompanied by his wife and young family, life during these postings could be difficult and sometimes dangerous, and food, fuel and domestic comforts were often in short supply. Away from his military duties, however, Duncan took every opportunity to explore the landscape and meet the people of each country he visited.
In 1988, life for the Duncan family took a very different turn. Arriving in Kuwait just after the end of the Iran/Iraq war, storm clouds were building on the political horizon. After international negotiations with Saddam Hussein broke down, Duncan’s dramatic and harrowing account of the events that followed bring sharply into focus the full horrors of the unanticipated and brutal Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990.
This is a multi-faceted narrative – a beautifully written travel book, a unique documentary witness of one of the key political and military events of the late twentieth century, and, at its centre, the story of a remarkable family’s appetite for adventure and bravery in the face of overwhelming challenges.