Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Royal Gurkha Rifles and Chindits 75th Reunion

The Last few serviving Chindits attended a Memorial Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Burton-On-Trent with members from the Modern day 77 Brigade in attendance

On the 9th June 2018 Corporal Tikaraj (Piper) and Lance Corporal(Bugler) of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) visited the National Arboretum to support the annual Chindit Reunion.  2018 marked the 75th Anniversary of the first Chindit operation, Operation LONGCLOTH, carried out by the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade in 1943, under the command of Brig Orde Wingate DSO. 

The Third Battalion, Second Gurkha Rifles, an antecedent Regiment of RGR, were part of 77th Brigade throughout LONGCLOTH.
The Last few serviving Chindits attended a Memorial Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Burton-On-Trent with members from the Modern day 77 Brigade in attendance

 

More than 100 Chindit veterans were present and were delighted to see Gurkhas there, having served alongside them in Burma and grown to admire them – indeed, Ian Niven, Lancashire Fusiliers, 77th Brigade, felt 3/6 Gurkha Rifles saved his life at Pin Hmi Bridge as 77th Brigade fought its way into Mogaung in June 1944 .  

Both Corporal Tikaraj and Lance Corporal Milan were lauded for their excellent  playing throughout the day, and in particular at the Chindit Memorial before the Act of Remembrance.
The Last few serviving Chindits attended a Memorial Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Burton-On-Trent with members from the Modern day 77 Brigade in attendance

 

Photographer: Mr Ian Griffiths, Army Photographer, Infantry Battle School NOTE TO DESKS: MoD release authorised handout images. All images remain crown copyright. Photo credit to read - Mr Ian Griffiths, Army Photographer

Gurkha Wing (Mandalay) (GWM) celebrated the 33rd Brecon Freedom Parade on Sunday 24th June 2018.

The Mayor of Brecon, Councillor Manny Trailor, The Ambassador of Nepal to the UK, His Excellency Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi, Commanding Officer (CO) Infantry Battle School (IBS) Lieutenant Colonel Chandler, Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS), Headquarter Brigade of Gurkhas (HQBG) Major Narendra Kumar Gurung along with many other high-ranking Officials, both military and civilian, were among the chief guests present at the parade to witness yet another historic event.

Photographer: Mr Ian Griffiths, Army Photographer, Infantry Battle School NOTE TO DESKS:  MoD release authorised handout images.  All images remain crown copyright.  Photo credit to read - Mr Ian Griffiths, Army Photographer

Photographer: Mr Ian Griffiths, Army Photographer, Infantry Battle School

The parade saw the soldiers from GWM accompanied by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, exercising their rights as Honorary Citizens of Brecon as they marched through the town.

Major Sachinhang Limbu, Officer Commanding Training Support Division had the honour of being the Parade Commander.

The Mayor of Brecon and The Ambassador of Nepal to the UK gave a warm speeches talking about the long relationship between the UK and Nepal. They also inspected the parade along with CO IBS and DCOS HQBG.

7d6f6206-809b-4c3a-a8b7-c874fbc6718bIt was on 21st November 1985, in recognition of the service to the community, the Town Council of Brecon awarded the Honorary Citizenship of Brecon to the Gurkha Demonstration Company.

Thereafter, the first parade, known as the Brecon Freedom Parade, was held on 3rd May 1986, and the tradition has continued ever since.

Hundreds of people witnessed the parade and enjoyed watching the smart and fast Gurkha drill, a wonderful display by the Band of Brigade of Gurkhas and traditional Nepalese cultural dances in the main high street in Brecon Town.

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The 13th Armed Forces Buddhist Conference has taken place in Hampshire.

The conference provides a chance for Buddhists whether they are serving, veterans or working in the wider defence community to come together for three days.

Buddhism is one of the smaller religions represented in the UK Armed Forces, with only 4,000.

Speaking to Forces News, Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana, the Buddhist Chaplain to the military, said: “This provides an opportunity at a focal point to meet with other Buddhists and like-minded people and to also touch base with their own practice.”

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The conference started with meditation before focusing on breathing and movement exercises like Qi Gong, which is similar to Tai Chi.

Across The MOD the Brigade of Gurkhas has the largest number of serving Hindu and Buddhist faith followers and their welfare and pastoral care is provided by respective Religious Leaders. 

Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas aspires to provide a place of worship in locations where members of Brigade serve in mass.  It has been encouraging to know that the Armed Forces Faith communities across the MOD wish to assist the Brigade to meet the obligations to practice faith and meet the Gurkhas’ cultural distinctiveness. 

It was encouraging to hear that other Military units are providing opportunities to their soldiers, officers and the Religious Leaders to have an input into future development of this area at the Annual Hindu and Buddhist Faith Conference held at Amport House.

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

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

  • British Defence Secretary visits Gurkhas in Brunei 
  • Recruit Intake 18 Pass off the Square
  • GSPS 7th Formation Anniversary
  • Lieutenant General Nick Pope CBE visits Nepal
  • Regional Jungle Warfare Symposium 2018

The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.

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On the 29th July the Nepal Cricket team with take on the Netherlands at the T20 Triangular Cricket Tournament.

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Tickets are available on the Lords Cricket website

bisley-shooting-2018_020The Brigade of Gurkhas again excelled at the Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) known as the Bisley Shooting Competition. This is the biggest shooting competition in the British Army, held annually at the Bisley Camp in Pirbright, Surrey.

Shooting teams take part not only from across the British Army but also a number of International Military Teams participate. This year’s AOSC was held on Thursday 21st June 2018 and Brigade of Gurkhas performed extremely well in the competition, winning almost all prizes. 

The best shot prize is the Queen’s Medal which was won by Corporal Bishal Rai from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles who was carried on a chair in the traditional manner by senior officers including Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas.

The top 100 shooters also received an Army 100 Badge. 72 shooters out of 100 were Gurkhas – a significant number.

The prizes were presented by Lieutenant General N A W Pope CBE Deputy Chief of the General Staff (DCGS) and Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas.

Full list of the winners to follow shortly.

 

gcs-pti-bijoy-rai_001Rifleman Bijoy Rai from 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles, currently serving with Gurkha Company Sittang attended All Arms Physical Training Instructor course held at Army School of Physical Training (ASPT) in Aldershot from 23th April to 15th June 2018.

He was awarded the Top Student with distinction amongst 104 students.

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He also received Corps Sergeant Major’s Coin which is presented to the best disciplined student during the course. He is the first Gurkha soldier to be awarded such a remarkable and prestigious award in AAPTI course. It all came from his hard work, commitment, dedication and striving attitude.

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His achievement will be an inspiration to all members of Brigade of Gurkhas and aspiring PTI’s. His success is a matter of pride for his Battalion and the Brigade.

The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE) was very delighted to host Colonel JG Robinson, Colonel of the Brigade of Gurkhas (Col BG) on Exercise Pulnirman at Wyke Regis Training Area (WRTA), Weymouth, Dorset on Thursday 14th June 2018.

qge_weymouth_18_005This visit was planned to create an opportunity for the Col BG to witness the officers and soldiers from both 69 and 70 Gurkha Field Squadrons, conducting Combat Engineer Training and also understand the current commitments and issues of the Regiment.
 
Col BG was warmly welcomed by the Gurkha Major Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (GM QGE) – Major Purnasing Tamang, Officer Commanding 69 Squadron – Major JWC Walker RE and Warrant Officer Class Two (SSM) Birendra Kambang before receiving an update on the Regiment by the GM QGE and 69 Gurkha Field Squadron update by the second in command 69 Squadron – Captain Sophie Piper and Operations Officer – Captain Govinda Bahadur Rana.
 
qge_weymouth_18_012Exercise Pulnirman was based on the Special to Role (StR) training as a part of Battlecraft Syllabus (BCS).  The training was involved in the construction of 12 Bay Medium Girder Bridge, Air Portable Ferry Bridge, Water Supply, Watermanship and the constructions of Ariel Ropeway (Cable car) based on basic field engineering (Back to Basic). 
 
This exercise was planned by Operation Officer Captain Govinda Bahadur Rana and it has provided an excellent opportunity for officers and soldiers from both QGE Squadrons to hone their Combat Engineers Skills as well as command, leadership and management skills.
 
 
 

ipoh_18_002The first attacks of the Malayan Emergency occurred 70 years ago, on 16 June 1948, when Communist Terrorists killed three rubber planters, one an ex-8 Gurkha Rifles officer.  And so began 12 years of counter-insurgency.  Four Gurkha regiments had joined the British Army the year before, post Indian Independence, and these were quickly deployed to Malaya. 

ipoh_18_009The size of the Brigade grew steadily to over 10,000 and this period also saw the formation of a number of new Gurkha cap badges which continue to this day:  Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE) in 1948, Queen’s Gurkha Signals (QGS) in 1954 and Gurkha Transport Regiment (GTR later becoming QOGLR) in 1958. The Brigade spent 12 years continually on operations, patrolling month after month in the jungles and swamps and lost more than 300 officers and soldiers.

Each year commemorations take place in Ipoh to remember those who died both in the Emergency and also during the 1941 Japanese invasion of Malaya which led to the Fall of Singapore. This year, to mark the 70 years anniversary, Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas (Colonel BG), Colonel James Robinson, joined the British High Commission staff and others at two days of Services.  Also joining him were two pipers from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles based in Brunei. 

The first event took place on 14th  June at the Cenotaph, outside the magnificent Ipoh Railway Station, when a two minute silence was observed and wreaths were laid.  The next morning a church service was held at Batu Gajah and wreathes were then laid in God’s Little Acre, the nearby cemetery which not only holds the graves of the three planters but also a number of Brigade officers and soldiers. 

ipoh_18_010This was followed by a service at the Gurkha Cemetery in the old Suvla Lines, previously home to 2 Gurkha Rifles and then 6 Gurkha Rifles.  At this event Colonel BG gave a speech capturing the Brigade’s overall contribution to Malaya over the years and thanked the WIRA Association for running these significant and humbling events. Afterwards Colonel BG joined the British High Commissioner and others at the adjacent Gurkha cemetery to spend time reflecting on the Gurkha sacrifice.

The Colonel’s speech he delivered is available to read here

We have two Gurkhas taking part in the next INVICTUS Games which place in Sydney Australia in October 2018.

  • Lance Corporal Netrabahadur Rana – 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles
  • Rifleman Kushal Kumar Limbu – 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles

Both have taken part in previous INVICTUS Games in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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Lance Corporal Netrabahadur Rana

Lance Corporal Netrabahadur Ranais is from 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles. He was wounded in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick 7.

After a lengthy recovery process he was assigned back to 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles to continue his service in the British Army. 

He was employed as a Company storeman and is now a postal clerk in the Regimental Headquarters with 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles. He is a very active individual and very inspirational for the young soldiers around him.

Rifleman Kushal Kumar Limbu

Rifleman Kushal Kumar Limbu was a member of 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles.

He was wounded during in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick 9 and was medically discharged due to his injuries.

He takes an active part in various activities organised by Help for Heroes. He has also trained as a sprinter for the Paralympics.  

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