The British government, at the request of the Federation of Malaysia, agreed to provide a military presence in Sabah and Sarawak, areas which were experiencing incursions from adjoining Indonesian Kalimantan. These border violations, part of a policy of destabilization and undeclared war, became known as the 'confrontation'. On arrival, the DLI was immediately launched into an intense programme of training at 'paradise camp' in the north of Borneo before moving to their operational area in the southwest near Kuching. At Kuching, companies were dispersed into forward jungle bases and by aggressive patrolling were able to drive the Indonesians completely out of Sarawak and so eliminate the threat to the integrity of Malaysia. The battalion, superbly led by lieutenant colonel Gil Maughan, successfully countered the Indonesian aggression. For many of the young soldiers, it was their first taste of active operations while for others it was the culmination of years of active service. It proved to be the final operation for three of them, and for the Durham Light Infantry itself.
Thomas Griffiths, George Miller and Thomas Slimmings did not survive the Borneo tour, and by 1968, the regiment had ceased to exist, having been abolished under the mod restructuring of the British army.