Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Visit to our friends at 28 Squadron RAF Benson

On 22nd May 2017 staff members from the Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas visited 28 Squadron RAF Benson.

 

HQ Brigade of Gurkhas staff were collected from the sports field at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst by a Chinook helicopter and its team. The pilot then took us on a flight across London along the Thames route, right over the London Eye, Shard and the O2 arena.  The pilot then circled back across London and over to RAF Benson in Oxfordshire. The flight took approximately 45 mins and was a real please with great weather. With the rear door open on the Chinook the team got a fantastic view of the sights in London.

 

Upon arrival at RAF Benson the team were met by the Squadron Leader and given a brief about the past and current role of the Squadron, their main taks being training on various Helicopter systems. Later on the trip the team were given a guided tour of the high tech training facilities and simulators.

After the tour the HQ team were flown by Chinook directly back to Sandhurst the flight only taking 15 minutes.

28 Squadron’s Chinook helicopters  have a demi-Pegasus painted onto the helicopter’s tail rotor pylon together with the Gurkha Flash of 48 Gurkha Infantry Brigade.

The Kukri Flash commemorates 28 Squadron’s former forty year association with the Gurkhas which ended in 1994.

The Brigade asked the Squadron to wear the Flash to remember its connection with the Gurkhas. 

28rafThis trip was a fantastic experience and we look forward to developing our relationship with the Squadron further in the future. But how can we match the experience they gave us!

Band, Pipes and Drums at Shorncliffe

Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas visit the Band, Pipes and Drums at Shorncliffe

Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas (Colonel J Robinson) visited the Brigade Band and the Pipes & Drums from across the Brigade during their concentration programme held in Sir John Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe, Kent.

This concentration allows the Brigade to bring the pipes and drums up to speed in time for the major events during Brigade week this year the first week in July. These events will include a Sounding Retreat at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and then the Brigade Bhela in Aldershot.

bandvisit7Whilst the Colonel was visiting he took the opportunity to present the Long Service Good Conduct medals to several worthy recipients.

 

hockey110 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment become the British Army Army Hockey Champions on 17th May 2017. The final was played in Aldershot against the Army HQ team. After full time the score was level at 2-2 with 10 QOGLR winning a penalty final (flicks) 3-0.

A sport not normally associated with Gurkhas has been tackled head on. With some superb coaching and leadership from Staff Sergeant Harka, Sergeant Ball, Corporal Hillier and Corporal Dibendra and with the courage and tenacity of every team member to learn and and give it their all this incredible group of soldiers have secured an historic victory, they are the 2017 British Army Hockey Champions.

hocket-3The British Army Champions trophy was presented by Maj Gen Nanson CBE the Chairman of Army Hockey and currently the Commandant of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

summit-success

On Monday 15th May 2017 members of the Gurkha Everest Expedition reached the top of Everest, becoming the first to scale the world’s tallest peak this year. The 14 summiteers included three Gurkha soldiers. “They made it to the summit at 1:15 pm,” said Gyanendra Shrestha, a Tourism Ministry official. This is the first time that serving Gurkha soldiers have reached the summit. 

Then on Tuesday morning ten more of the Gurkha Everest team made it to the top of the world. This is a fantastic achievement for the Brigade and the British Army.

Mountaineering officials had said; “As the weather forecast stated high winds, it was not certain when Everest aspirants would make their summit bids.  On the 10th May, the so-called Icefall Doctors, a dedicated team of local climbers who prepare the route up Everest by fixing ropes, had attempted to reach the top, however, they were forced to return due to high winds and heavy snowfall above what is called the ‘balcony’ (8,400 metres).  The high-altitude Nepali mountain workers had then decided to make their summit bids after 17th May

satphone1However, the Gurkha Everest Expedition did not wait. “The Gurkha team assessed the weather themselves. They decided to mount the summit bid considering the weather window, a period of time when weather conditions can be expected to be suitable for them to climb,” said Shiva Raj Thapa, managing director of Summit Nepal Trekking that is handling the Gurkha Everest Expedition. 

Deputy expedition leader Major Andrew Todd MBE said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the Brigade of Gurkhas, after our attempt in 2015 was called off due to the avalanches from the earthquake and our team then turned to assist the humanitarian aid that was required in the area. We are ecstatic about this success. It is another example of how the British Army strives to achieve excellence. We are delighted to have worked with the Sherpa to fix the ropes to the summit and to be the first team to summit this year — a great collaboration between Nepalis, working together to get the job done. We now hope for a safe descent to Base Camp over the next 24 hours or so.”

The team will now make their way down the mountain to the relative safety of Basecamp, regroup and prepare to return to Kathmandu and home to the UK.

We will update our dedicated page for the Gurkha Everest team as the full story unfolds.

A quite incredible 24 hours for 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment’s Combat Shooting Team at the Force Troops Command (FTC) Operational Shooting Competition (OSC).

Months and months of dedication, preparation, hard work has paid off. Against some superb competition from across 8 Corps’ of the British Army competing in the FTC OSC – we believe the biggest military shooting competition in the world including 700 competitors.

The Commander of the Regiment said; “I cannot begin to describe how proud we all are of this Team whose conduct and spirit has been nothing short of exceptional and at all times delivered with the pride and humility that defines us as a Regiment. Next stop is the 3rd (UK) Armoured Division Championship in a few weeks time.”

You can keep up to speed with the activities of the Regiment on their Facebook page.

Behind the scenes with the Queen’s Own Orderly Officers.

(Produced by British Forces Broadcasting Service part of SSVC)

Their job is to escort Her Majesty and stand guard as she awards thousands of honours during the year.

Captain Lalit and Captain Ganesh have spent the past 12 months as the only two Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officers in the country.

Find out more on Forces Net

picture-2The team have arrived safely in Anchorage after their flight in. Anchorage is the largest city Alaska and home to half of the state’s 750,000 strong population. The team are taking a day here to buy some final supplies and sort out their last bits of kit prior to deployment. 
 
We then move 120km North to Talkeetna, a tiny town on the outskirts of the Denali National Park and Preserve. Once we’ve received our registration brief from the rangers of the National Park Service, we’ll weigh our kit in and prepare for the flight out the following morning. 
 
For the insertion itself the expedition has chartered two ski-equipped light aircraft to carry us on to Base Camp on the SE Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, where we begin our climb. We will then spend a day rehearsing the mountain skills we learned over the previous four months, ready for the challenge ahead.
 
The first few days will see the team traverse the glacier to reach the base of the Western Buttress and from there we will begin the ascent. The fastest the expedition can take is 14 days, allowing for acclimatization to the altitude as we move up the mountain.
 
Read the overview of the Exercise
 
 

obithero_0Colonel Jimmy Evans, who has died aged 94, was a gallant soldier, an astute businessman and a lifelong friend of Nepal and the Gurkhas.

In November 1943, Evans was serving as Signals and Intelligence Officer with the 1st Bn 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1/4 PWO GR), in the Chin Hills, south-west of Imphal. He was ordered to lead his platoon in a battalion probing attack on a feature called Pimpi about seven miles away. There was a Japanese outpost on the hill, the enemy were in deep bunkers and it was Evans’s first action.

After a night march along the ridge leading to Pimpi, there was a halt in the chilly darkness until first light. Two companies then advanced uphill. Evans was following with Tactical HQ when, suddenly, there was a burst of machine-gun fire.

Evans had emerged into open ground and was checking on field telephone wires when a group of wounded men came streaming back past him covered in blood. Just ahead of him, lying on the ground staring at the sky, was the Forward Observation Officer. He was dead. “It seemed unreal,” Evans said later.

One of the company commanders came limping back dragging a foot and said hoarsely that the “B” Company commander had also been hit. “You had better be ready to take over,” he shouted.

Evans could see men pinned down by a fence of coiled barbed wire. Whenever they moved there was a burst of machine-gun fire from the hilltop. He then saw a group of young soldiers on the left starting to run back towards him. “What’s happening?” he yelled.

One of them replied that he had heard the word to withdraw. Evans could see no NCOs and sensed that something was wrong. He shouted to them to stand their ground and loosed off a whole magazine of his sten gun in the direction of the bunkers.

The noise halted the men who turned around and, with Evans in the lead, they began to crawl under the wire. The Japanese could not depress their machine gun any further or they would have wiped out the attackers but, cunningly, they had hung tin cans on the wire and every time the men moved there was a burst of fire inches over their heads.

Evans got through the wire but, when he looked around, he saw that he was on his own. The riflemen were still stuck underneath. Very gingerly, he eased backwards, but his water bottle caught on the lowest strand of the wire and was rattling the tins. He did not dare raise his hands to free it, but straining with all his strength, it came clear.

Although he was wounded and with casualties mounting, he then assumed command of two rifle companies. By evening, the operation was called off. Evans was recommended for an Immediate MC. The citation paid tribute to his “exceptional courage, leadership and resource”.

James Morgan Evans was born on 7th October 1922 at Ambleston, Pembrokeshire, where his father was the vicar. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, Sussex, and then applied for a commission in the Indian Army.

He attended Officer Training School at Bangalore, India, learnt Urdu and was commissioned in October 1942 into 4 PWO GR. After a spell at the Regimental Centre, Bakloh, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where he learned Gurkali, he joined his Regiment’s 1st Bn, part of the 17th Indian Infantry Division.

In 1944, at the height of a battle near Imphal, Evans was in a fight with a Japanese infantryman when his revolver ran out of ammunition. He hurled a grenade at the man but took a rifle bullet in return and was seriously wounded. He always maintained that this probably saved his life because the casualties at that time were so high that he might well not have survived.

After Independence in 1947, 4 GR stayed with the new Indian Army so Evans transferred to the British Army. In 1950 he was posted to 6 GR and, and a year later, joined 10 GR and served in Malaya during the Emergency, gaining a Mention in Despatches.

From 1956 he held several regimental and Intelligence staff appointments before joining the British Army Staff in Washington in 1961. While he was there, he was seconded to the US Army Defense Intelligence Agency. He acted as Liaison Officer during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 and dispatched to London the telltale photographs of Soviet missile deliveries.

After an appointment in Intelligence at HQ British Forces, Borneo, he was posted as Military Attaché to Damascus during the Arab-Israeli Six Day War. From 1968 to 1970 he was British Defence Attaché, Beirut. It was his final posting before retiring from the Army. He subsequently set up an export company in London which he managed for 30 years.

He was a stalwart supporter of the Britain Nepal Society and was appointed chairman in 1987 and vice president in 1993. In 1994 he established the Britain Nepal Chamber of Commerce, becoming its founder chairman and, later, president. In 1998, his work was recognised by an award from the King of Nepal. In 1976 he brought his business acumen to the task of establishing the Gurkha Museum at Winchester and was a trustee for 35 years.

From 1989 he lived in Hampshire and enjoyed walking, gardening, village life and watching the seasons change. In the 1990s he joined the Burma Campaign Fellowship Group whose aim was reconciliation between previous enemies.

He had a friendly discussion with two Japanese veterans in London. “It interested me,” he said afterwards, “to meet these fellows who had been bitten by the same mosquitoes as bit me.”

Jimmy Evans married, in 1959, Jenifer Snow, who proved a tower of strength and support in all her husband’s undertakings. She survives him with their three daughters and a son.

Colonel Jimmy Evans, born October 7 1922, died March 26 2017

Article taken from the Daily Telegraph Obituaries 8th May 2017 

picture-2Members of 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles are to undertake Exercise GURKHA MALAMUTE from 8 May – 5 June.  This exercise is a summit bid to reach the top of Denali.  

Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above sea level. With a topographic prominence of 20,156 feet (6,144 m) and a topographic isolation of 4,629 miles (7,450 km).

Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The team made up from members of 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles will be led by Lieutentant Oscar Goldfinger and the remainder made up from a number of Rifleman to Lance Corporal level only from within 2 RGR. The team will fly from London to Anchorage and then move by road to Talkeetna/ They will insert to the mountain area via a ski-equipped Twin Otter Aircraft directly on to the Kahlitna Glacier.

 

picture-5 picture-4

 

Keep an eye on this website and our social media as we hope to bring you updates from the team. 

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