9 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps 94 Squadron, Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment (QOGLR) deployed to London on Sunday 4th September to serve as a Public Duties Reinforcement Company.
After a week of final training and preparation they passed their ‘Fit for Role’ Inspection and got the final ‘thumbs up’ to mount guard from the Brigade Major of the Household Division. Unsurprisingly, the guard schedule was disrupted following the death of the Her Majesty the Queen, however, a large part of the Squadron then had the honour to form part of the street lining for the parade of the Queen’s coffin on the day of the funeral. When the Squadron mounted guard in the Tower of London on Monday 12th September, they became the first non-Household Division King’s Guard of the new Monarch’s reign.
Following this, the Squadron mounted its first King’s Guard at Buckingham and St James’ Palaces, proudly partaking in the famous ‘Changing of the Guard’ in front of large crowds, as well as at Windsor Castle and have been regularly rotating through since. The high standard of drill has been praised by many of the Foot Guards battalions that we have been relieving or being relieved by on guard and the watching public are always intrigued and impressed by the unique dress, drill and khukuri inspections of the Gurkhas.
Personally, it has been a fantastic experience to be part of something so historic and unique, with few outside the Household Division ever having the honour to mount a Royal Guard. I have been the Officer of the Guard at the Tower of London, next I will move to Windsor Castle, before finishing as the Ensign of the King’s Guard at St James’ Palace. They are surreal moments when you look out of the window and realise the history of the building you are living in and task you are performing, with crowds gathering for every ceremony a constant reminder of how special this time is. The squadron’s busy guard schedule continues until late November and there are few days between now and then when you will not find Gurkhas on guard at one of the Royal Palaces.
By Second Lieutenant Eliot Smith, Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment