Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis – obituary

hunt-davisBrigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, who has died aged 79, he served as Private Secretary to the Duke of Edinburgh between 1993 and 2010. He was commissioned into 6th QEO Gurkha Rifles in 1962, saw active service in Borneo and Malaya between 1964 and 1966, was a student with Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College between 1969 and 1970, and rose to become Commander of the British Gurkhas, Nepal, between 1985 and 1987.

He greatly admired the Gurkhas. “They are natural soldiers,” he said. “If you are from a hill farm in Nepal and you survive to adulthood, you are a very, very tough man.”

In 1975, when he was Brigade Major 48 Gurkha Infantry Brigade in Hong Kong, he was telephoned at home one Saturday lunchtime and tasked with receiving some 3,000 Vietnamese refugees by ship the following evening. These were the “boat people”, and by the next day the number had risen to 4,000. He stationed them on a polo ground, and the day afterwards the Gurkhas who had arranged this were duly on parade for the arrival of the Queen and Prince Philip.

From 1976 to 1979 he was Commandant of the 7th Gurkhas in Seria, Brunei, where his calm leadership was greatly appreciated.

While in Nepal he escorted the Queen on a visit to the Gurkhas in February 1986. On that occasion he spent the afternoon with Prince Philip and Brian McGrath. On leaving the Army in 1991, the MoD rang him and asked if he would be interested in a job at the Palace. He was appointed Assistant Private Secretary and took over as Private Secretary in 1993, also serving as Treasurer. During these years he lived at Nottingham Cottage, Kensington Palace, now the home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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The Northern Branch of the 10 Gurkha Rifles (10GR) Regimental Association held their annual celebration of the Regiment’s birthday on 12th May 2018 at the Bridge Community Centre in Catterick, generously assisted by the Officer Commanding of the nearby Gurkha Company, Major Prem Gurung MBE.

Exercising his customary skill and enthusiasm, Major Laxmi Bantawa MBE called up as many ex 10GR and families as he could find from a large area stretching from Doncaster all the way up to the Highlands of Scotland.

Over 40 arrived for noon at the very smart and spacious Community Centre. But before that a team of helpers had been hard at work arranging wall decorations, seating, tables, food and drink.

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We were delighted to meet our special guests from Gurkha Company, Captain Binod Kerung and his wife Dewarki. Major Laxmi gave a speech of welcome and Major John Patchett followed with his history of 10GR, delving back to Madras Native Infantry days, as well as accounts of actions since 1890, when the Gurkha title was first used.

It turned out to be Major Patchett’s 71st birthday and furthermore he had spent exactly half his life to date unmarried before the ‘second half’ of 35 years and 6 months as a family wallah.

He illustrated his talk with A4 prints, including one of him commanding a company at the Sungei Patani POP.  More joy was produced by his birthday drinks and we then remembered in silence all those who had died serving with 10GR from 1890 to 1994.

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Next Captain Binod gave a very interesting talk on how recruits of today compare with their predecessors and what might happen next. By this time we had been joined by Major Prem and three more Officers from Gurkha Company, who came straight from hosting a lunch for the Nepalese Ambassador.

They were very happy to meet some of the ‘Old and Bold’ who included Malaya and Borneo Veterans Captain Kabitman Rai and Corporal Jokbahadur Damai. We were also pleased to meet them and hear how much they enjoyed serving in Yorkshire.

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On then to a group photo and the traditional cake cutting with a kukri, carried out by the senior member present, Corporal Jokbahadur.

A delicious meal followed and the drinks flowed along with the beautiful cake.  We were all happy to have met and joked with colleagues from so long ago, united by our membership of a small, proud group and inspired by the reassurances from Gurkha Company that the highest standards expected with the Brigade of Gurkhas will continue.

hrh_charles_70th_002Members of the Royal Gurkha Rifles, including Colonel Royal Gurkha Rifles (Brigadier Gerald M Strickland, DSO, MBE), attended HRH The Prince of Wales’s 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration at Buckingham Place on Tuesday, 22nd May 2018.

hrh_charles_70th_004The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the event, which was held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

It celebrates the Prince of Wales’ patronages and military affiliations as well as charities supported by the Prince.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also made their first public appearance as a married couple at the event.  The Duke of Sussex has paid tribute to his father, the Prince of Wales, in an affectionate speech in which he teased him about Royal life.

The Duke told a garden party full of charity guests that they may view the Prince’s enthusiastic handwritten letters with joy and perhaps trepidation, ribbing him for celebrating his birthday six months early.

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Dear all Gurkha Brigade Association friends, please find below the link to all online version of Parbate.

This is May’s edition and it covers some events including:

  • Exercise ASKARI STORM
  • Gurkha Wing celebrates Mandalay Day
  • Exercise KANCHA KHUKRI
  • Gurkhas Intake 18 update
  • Infantry Battle School victorious in the UK Midlands Volleyball Championship

The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Prince Harry (L) and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle at The Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England.  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

This weekend will see the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and it has taken the world by storm with media attention from all angles. 

harry-with-bishnu-pun-1Prince Harry as a deep connection to the Brigade of Gurkhas, as a young boy he accompanied his father Prince Charles to Nepal and visited the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Then in 1994 his father became Colonel in Chief of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

 

 

harry2In more modern times Prince harry has trained and served with members of the Brigade in Afghanistan which has led to an even stronger connection to the Gurkhas. 

 

On Saturday the 19th May the world will see the couple tie the knot and the Brigade of Gurkhas will be on hand. We will have 21 members of the Brigade in the street lining party and two Gurkha Officers, both of which have served with Prince Harry will be at the steps of the Chapel for the door opening. So watch all the media coverage and you should see the Gurkhas carrying out their allocated duties with the refinement and professionalism that all Gurkhas bring.

Our two officers involved with the final stage before the couple enter the chapel in Windsor and that have served directly with the Prince are:

  • Major Chandrabahadur Pun RGR  – He served with Prince Harry in Afghanistan and became good friends with him during that time, subsequently meeting him several times on their return to the UK. he is currently Officer Commanding Gurkha Company (Sittang) at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
  • Major Prakash Gurung MVO RGR  – He was Prince Harry’s escort and guide throughout the Prince’s trip to Nepal in 2016 and has on several occasions since then had the chance to meet and talk with the Prince at other events. He is currently Officer Commanding Training Support Company, Specialist Weapons School, Warminster.

This will be a proud day for the Gurkhas involved and we wish the Royal couple well for the future. 

Members of 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles have recently been in Kenya supporting the major Exercises taking place in the area. A total of 35 personnel from B Company, 4 platoon were deployed to Kenya as a force protection team. 
 
Whilst in Kenya the entire platoon took part in a charity run over 30 days to cover the distance between Mount Kenya and Mount Everest a distance of 6,133 km.
 
Lance Corporal Janga Bahadur Rai led this event and managed to raise more than 1,000 pounds for Lairagwan Primary School children in Nanyuki region, Kenya. 
 
 
 This donation along with educational equipment and other gifts were handed over to Kenyan School and pupils before the unit returned to the UK. 
 
All School children and teachers were extremely grateful and pleased when they received the donation from Gurkhas.  

 

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