Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Remembrance Services in Nepal

On Sunday 10 November 2013, a Remembrance Service was held at the British Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal and was attended by British Embassy personnel, dignitaries, British Gurkha’s Nepal (BGN) serving personnel, UKBCs and their spouses. It was followed by another Remembrance service at British Gurkha’s Kathmandu (BGK) on Monday 11 November 2013; COS BGN Lt Col E A Davis, represented the British Army and GM BGN Maj Manoj Mohara represented the Brigade of Gurkha’s during the parade; the parade was commanded by OC BGK Maj D Hendry and was attended by BGN serving personnel/spouses, LECs, Regimental Association Nepal (RAN) members and invited guests.

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Every year SSAFA Nepal, BGN, AWCs distributes dry rations to selected orphanages in  Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Dharan, Itahari, Pokhara, Khandbari and Damak  prior to the Dashain Festival.  The funding for the Dry Rations is provided by KAAA (Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Association) every year and this year a grant of  NCR 344,960.00 was allocated.

This year’s dry food rations for Kathmandu and Lalitpur was distributed by SSAFA Nepal, GM BGN Maj Manoj Mohara and Bde & Unit Welfare Officer Maj (Ret’d) Krishnabahadur Gurung.

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Gurkha soldiers and officers have joined members of the Hindu faith in Birmingham for a celebration of Diwali especially for the Armed Forces.

Those present paid tribute to the work of the military and other faiths were there too.

Click here for video

Source: BFBS

Queens Gurkha Signals teamed up with Aston Villa Football Club during community engagement event at the Villa Park on 9 November 2013. The main aim of this event was to support Aston Villa Football Club in poppy day fund raising and Military Awareness Day. Queens Gurkha Signals supported the event which was a huge success with pipers and manpower.

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At Buckingham Palace.  on 12 November 2013, at His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge’s second investiture, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkha’s, General Sir Peter Wall GCB CBE ADC Gen, was presented with the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

The President of the GBA, Lt Gen Sir David Bill KCB led the Gurkha Brigade and Gurkha Regimental and Corps Associations in laying out the Gurkha Brigade Plot (Plot 77) at the Field or Remembrance Ceremony outside Westminster Abbey.  His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh followed by Prince Harry, both stopped in front of the GBA Plot where they were greeted by Lt Gen Sir David Bill flanked by the two QGOOs, Capt Kumar Gurung and Capt Sureshkumar Thapa, to review the GBA plot. After the Field of Remembrance Ceremony, the GBA contingent moved to Field Marshal Viscount Slim’s statue on Whitehall where his son Viscount Slim and Chairman GBA, Brigadier John Anderson laid the GBA and 6GR wreaths respectively. After that they moved to the Gurkha Statue located on Horse Guards Parade where, after a short Prayer to the Gurkha,  the Brigade and Regimental and Corps Association wreaths were laid to commemorate all to those who served with the Gurkha Brigade and Brigade of Gurkhas, who laid down their lives in the service of the Crown.  Following the laying of the wreaths a lone piper from 2RGR played a lament that concluded our short but moving ceremony.

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By Maj Chandra Pun 1RGR

It was my great honour to represent the British High Commission of Brunei Darussalam at the Remembrance Day Service at the WWII War Memorial in Labuan, Malaysia.

The WWII War Memorial is located along the Jalan Tanjung Batu; it marks the final resting place for 3905 war heroes killed in 1945 whilst fighting the Japanese Forces in the area.  This beautifully landscaped memorial garden is considered to be the largest cemetery in Malaysia. It pays tribute to the Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand servicemen and local heroes who fought and fell during World War II.  Also laid to rest here are some of those who died during the infamous Sandakan-Ranau death march, where the Japanese marched Prisoners of War from Sandakan to Ranau in 1945.

The Memorial is regularly visited by war veteran groups including people from as far as Australia, they consider Labuan important site for battlefield tours and studies.  The War Memorial in Labuan was constructed and is maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission.  The Remembrance Service is held on the first Sunday of November each year to honour and remember the fallen servicemen, initially from the two World Wars and now including service personnel killed in conflicts around the world.
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Major ‘Dicky’ Day, who has died aged 91, was serving with the Gurkhas in 1942 when, in one of worst disasters of the Burma Campaign, the Sittang river bridge was blown up stranding two-thirds of a division on the wrong bank.

In February that year the 17th Indian Infantry Division, which had been weakened by fierce fighting at Bilin, pulled back to the Sittang river. The bridge there, over some 600 yards of fast flowing water, was one of the main gateways to Rangoon.

At a critical moment, the Japanese intercepted a telephone call disclosing the division’s plans, and an orderly withdrawal turned into a nightmare of a retreat. Battle-hardened Japanese units laid ambushes and manned road blocks. The 1st Battalion 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1/4GR), acting as rearguard to the division, suffered casualties from friend and foe alike.

Day (always known as Dicky), a company commander serving with 1/4 GR, said afterwards: “We were bombed and strafed by the Japanese air force as well as our own air force and the American ‘flying tigers’. As we got to the river, we were strung out over miles, and the Japanese cut the division to pieces.”

Sappers had planked what was originally a railway bridge. Day’s battalion crossed it and was deployed on the western end to guard against paratroop landings. When the Japanese attacked in strength from the east, Major-General Jacky Smyth decided that to save Rangoon he had little choice but to blow the bridge.

Two brigades were left stranded on the east bank. Desperate close-quarter jungle fighting on their part allowed many of the soldiers to escape across the river by rope, raft or sampan; but by the end of the battle several hundred men had been lost — killed, drowned or taken prisoner by the Japanese.

While the Japanese sought another crossing point and went on to take Rangoon, the British and Indian units set out on an arduous withdrawal across central Burma to India. A distance of more than 1,000 miles was covered, mostly on foot, and took three and a half months. Day spoke with pride of the bearing of his men who marched into Imphal in threadbare uniforms, gaunt as scarecrows but with their weapons and cheerful smiles on their faces.

Donald Sidney Day was born at Cranleigh, Surrey, on August 3 1922 and educated at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford. He enlisted in the Army in September 1939 and went to Bangalore, where he took a four-month course at the Indian Army Cadet College. In 1941 he was posted to 1/4GR and arrived with his unit in Rangoon in January 1942 as part of 48 Indian Infantry Brigade.

After recovering from wounds to his back in Imphal, he saw active service in Italy at Monte Cassino. In India, he helped raise two new battalions of Gurkhas and commanded one of these, 26th Gurkha Rifles.

After the war, and a spell tea planting in Assam, he moved to Singapore and Malaya, where he worked for James Warren & Co, a British trading company, eventually becoming managing director of their Malayan operations. He was also a reserve officer in the 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles during the Malayan Emergency operations against communist guerrillas in the 1950s.

In 1964 he returned to England and founded an executive search company and a consultancy which provided assistance to British firms exporting to India and south-east Asia. In his latter years, in Sussex, his interests included game bird rearing, managing local shoots and cricket. In 1978, in Hong Kong, he helped to organise a “Race of Giants” in which veteran Formula 1 champions raced against each other.

Dicky Day married first (dissolved), in 1944, Anita Fairle. He married, secondly, in 1956, Jill Luscombe, who survives him with a daughter from his first marriage and a stepson and a stepdaughter from his second.

Major Dicky Day, born August 3 1922, died September 28 2013

Source: The Telegraph

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