TRAILWALKER 2015 – A Reflection

Chairman GBA, Brig John Anderson OBE who took on this year’s Trailwalker as part of the Gurkha Bhuros team writes a short article news as a reflection of the event:

Every year in July hordes of people join together to tackle Trailwalker – a demanding 100kms trek over the South Downs, with ascents and descents equivalent to climbing Ben Nevis twice. But the twist is that this must be done as a member of a team, and in less than 30 hours.

This huge fundraising challenge is organised by Oxfam and the Queens Gurkha Signals, with the income being split between Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

This year 1,649 people in over 400 teams entered and, with the good weather we enjoyed, 86% finished.   And this was a special Trailwalker – entries from across the Brigade were higher than ever as we joined together to both commemorate our 200th years of service to the British Crown and to raise funds for our charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust: funds that are desperately needed in the wake of the terrible earthquakes that brutalised Nepal, that country so dear to our hearts, in April and May this year.

Brigade representation covered the whole spectrum – from the wives of serving Gurkha soldiers to children of the Brigade, from serving officers and soldiers to pensioners, from our Gurkha Museum staff to our Generals. We were not alone – hundreds of people from all walks of life, of all ages and of all shapes, struggled through Trailwalker for benefit of our Brigade.   It remains a most humbling experience to meet so many people who know so little of us, yet do so much for our old soldiers and for Nepal.   We commend them to you.

Once again an extraordinary strong team from 1RGR won the Cowan Trophy and this year our Colonel Commandant, General Sir Peter Wall, entered a team, finishing in well under 24 hours while raising an amount that is unlikely ever to be equalled – over £271,000!

And for the sixth consecutive year the GBA/GWT team, the Gurkha Bhuros, took part, finishing in a credible 23 hrs and 55 minutes. As usual, we relied on the brilliant Support Team from the GWAC and although we finished exhausted and sore, we are all incredibly proud to have partaken in this gruelling challenge with so many of our friends.

152A 152B 152C 152D 143C
TW15 - The Museum Curator prepares TW15 -The regulars survive

Gurkha Bhuros team members were:
Brig John Anderson OBE late 6GR – Chairman GBA, Trustee GWT (6th time).
Brig Ian Rigden OBE, late RGR – previous Col BG and Trustee GWT (5th time).
Maj Yambahadur Rana, MVO RGR – Officer Commanding Gurkha Coy Sittang, Sandhurst (2nd time)
Lt Gen Sir David Bill, KCB, late QGE – President GBA, previous Trustee GWT (First time)

The Gurkha Bhuros have raised over £7,200!

To those of you who have supported us, our grateful thanks – and there is still time for others to show their support.

Please go to www.justgiving.com/gurkhabhuros15 to see the full story.

Thank you all.   I retire as Chairman GBA in November and this was my last Trailwalker. It has been an honour and inspiration to walk among you, not only on Trailwalker but for the last 50 years.

John Anderson
Chairman Gurkha Brigade Association