Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Happy 6th Birthday – A Message from Colonel Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support

Colonel GSPS, Current Officer Commanding GSPS and future Officer Commanding GSPS cutting cake on 6th GSPS Birthday

Cutting the cake on 6th GSPS Birthday

On a warm Summer’s night at Sir John Moore Barracks, eighty Gurkhas paraded in front of their Colonel Commandant and assembled guests. Immaculate in their Service Dress with medals and shoes shinning, they began the parade as members of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and concluded it as the founding forefathers of the Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support Company (GSPS). 

Six years later, we, the members of the Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support Company, have gone from strength to strength. We have continued to grow in every regard, and within the next couple of years we will have nearly doubled in size. Whilst we may be young in years, we maintain a rich pedigree that has its origins in the lush hills of Darjeeling some two hundred years ago.

Our current serving Babuji family has a similar pedigree and tapestry of experience ranging from service with  the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the wider Brigade Units. It is a tapestry that our newest members – such as Private Santakumar Gurung – quickly understands and values, and is one of our core strengths. 

Colonel GSPS and Memsaheb

Colonel GSPS and Memsaheb

We also draw immense strength from our ethos – our Gurkha first mentality, our sense of family, our relentless pursuit of excellence, and our drive to achieve our full potential.

Throughout my travels, I have been struck by the sheer pride we have in our capbadge, and the unanimous pride and respect those we serve, have for us. We have a winning team mentality, and the numbers of promotions we have had so far this year, are testament to our professionalism and leadership. I have also been struck by the amazing support we have from our families and the affinity our forefathers still have with the GSPS, and I would like to publicly re-state my thanks to our wider GSPS family. col-gsps-message_001

To close I am immensely proud and humbled to be Colonel GSPS, and Memsaheb and I take this opportunity to wish our GSPS family a very sincere and heartfelt Happy 6th Birthday. Enjoy the celebrations and we look forward to seeing you and your families at the Brigade Bhela. 

The Brigade of Gurkhas once again achieved great success at Army Operational Shooting competition (AOSC) 2017.

The Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC), is the British Army’s premier shooting competition. Part of the Central Skill at Arms Meeting (CENTSAAM), it takes place at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association (NRA) at Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Surrey. It also uses the Ministry of Defence (MOD) ranges nearby at Ash and Pirbright. 

Gurkha Success for 2017 included:

  • Metheun Cup: RGR (Royal Gurkha Rifles)
  • Infantry Champion: RGR

Individual Match Winners:

  • The Bullock Trophy and Large Khukri Presentation: Corporal Ashok Thapa, 1 RGR
  • The Advanced Fleeting Encounter: Corporal Ashok Thapa, 1 RGR
  • The Queen’s Medal Cup: Corporal Ashok Thapa, 1 RGR
  • The Pistol CQM (young soldier): Rifleman Anuch Gurung, 1 RGR
  • The Urban Contact (young soldier): Rifleman Anuch Gurung, 1 RGR
  • The Overall Tyro and Small Khukri Presentation (New Firer Champion): Rifleman Anuch Gurung, 1 RGR
  • The Advance to Contact (New Firer): Rifleman Pawan Bucha Magar, 1 RGR
  • Moving Target: Lance Corporal Subarna Gurung, 2 RGR
  • Pistol Cup: Corporal Tuljung Gurung MC, Infantry Battle School
  • Short Rural Contact Assessment (Malta Cup Class B: Sapper Bibek Chhetri, Queen’s Gurkha Engineers
  • International Machine Gun Cup: Signalman Suraj Ale, BACST
  • Short Rural Contact Assessment (Association Cup): Corporal Shiva Gurung, 11 Signal Regiment

Team Match Winners:

  • Fire Team Close Combat Assessment: 1 RGR
  • Team Snap (Britainia Trophy): 1 RGR
  • The Section Advance to Contact: 1 RGR
  • The Advance Fleeting: 1 RGR
  • The Urban Contact: 1 RGR
  • The Short Rural Contact: 1 RGR
  • The Attack and Reorg: 1 RGR
  • The Advance to Contact (Para Cup): 1 RGR
  • The Defence Assessment: 1 RGR
  • Team Machine Gun: 1 RGR
  • Pistol CQM: 1 RGR

Well done to all that took part in this fantastic event.

hqbg_salisbury_003On 15th June 2017, 13 members from Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas visited Salisbury Cathedral for a team building event. Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England, and one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. Over 750 years old, Salisbury Cathedral is located in Salisbury Wiltshire. It is a truly remarkable building, a testimony to the faith and practical skills of the medieval craftsmen who built it, but it is much more than a historical monument.

We learned much from the visit and interesting facts about the Cathedral. These facts included; the Cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom, at 404 feet (123m). It contains the world’s oldest working clock (from AD 1386) and has the best surviving of the four original copies of Manga Carta.  The Magna Carta (Latin for “Great Charter”) is one of the most celebrated documents in English history. At the time it was the solution to a political crisis in Medieval England but its importance has endured as it has become recognised as a cornerstone of liberty influencing much of the civilized world. 

hqbg_salisbury_006The visit to the Cathedral was followed by something completely different but did involve the team gaining some height. We moved the Army Training Regiment at Winchester and got to tackle their high ropes facility.

It was definitely a nerve wracking experience, as the team had to go through menacing rows of obstacles to complete the activity.

A good team cohesion and communication is vital in successfully executing any such activity, which undoubtedly was seen in our attempt at the high ropes. 

The team building day was very productive and all the staff got involved and enjoyed the activities. We had such a great opportunity to explore  a part of  the ancient history of England. We also had chance to work as a team outside the usual office environment.

The Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas staff are now looking forward to the next team building day and the experiences that will bring.

Last week the Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, (Colonel James Robinson) visited 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) in Brunei. This would be his last visit to 1 RGR in Brunei as they will shortly swap with 2 RGR in Shorncliffe as part of the Arms Plot move.

Whilst there he took the opportunity to be interviewed by the staff at BFBS Brunei. 

The interview is in Nepali but the highlights are:

  • He interviewed selected Warrant Officers for commissioning,
  • He visited the Officers Mess, Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess and the Corporals Mess
  • He reinforced the importance of the role 1 RGR had taken in Brunei over the last few years
  • He stated they have been a great support to the 3rd Battalion Royal Brunei Force
  • He congratulated them on their success in various competitions including; Army Volleyball, Trail Walker and shooting competitions at Bisley
  • He stated that 1 RGR is one of the best jungle warfare battalions in the British Army
  • He stated they had performed extremely well on many overseas exercises in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Kenya
  • He talked about the growth plans for the Brigade
  • He discussed future female recruiting in to the Brigade

 

 

The Brigade of Gurkhas are delighted to be able to congratulate the following on their inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017.

APPOINTMENTS TO AND PROMOTIONS IN THE MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

As Officers (OBE)

Lieutenant Colonel (now Acting Colonel) Richard Walker, formally CO 36 Engineer Regiment & Commandant Queen’s Gurkha Engineers

col-rg-walker-2Lieutenant Colonel Richard Walker served as Commander 36 Engineer Regiment and Commandant Queen’s Gurkha Engineers over a hectic period which saw the Regiment deploy on a number of operations around the world.  Key to this was spearheading Operation MARMAT, the British

Army’s response to the devastating Nepalese Earthquakes of 2015.  Over an 18 month period almost 300 members of the British Army (the majority of whom were Queen’s Gurkha Engineers) deployed to Nepal to assist in the rebuilding effort.  Simultaneously 36 Engr Regt played a significant role in supporting Operation TOSCA 24 and the political negotiations between the United Nations, the Republic of Cyprus, and Turkey.  Additionally, personnel deployed on Exercise ASKARI STORM, continued to support Lead Commando Group activities, and provided personnel to various UK resilience operations.  Beyond this, Colonel Walker led the re-roling to a Force Support Engineer Regiment and delivered support to Public Duties and the Gurkha 200 celebrations,

As Members (MBE) 

Major Prembahadur Gurung, formally Gurkha Major 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles 

maj-prem-gurung3Major Prembahadur Gurung served as Gurkha Major of Second Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles during a demanding two year period that has included attending to the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes in Nepal, community outreach, compulsory soldier redundancies, public duties and preparing for operations. 

He consistently improved the lives of others while enhancing the reputation of the Army and the sheer volume of his work has been inspiring.  He worked tirelessly to support those men and their families selected for redundancy as a result of changes to Gurkha Terms and Conditions and cuts to manpower as they adjusted to unwelcome news.  At the same time, he was also the face of the Battalion in the local community as Gurkha families began to settle in the area.  He left no stone unturned and reached out across the south of England to local leaders and community councils to ensure Gurkha families were successfully integrated into the communities they settled in and in doing so he created bonds of friendship and trust that have paid significant dividends.  Inundated with offers of support from the communities he had built such strong links with following the devastating earthquakes of 2015, he coordinated the community reaction superbly, doing so with customary humility and grace whilst also playing a critical role in supporting affected soldiers and families.

Away from his exceptional efforts caring for others, Major Prem has also been crucial in the delivery of operational output.  He was ever present as the Battalion prepared for; flood-relief, support to the Commonwealth Games, training teams in Mali, disaster relief in Nepal and a deployment to Afghanistan and instrumental in their successful delivery, often quietly working in the background to solve issues others could not.  He has also been the face of the Battalion, most notably during events to mark 200 years of Gurkha service to the Crown.  From planning and hosting Royal visits to delivering Public Duties he has been consistently immaculate.

AWARDED A COMMENDATION BY THE CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF

Captain Ganesh Rai, currently Training Officer, Gurkha Company Catterick

capt-ganesh-rai-2Appointed as Training Officer, Gurkha Company Catterick in August 2014, Captain Ganesh was a key figure in the Company during the earthquakes which hit Nepal in 2015.  In the immediate aftermath Captain Ganesh was central in supporting the staff and recruits of Gurkha Company. As the sole enduring Officer in the Company for 2015, Captain Ganesh took on the responsibility to care for, and guide the Company through the most uncertain period in Nepalese history. He provided a level of leadership, understanding and compassion far in excess of the norm.  He was also the driving force behind the fund raising which then took place – raising over £25,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust Earthquake appeal. 

Against this he was also coping with the increase in recruit numbers which, from 2014 – 2015 almost doubled and as the training progressed Captain Ganesh remained at the forefront of training delivery, not content to maintain the status quo, he championed any number of training initiatives all of which have had a significant impact on the quality of training being delivered which meant that at their Pass out Parade the recruits were able to delight in results far in excess of their British counterparts.

For his excellent work, dedication to duty and personal sacrifice Captain Ganesh Rai is awarded a CGS Commendation.

 

World Pace Sticking Championship

‘Get On Parade’:

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A team of Gurkhas took part in the World Pace Sticking Championship representing the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15th June 2017 which was also held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

 

Altogether, there were 22 teams which included 15 of the best British Army teams. 

One of teams was fielded solely by Gurkhas:

  • Warrant Officer Class 2 Suresh
  • Colour Sergeant Ram
  • Colour Sergeant Bikas

The team managed to come 9th overall and the 4th British Army team by the end of event.

The challenge for the team was the fact the drill is done at standard pace of 120 beats per minute with a 30-inch step, Gurkhas march at at 140 beats per minute. 

But the team took on the challenge and performed very well.

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