On the evening of the 28th November the Gurkha Everest team who successfully placed 13 Serving Gurkhas on the summit of Mount Everest in May 2017 gathered for a talk and thank you event at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
After initial drinks in the Ante room the guests moved to the main lecture theatre where Colonel James Robinson, Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas opened the evening thanking all those who were in attendance for the support given to the project and how proud the Gurkha community is of this achievement. He finished by reading a letter from the Royal Patron of the expedition, HRH The Prince of Wales, to the team congratulating them on their success.
The Chairman of the Expedition, Brigadier Ian Rigden OBE spoke and stated what a fantastic achievement it was and he thanked key personnel involved in the planning over 6 years for their dedication to the tasks in making the summit bid even possible.
It was then over to the expedition team. Major Andrew Todd MBE described the expedition and its technical demands in detail before handing over to other team members for more personal stories.
Each speaker was clearly proud of their success and stated how team work had played a major part during the build up, through training around Wales, Scotland and then Europe. Then once on the mountain itself the team were strong, capable and worked together to reach the summit.
Before the evening closed a Gurkha Veteran and double amputee, Hari Budha Magar spoke about his own quest to attempt to summit Mount Everest in 2018. In 2010 Hari lost both of his legs above the knee and sustained multiple injuries from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
The evening was closed by Lieutenant General Nick Pope CBE, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas and President of the expedition, who again stated he was immensely proud of the achievement and thanked all those involved and praised the team for such a fantastic effort in achieving the goal.
You can find our more about how the team reached the top of the world on this webpage.
On the 16th November 270 Gurkha Trainees (Intake 17) passed out of the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. A parade was held with the Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster TD VR MP inspecting the parade and taking the salute.
Time does not stand still for very long for these young Gurkhas as they were soon on their way to their allocated units.
Each unit makes them feel welcome from day one and they are all met by senior members and other members of the units, no matter what time of day.
Depending on their trade requirements they will undertake some short initial training with their units and some become key members adding value and skills required by the British Army on operations, tasks, and training around the world.
Over the period 17th to 20th November, Lieutenant General Nick Pope CBE, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, along with Colonel James Robinson, Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, visited Singapore and Brunei.
On 17th November in Singapore he visited the British High Commissioner at his Residence and then moved to the High Commission to receive briefs on the British Army’s involvement in the Pacific region. The afternoon was spent with the Gurkha Contingent Singapore Police where he received a briefing on roles, structures and conditions of service for the Gurkhas in the Gurkha Contingent (GC). His visit included seeing a number of demonstrations highlighting the GC’s developing capability. A tour of the camp was followed by a wash-up in the Mess with the GC’s officers.
On Saturday 18th November he flew to Brunei and stayed with the British High Commissioner who held a dinner attended by Royal Brunei Armed Forces officers and British Army staff.
On Sunday morning he flew to the Labi Jungle where he was able to see the final attack of the 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles Junior Leaders’ Cadre. Back at Tuker Lines in Seria he received a Guard of Honour and was then given a comprehensive brief on British Forces Brunei. After basketball with the HQ staff and Brunei Signal Troop he attended a curry supper in the Garrison Officers’ Mess and then gave an update to the Garrison officers on issues that Army HQ in the UK is currently dealing with.
On Monday 20th November he visited the UK Loan Service personnel to present some Long Service and Good Conduct (LS&GC) medals before moving to the Bruneian Junior Staff Course where he gave a talk on leadership. After lunch he, with Colonel BG and the High Commissioner to Brunei, His Excellency Richard Lindsay, had an audience with His Majesty The Sultan followed by an office call with the Commander of the Royal Bruneian Armed Forces before flying back to UK.
On 12th December one Gurkha Officer and One Disabled Veteran (Stepped on an IED in Afghanistan) will row across the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Challenge.
You can donate here.
On 11 November 2017, some sixty Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) supporters and serving and retired members of the Gurkha Brigade Association joined forces to hold a service at the Gurkha Chautara at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Our Chautara was formally opened in 2014, but this is the first time we have gathered there on Remembrance Day. We first watched the formal service at the main Armed Forces Memorial and the parade, before moving to our Chautara for a short but moving service and the laying of wreathes from all our Regiments and the GWT.
Among the crowd we were honoured to see the family of Colonel Fairy Gopsill, the inspiration behind our memorial, as well as many old friends.
This event was the brainchild of Major Rob Cross QGE. Rob, who designed the Chautara, is also the GWT representative for the area and we hope can be persuaded to run the event on an annual basis. It deserves your support.
Lieutenant Scott Sears from the First Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles is attempting to break the record for the youngest person ever to reach the South Pole completely alone, unassisted and unsupported in an effort to raise £25,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
The 1100km journey from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole is the equivalent of walking from London to the Czech Republic…it’s just a bit colder…and windier…and there are crevasses to fall into…and you have to drag all your food and shelter with you…but otherwise it’s basically the same.
You can track Scotts Progress.