16th November marked the completion of nine months training for trainee Gurkhas at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick.
Mark Lancaster MP thanked all the families and friends who made the journey to be at this special occasion; many of whom had travelled long distances to be there. He went on to say that both the now trained Gurkhas and staff should all be proud of what they had achieved and that the Brigade of Gurkhas continues to add value to the British Army on multiple tasks around the world. He stre. ssed the strong relationship between the UK and Nepal was now over 200 years old and continued to grow stronger and both countries had a lot to offer each other.
The parade was supported by the Band and Pipes and Drums of the Brigade of Gurkhas. A small number of the trainees are selected each year to join the band the pipers and drummers come from across the Brigade.
After the parade the parade and guests gathered in the training lines to meet with family members and other guests and watch some demonstrations including the Kukuri Knife dance, Taekwondo and cultural dances.
Lunch was then taken in the Gurkha Company Dinning hall by all parties with the principal guests on a top table.
From this year onward, Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support (GSPS) has created a new tradition of recognising and awarding the Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support Company (GSPS) Soldier of the Year based on their outstanding performance and contribution towards the Company and the wider Brigade.
We are delighted to announce that Lance Corporal Biraj Thapa is the winner of the GSPS Soldier of the Year 2017 Award.
Lance Corporal Biraj (recently promoted) has shown excellence in every aspect of his role and responsibilities, committed and focused in his work, sports, in barracks routine, exercises, and additional duties above his rank.
Colonel GSPS, Officer Commanding and all members of the GSPS family extend their heartiest congratulations to Lance Corporal Biraj Thapa.
On Tuesday 14th November 2017, Her Majesty The Queen presented Major Prembahadur Gurung RGR and Captain (Retd) Gaubahadur Gurung with MBE’s at an Investiture at Buckingham Palace.
Major Prem was awarded an MBE for his outstanding tenure as Gurkha Major 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles.
During a singularly demanding period that included attending to the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes in Nepal, community outreach, compulsory soldier redundancies, public duties and preparing for operations, his exceptional commitment to the well-being of the Gurkhas and their families and his massive contribution to community relations were noted and recognised.
Captain Gaubahadur Gurung served a long and distinguished career in 2 Gurkha Rifles and as Assistant Director of Music before becoming a civil servant working for the Ministry of Defence.
For his support of Service Personnel in Essex he was awarded an MBE.
Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas was delighted to be able to attend this wonderful day and catch up both with Major Prem and also his old friend Captain Gaubahadur.
Receiving his Knighthood on the same day was Sir Mo Farah, so the team took the opportunity for a photograph with a global sports star.
Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Colonel Robinson welcomed Colonel Kumar Babu Thapa and provided him with an overview of the Brigade of Gurkhas and emphasised on the need to continue to strengthen the relationship between the this headquarters and the Embassy in London.
Nepal established diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom in 1816. Treaty of Friendship between Great Britain and Nepal was signed in 1923 which further formalised relations between the two countries. Ever since the establishment of their diplomatic relations, friendship, mutual understanding, cordiality, cooperation and respect for each other’s national interests and aspirations have characterized relationship between the two countries.
The United Kingdom is also the first country in the world with which Nepal had established diplomatic relations. The United Kingdom is the first country in the world which established its Embassy in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. This is the country where Nepal had established its first diplomatic mission (Legation). Nepal had established its legation in London in 1934, which was the first Nepalese diplomatic mission established at the foreign country. It was elevated to the Ambassador level in 1947 A.D.
See the Embassy website for more details.
Regional Selection East for the Brigade of Gurkhas is currently in full swing. With the West phase (held in Pokhara) completed in August, the East selection is taking place in Dharan utilising the small MOD compound which was part of the old Gurkha Cantonment.
Each day groups of potential recruits come from particular districts in turn, arriving early in the morning. Once all have attended they are drawn in an Order of Merit and the top group will join the top group from the west at Central Selection in Pokhara in January 2018 where the highest ranked 270 will be selected for training in the British Army.
Once documentation is checked, a medical assessment takes place before the first test of a 800 metre run.
This is followed by education tests to confirm potential recruits meet the minimum education standards.
Then follow heaves, sit ups, jerry can carry and power bag lifts (the last two being introduced this year). Other checks included colour blindness and eye sight.
The final action is an interview in Nepali and English. The staff for this huge task, which takes place daily over a three week period, are provided by British Gurkhas Nepal and are augmented by officers and soldiers from the serving Brigade of Gurkhas.
A very strong assurance process exists. While tests take place the recording is double checked by a separate member of staff and all records are checked again before finalising. No member of staff is able to effect an outcome on their own. Once the Regional Selection East is complete then results by potential recruit number are placed on the MOD website explaining who is selected for Central Selection.
As part of the assurance process this year Colonel James Robinson, Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, visited 3rd to 5th November. He was accompanied by Brigadier Nick Fitzgerald who, as Director Operations in Army Recruiting, is responsible for recruiting standards was present to ensure the new tests were implemented and carried out fairly.
The MOD website which explains the Gurkha recruiting criteria for joining, tests and process.