ARMY INTER-UNIT MEN AND WOMEN VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018
The Army Inter-Unit men and women volleyball championships 2018 took place at the Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre on Thursday 19th April 2018.
There were three competitions; Regular units men, Ladies and Army Reserve Units. The competition was run over a knock out system. To reach the Inter-Units final teams had already secured their places by competing in area competitions around the UK except for 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles who were reigning champions.
Then the Mens final played out between the reigning champions 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers. Early both these teams had overcome other Gurkha teams from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles who had arrived only yesterday from Brunei to take part. Clearly Gurkhas are very good at volleyball.
The Mens final was had tough battle for both sides with some excellent play, skills and endurance. In the end the reigning champions 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles managed to find some space and won the match in two sets securing their crown once again as the best Unit volleyball team in the British Army.
Every British Army Gurkha soldier will be very familiar with the fearsome ‘Doko’ – a gruelling physical challenge carrying 25kg of sand uphill for five miles in the Himalayas.
See the video on this link.
One of the most renowned British Officers in the history of the Brigade of Gurkhas has told how only luck has saved him from death over the years – including the night he escaped from an enemy base decked with human skulls.
Lieutenant Colonel John Cross OBE, otherwise known as JP Cross, spoke in a rare public interview at the age of 94, telling of his service with Gurkha units for almost 40 years, during which time he has stared down death many times.
16 members of Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support recently took part in a Adventure Training package (AT) in Cyprus.
This trip to Cyprus also included a cultural visit to the Cyprus Archaeological Museum.
Republic of Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located to the south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt and southeast of Greece.
The visit to the Cyprus Archaeological Museum gave the individuals an opportunity to have a brief insight into the culture and the heritage of Cyprus.
The prehistoric Cyprus is believed to be inhibited by humans since the “Paleolithic period” (known as the Stone Age) who coexisted with various dwarf animal species such as dwarf elephants and the pygmy hippos.
Pottery is seen as an important part of Cypriots heritage and dates back to Neolithic period (5th Millennium Before Christ) but the earliest known human activity on the island dates to around 10th Millennium Before Christ (BC).
The invasion of Cyprus in the most recent history by the Turkish Army and the occupation since 1974 of the northern part of Cyprus caused a severe damage to its cultural heritage and property.
The 14 display galleries of the original art pieces from the 8th Millennium BC to the end of antiquity showcase the material cultural heritage of Cyprus such as the pottery, jewellery, sculptures, coins, bronze etc covering all periods of Cypriots culture from Neolithic period through to the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Graeco-Roman period. The display in each hall follow a chronological and a thematical succession starting from Neolithic period and ending with the Roman period.
The 9th Gorkha Rifles annual reunion was held at the Gurkha Museum on Saturday, 21st April 2018.
9 Gorkha Rifles is a Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army comprising Gurkha soldiers of Nepalese origin. The Regiment was initially formed by the British in 1817, and was one of the Gurkha regiments transferred to the Indian Army after independence as part of the tripartite agreement in 1947.
This Gorkha regiment mainly recruits soldiers who come from the Chhetri (Kshatriya) and Thakuri clans of Nepal. Domiciled Indian Gorkhas are also taken, and they form about 20 percent of the regiment’s total strength.
The Principal guest was Brigadier Bruce Jackman OBE MC from the Sirmoor Rifles Association.
He talked about the connection between the 2nd Sirmoor Rifles (2 Gurkha Rifles) and the 9th Gorkha Rilfes.
The 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army before being transferred to the British Army on India’s independence in 1947. The 4th Battalion joined the Indian Army as the 5th Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles (Sirmoor Rifles), where it exists to this day.
On 29th January 2018, the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas flew to Nepal to provide musical support for various UK Defence Engagement activity. We hear from one of the newest and youngest members of the band about the trip, Musician Jhanak Dhungana who only joined the band at the end of 2017.
The Band led by the Director of Music (DOM), Major Tony Adams and the Assistant Director of Music (ADOM), Captain Basu Dev Gurung were also accompanied by pipers from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles, Pipe Major Hem Karna Rai and Corporal Hemraj Rai, Pipe Major Saroj Gurung and Corporal Raman Rai from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.
The band has visited Nepal many times in the past but being the newest member of the band (Intake 2017) it was for me and my three numbaries our first visit since joining the British Army and leaving Nepal.
After checking in all our instruments, uniforms and luggage eventually we were ready to board the plane. After a 13 hour of flight we arrived at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal. After collecting all our instruments and luggage, we went to the British Gurkha Kathmandu camp, where we stayed throughout our tour.
From 1st February we were back with our musical hats on. It was nearly a week since the musicians had seen their instruments therefore we needed to practice to bring our musical standards back to the required levels expected of a British Army military band.
Daily from 3rd to 6th February, we travelled to Singh Darbar, the Nepalese Army Officers Club and Tudikhel for musical and marching rehearsals with the Nepalese Army Band.
On 7th February, we traveled to British Gurkha Pokhara for the Attestation parade for new Gurkha recruits of Intake 2018. Next morning, we gave those new recruits an experience of marching to a bass drum beat around the camp.
The 9th February was a huge day for Intake 2018. There were hundreds of family members who came to see their sons at the Attestation parade before they bid goodbye to them as they make their journey to the UK to start their basic training. It was like a flash back for me and my numbaries who were in the same position just a year ago. It was good to be back there again. In the evening our band performed a sounding of retreat for Intake 2018, for staff and guests of the Brigade of Gurkhas Pokhara.
On the 11th and 13th February, the band was engaged in the Shivaratri program at Tudikhel collaborating with the Nepalese Army Band and an Indian Army Band. This was a celebration for the Nepalese Army which they celebrate every year in style where hundreds of personnel participate with many VIPs present, including the President and Prime Minister of Nepal. It was a pleasure to see our Director of Music and Assistant Director of Music presented with a gift from Nepal’s first female President Mrs Bidhya Devi Vandari on behalf of Nepal.
On 16th February, we travelled to a British school to give a short musical display for the students and staff. We could see our young audience were very pleased with our slick display and made them smile with our cornet section’s funny act in “The Huntsman”. We let our young audience participate with the band in our Brigade march “Yo Nepali”.
On the evening of 21st February, the band performed a “Sounding of Retreat” at the British Embassy, Nepal. The sleek display by the band and flawless act of our Khukuri dancers amazed the audience from start to finish. The Ambassador himself came personally to express his gratitude to all the members of the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
On 22nd of February, our brass quintet did the final engagement of the tour at the Officer’s Mess, Kathmandu.
Finally after biding a farewell to family and friends we flew back to the UK on 5th March 2018.