Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Parbate : June/July 2019

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

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

  • Prime Minister of Nepal visits the Brigade of Gurkhas
  • Ladies Trek to Annapurna Base Camp
  • Pass off the Square for Recruit Intake 19
  • 249 Gurkha Gurkha Signal Squadron Reformation
  • Survival Nepali Language Course

The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.

The WAAT4 Challenge is a prestigious navigation event in Brecon Beacons National Park, one of three National Parks in Wales. Each year more than 500 competitors take part in either a 20km or 40km Challenge. The event takes place on the third Saturday in June and has raised over £300,000 for many good causes and charities such as Brecon Mountain Rescue, Wales Air Ambulance, Teenage Cancer Trust, PC Rathbones Blue Light Fund and Help for Heroes.

Every year, two teams from the Infantry Battle School (IBS) take part in the event.  This year team one took part in 40km race consisting of Corporal Gaurab Gurung (Queen’s Gurkha Engineers and Lieutenant Colonel Shaun Chandler Commanding Officer Infantry Battle School while team two took part in the 20km race consisting of Rifleman Vison Gurung (2 Royal Gurkha Rifles) and Rifleman Paban Budha Magar (2 Royal Gurkha Rifles).

The route was mostly countryside including South Wales’ highest peak – Pen y fan (886m). The course was really challenging; however, it was a fabulous way to experience our glorious countryside. There are very few places in Wales that can beat the Brecon Beacons for the beauty of its landscape – from wild rugged mountains to remote moorland and gentle wooded valleys. We really had a great day, despite a bit of horizontal rain.

The WAAT4 Challenge helped us to improve our fitness through weeks and weeks of hard training whilst developing teamwork and leadership skills among us. It gave us healthy exercise, relieved stress of work and allowed us to spend time in the fresh air with our colleagues. It was not only a physical challenge but very much a mental challenge which rewarded us with the most beautiful scenery and panoramic views that Wales has to offer. The objective of the event was to enable people to work as a team under pressure in an arduous environment as you have to navigate through the different check points in order to reach the finish line in the fastest time possible. By doing this run, we raised money for a number of very worthwhile charities, undoubtedly, having fun at the same time. It was an excellent opportunity for us to promote team work and a great chance to get ourselves involved in a worthwhile and memorable event as part of the community engagement.

Yet again like every year, both teams were successful in securing the first place in both 20km and the 40km Forces Cup category completing the race in two hours 13 minutes and four hours 57 minutes respectively. It was a real sense of achievement for us. I was absolutely delighted to win the competition. I have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable challenges I have partaken in, in recent years! I will most definitely take part again next year!

Support company from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles marked the Battle of Honour, Imphal day today on 21st June 2019 at Guardroom, Tuker lines, Brunei

The Battle of Imphal took place in the region around the city of Imphal, the capital of the state of Manipur in northeast India from March 12th June 21, 1944 against the invading Japanese forces. Three battalions of 10th Princess Mary’s Own Gurkha Rifles (10 GR) were involved in the heaviest fighting of the entire Burma Campaign during the Second World War.

The battle honour IMPHAL was awarded to 10 GR (2 Royal Gurkha Rifles antecedent Regiment) and was regarded as one of the hardest battle honours ever earned. The Regiment suffered 184 dead and 820 wounded.

The Nepal Cup 2019 Fixture list can be seen below.

 

 

It is our intention to live stream the matches to our Facebook page so please follow us on there. 

The Brigade of Gurkhas again excelled at the Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) 2019 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 20th June 2018 and Brigade of Gurkhas performed extremely well in the competition. 

The Queen’s Medal winner

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

Regular Army Queen Medal Competition and Unit Service Weapons Team Championship.
Individual Prizes.

  • The winner of the Cheylesmore Cup – Private (Pte) Upendra Gurung, 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment (QOGLR)
  • The winner of the Roupell Cup – Corporal (Cpl) Dhan Ghale, 1 RGR
  • The winner of the Henry Whitehead Cup and the Association Cup – Cpl Kumar Gurung, Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE), 36 Engineer Regiment
  • The winner of the Roberts Cup – Lance Corporal (LCpl) Amrit Gurung, 2 RGR 
  • The winner of the Far East LF Cup – Rifleman (Rfn) Ashish Gurung, 1 RGR
  • The winner of the Western Command Cup – LCpl Resham Pun, Queen’s Gurkha Signal (QG Signals), 30 Signal Regiment
  • The winner of the Malta Cup – Rfn Yugal Gurung, 2 RGR 
  • The winner of the Graham Trophy, a large presentation Khukri and the Worcestershire Cup – LCpl Sagar Somare
  • The winner of the Graham Trophy, The Bullock Trophy and Large presentation Khukri – Cpl Subash Rai
  • The winner of the Young soldier Challenge Cup – Rfn Milan Buduja Pun, 1 RGR 
  • The winner of the Manchester Regiment Cup – LCpl Sagar Somare, 1 RGR 
  • The winner of the ARA Bronze Jewel – Cpl Dhan Ghale, 1 RGR 
  • The winner of the ARA Silver Jewel – Rfn Nishal Thapa, 1 RGR 
  • The winner of the ARA Gold Jewel – Cpl Subash Rai, 2 RGR

Team Prizes

  • The winners of the KRRC Cup, the Coronation Cup, The RASC Cup, The Eastern Comd Cup and the Malta Challenge Cup – 1 RGR 
  • The winners of the Royal Irish Cup, The Britannia Trophy and the Parachute Regiment Cup – 2 RGR
  • The winners of the 6th QEO Gurkha Rifles Trophy – 10 QOGLR
  • Overall Unit Champions 2019: The Winner of the Dunlop Trophy – 1 RGR

Top 100

57 shooters out of 100 were Gurkhas who will all receive an Army 100 badge – a significant number.

 

Members of Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas attended the Welcome Ceremony In Honour of the Prime Minister of Nepal Right Honourable Mr K P Sharma Oli at the Nepal Embassy London.

The Prime Minister was in the UK to meet with Government officials and other friends of Nepal to discuss the Nepal and United Kingdom relationship. The evening before the Brigade of Gurkhas hosted the Prime Minster at the Brigade Headquarters at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

During his speech at the Embassy he thanked the Brigade of Gurkhas for the fantastic work the Gurkhas do for the British Army.

The Haig Housing Council, South London Nepali Association (SLNA), local Councillors and members of the public attended an opening dedicaion for the Kulbir Thapa VC House for veterans. The ceremony started with Corporal Nirmal Thapa piping the guests to the court yard in front of Kulbir Thapa House. Once group had assembled, the CEO of Haig Housing, Brigadier James Richardson MBE addressed the gathering followed by the GBA Secretary, Major Manikumar Rai MBE who gave an abbreviated account of Rifleman Kulbir Thapa’s actions which earned him his Victoria Cross. The block was officially opened with a “Ribbon Cutting” ceremony to conducted by David Williams. (Haig Housing Trustee) and Major Manikumar Rai.

Haig Housing

Haig Housing Trust, known as Haig Housing, was formed in 2008 as a ‘sister’ charity to Douglas Haig Memorial Homes (Haig Homes). The two Trusts were amalgamated on 1st October 2013.

The object of Haig Housing is to provide housing assistance to ex-Service people and/or their dependants. Currently this object is achieved by letting general needs homes at affordable rents to the ex-Service community and providing tailored housing solutions to suit the individual needs of severely wounded and disabled Veterans.

New Build

The Haig Housing Trust completed building of 68 new homes on their Morden Estate in May 2019. Prior to the completion, The Haig Council decided that each block would be named after gallantry award winners. The first block to be completed was to be named after Rfn Kulbir Thapa Victoria Cross (VC), 2/3rd Queen Alexanders Gurkha Rifles – the first Gurkha to be awarded the VC.

Rifleman Kulbir Thapa VC

On 25th September 1915 in FauquissartFrance, Rifleman Kulbir Thapa, having been wounded himself, came across a wounded soldier form The Leicestershire Regiment behind the front line of German trenches. The soldier is believed to be Bill Keightley a 20-year-old soldier from Melton Mowbray. Although urged to save himself, Kulbir Gurkha stayed with Keightly all day and night. Early next day, in misty weather, he dragged Bill him through the wire, within spitting distance from the Germans, and, leaving him in a place of comparative safety, returned to brought in two wounded Gurkhas, one after the other. He then went back, and, in broad daylight, fetched the British soldier, carrying him most of the way under enemy fire.

Such an incredible act of compassion and courage attracted a good deal of attention, and when he emerged from his trench for the third time with one more wounded comrade over his shoulder, the German soldiers actually clapped to encourage Kulbir on. Heartened by the German support, Kulbir stood up and walked right across the No-Mans-Land back to his own side

The ceremony then moved to the Village Hall where sumptuous Nepali food prepared by the “Didi Baini” of the SLNA and sandwiches awaited us. Lunch followed a Nepali cultural show which was a delight, the young girls and ladies did themselves, their community and Haig proud.

A huge thank you goes to the CEO, Brigadier James Richardson and Housing Manager Lisa Waterman the who orchestrated the whole event and made it the success it was.

Colonel Peter Stitt (Commandant School of Infantry) and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Smith (Commanding Officer Specialist Weapon School (SWS)) attended the formal inauguration of the self-help project Tavoleto Bhansa Ghar on 10th June 2019 at Gurkha Company Tavoleto, Warminster.

Major Chandrabahadur Pun (Officer Commanding of Gurkha Company Tavoleto) highlighted the significant importance of a messing hut in a day to day life of the Gurkha soldiers and thanked all who supported the project directly and indirectly. With particular thanks to the Tavoleto Company members who worked tirelessly to complete the project within three weeks, without any disruption to the SWS and other training commitments. Finally Commandant School of Infantry initiated a fire to cook a first messing in the Tavoleto Bhansa Ghar. All members including guests thoroughly enjoyed the first messing in Warminster.

 

The British Gurkha Army showed their participation on 28th Panaga Highland Games as every year.


This year, the Gurkhas from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles conducted an Army exhibition such as Weapon display (by Support Company) and the Survival demonstration (by B Company) finishing off with their famous ‘Khukuri’ dance (by A Company).

 

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