Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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RGR celebrates birthday with Royal visit

The Prince of Wales hailed Gurkhas as “the very best of soldiers” as he helped mark RGR’s 21st anniversary during a visit to Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe on Wednesday 1 July 2015 

The Prince of Wales visited Sir John Moore Barracks in Folkestone as the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles celebrated its 21st birthday amid the Gurkha 200 celebrations.
He arrived by helicopter for a briefing with Colonel BG and Colonel 2RGR prior to meeting the soldiers and families on the playing fields at the barracks.
The heir to the British Throne then watched the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas Sound the Retreat before he gave a short speech before awarding the Prince of Wales Kukri to CSgt Jiwan Gurung and the Tuker award to Capt Carl Shroeder. These awards are given to the Officer and other ranks member who best furthers the name of the regiment.
The Prince was then invited to cut the RGR Birthday cake using a large regimental kukri.
The celebrations on Wednesday were an international event with both the Battalion in Shorncliffe and its counterpart in Brunei holding separate parties to mark the event with the troops and their families enjoying a day of food, music and events like tug of war.
The Royal Gurkha Rifles was formed in 1994 from the amalgamation of four previous regiments of Gurkhas, but their history goes back to 1815, when Gurkhas first served the British Crown.
This event has been especially poignant with the Gurkhas as a whole also celebrating 200 years of service to the crown, which has been recognised by a number of Royal visits to events held through the year so far.
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Royal Gurkha Rifles Shooting Team Wins The Methuen Cup and the Best Infantry Cup 2015 with the overall score of 1335.

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On Tuesday 23 June, Saga Company, based in Folkestone, presented The Gurkha Welfare Trust with a cheque of £50,000 in support of the Nepal Earthquake Response Fund. Colonel James Robinson, Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas and a GWT Trustee, received the cheque and made a short speech of thanks. Supporting him was Gurkha Major 2 RGR, Major Prem Gurung, along with a guard of six 2 RGR soldiers and two pipers.

The inaugural Brigade of Gurkhas Golf Tournament UK was held on 26 June 15 at the Pine Ridge Golf Club near Deepcut.

Almost, 50 golfers from the brigade gathered at the club in the morning to take part in the first ever BG Golf Tournament UK. The tournament was organised by Capt Prakash Gurung (Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officer) by kind permission of Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Colonel James Robinson.

There were some exciting prizes which were sponsored by some local shops and restaurants: Gurkha Restaurants Farnborough,  Nirmaya Rodhi Ghar Aldershot, Pokhara Travels Folkestone, Gurkha Taxi Camberley and So Asia Camberley. The competition started with a group photograph in the morning. It was a beautiful and a perfect day for the golfers and everyone were focused on winning the individual and team prizes.

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The tournament concluded at 1600 hrs which was then followed by an evening meal at the club. Everyone enjoyed their meal after a long tiring day and had a bit of chit chat before the prizes were announced. The prizes were announced as follows:

Novelty prizes
Longest Drive: Capt Mahendra Phagami (1 RGR)
Nearest to the Pin: Capt Dhalindra KC (Gurkha Wing Mandalay)
2 Best Approach: Sgt Milan Gurung (QG Signals)

Individual prizes
Div AWinner: Maj Yam Rana (QG Signals)
Div B Winner: Maj Chin Thapa (2 RGR)
Div C Winner: Cpl Saujanya Subba (GSPS)
Div D Winner: Cpl Anil Gurung (Gurkha Coy Sittang)

Stableford point Runner Up: Sgt Diwash Rai (GSPS)
Stableford point Winner: Sgt Hum Rana (QOGLR)

Gross Runner up: Cpl Gajendra Gurung (QGE)
Gross Winner: Capt Mahendra Phagami (1 RGR)

Team prizes:

Runner Up : 2 RGR
Champion Team : 1 RGR

The tournament ended with a raffle draw and a short speech by the organiser. All in all ,the first ever BG Golf Tournament UK was a huge success and this will be carried on for years to come.

Gurkhas have led the rankings again at the Combat Rifle Championship in Bisley with another Queen’s medal win and an Inter-Unit team trophy being the crowning achievements of a spectacular performance.

For the third year running a Gurkha won the overall top place with Sgt Khagendra Tamang from QG Signals taking over the Queen’s Medal from last year’s holder Sgt Sanjib Rai, 2 RGR.

Furthermore, Gurkhas  took 22 of the top 25 places in the competition and around 60 of the top Army 100.

The Inter Unit Operational Shooting Championship was handed between the two batallions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles with 1 RGR taking victory over 2 RGR (who won last year). Most of the rest of the top 10 teams were also Gurkhas.

The top 10 Army Shooters

1. Sgt Khagendra Tamang (QG Signals)
2. LCpl Dhan Ghale (1 RGR)
3. LCpl D Stanton (4 Rifles)
4. LCpl Sudin Gurung (QG Signals)
5. Sgt Som Chhantel (1 RGR)
6. Capt Dilip Gurung (Gurkha Coy Sittang)
7. Sgt Sekendra Gurung (QG Signals)
8. Bdr S Gowin ATC (RA)
9. Rfn Tej Paija (1 RGR)
10. Rfn Amit Gurung (2 RGR)

The top 10 units of the Inter Unit Operational Shooting Championship-

1. 1 RGR A Team
2. 2 RGR
3. 22 Signal Regt
4. Gurkha Coy Sittang
5. 2 Signal Regt
6. 30 Signal Regt
7. 10 QOGLR
8. 1 RGR B Team
9. 21 Signal Regt
10. SASC

Shooting Gallery

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Trophy winner’s gallery

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Three soldiers and a retired officer from the Brigade of Gurkhas were granted honours in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015.

The honours,  announced on 12 June 15, included three Commander Land Force’s Commendations and an OBE:

Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Brigadier John Anderson (Chairman Gurkha Brigade Association) – in recognition of his service with the Gurkha Brigade and its associations.

 

Commander Land Force’s Commendation

1. SSgt Vinodkumar Shrestha QG Signals (2 Sig Gp, 11 Sig Regt) – in recognition of his service with the Queen’s Gurkha Signals Association as the Gurkha Secretary and Gurkha Support Worker for local Veteran Contact Point VCP) in Nuneaton and Warwickshire.

2. Sgt Khagendra Tamang QG Signals (246 Gurkha Signal Squadron, 2 Signal Regiment) – in recognition of his outstanding performance on shooting for the last twelve years.

3. Sgt Sajan Limbu RGR (2 RGR A Coy) – in recognition of his outstanding effort that was shown during OP COMET (Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014)

 

Colonel BG, Col James Robinson congratulates everyone for their great achievement on behalf of all ranks Brigade of Gurkhas

London, 9 June 2015 – The Royal Hospital Chelsea provided the spectacular backdrop for celebrations marking 200 years of loyal Gurkha service to the Crown. The fundraising event, an open air pageant with music and cultural displays, was organised by The Gurkha Welfare Trust and attended by members of the royal family, including Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Colonel in Chief of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, Prince Harry and His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei.

The event, although a celebration, was also an opportunity to pause and remember all those who tragically lost their lives in the recent earthquakes in Nepal. All funds raised at the pageant will go to The Gurkha Welfare Trust’s work providing vital support to impoverished ex-Gurkhas and their communities, enabling the Trust to expand its medical programme in Nepal and respond to the urgent need to rebuild following the earthquakes.

As the sun set, hundreds of serving and ex-service members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and their families took part in the pageant, the centrepiece of a series of events taking place throughout 2015. Actress and Gurkha Welfare Trust Vice Patron Joanna Lumley and television historian Dan Snow narrated the history of the Gurkha soldier whilst battle re-enactments, cultural displays and musical performances by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas entertained the sell-out audience of 1,650 people.

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For two centuries, Gurkha soldiers have served alongside British forces in every major conflict. From the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58 to the two World Wars where the Brigade suffered over 40,000 casualties, the Gurkhas have formed a fearsome reputation for bravery and loyalty. A total of 13 Victoria Crosses – the highest award for valour – have been awarded to Gurkha Soldiers since the First World War and they continue to serve with distinction. On return from his tour in Afghanistan, where he served alongside The Royal Gurkha Rifles, Prince Harry said that there was “no safer place” than by the side of a Gurkha.

The Prince of Wales as Patron of The Gurkha Welfare Trust wrote a message for the commemorative booklet marking the pageant. In the message His Royal Highness said: “I could not be more delighted to join you here this evening to mark the Gurkhas’ bicentennial anniversary. We come together to recognise and celebrate these remarkable men and their extraordinary service to our country. In the two hundred years that the Gurkhas have
fought for the British Crown they have earned our nation’s deepest respect and gratitude. Throughout their service they have shown time and again the most remarkable devotion to duty and bravery in the most challenging of circumstances, with significant numbers of their officers and men being awarded the Victoria Cross, this country’s highest award for gallantry.  The Gurkhas’ loyalty, coupled with the highest professional standards, has put them at the forefront of the British Army. ”

The Gurkha Welfare Trust offers financial and medical support to former Gurkha servicemen and their families, predominantly in Nepal. It also delivers community aid projects in Gurkha villages. The Trust recently launched the Gurkha 200 Bicentenary Appeal: ‘Our Duty of Care’ which aims to raise £6 million for a vital expansion of its medical programme in support of its ageing welfare pensioners.

General Sir Peter Wall, Chairman of The Gurkha Welfare Trust said: “We’re honoured to welcome such distinguished guests to this evening’s celebration, where we are not only commemorating 200 years of exemplary service but also raising funds for an important cause. The Gurkha Welfare Trust is the Brigade of Gurkhas’ charity partner. It provides the support our Gurkha veterans richly deserve once their military service is complete. That support must be relevant to the changing needs of our Gurkha ex-servicemen, their dependants and their communities in Nepal.”

Sir John Peace, Chairman of Standard Chartered PLC, proud sponsors of The Gurkha 200 Pageant, said: “Standard Chartered considers it an honour to support the Gurkha bicentenary celebrations in 2015, marking 200 years of loyal Gurkha service to the British Crown.  We are the largest international bank in Nepal, and since 1987, we have been the principal bankers for the Gurkhas, and not least the 32,000 ex-service personnel who receive British Gurkha Nepal (BGN) pensions. This is a source of quiet pride for all involved, and a daily demonstration of our promise to be ‘Here for good’.  This is of course especially important for Nepal as it recovers from the recent tragic earthquakes, and we are working with our clients and international financial institutions to find ways to help in financing the reconstruction of the country. ”

Below are national and international media coverage links for G200 Pageant Celebration:

1. The BBC

2. The Daily Mail

3. ITV News

4. The Telegraph

5. The Express News

6. The Standard News

7. Western Morning News

 

 

 

WO2 Kailash Limbu from Second Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, was selected by the brigade headquarters to be the first serving Gurkha Soldier to tell his story.   His autobiography tells the inside story of the 2006 siege of Now Zad, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

WO2 Kailash LimbuIn the summer of 2006, then aged only 24, W02 Limbu was a section leader in a platoon sent to help secure a police compound in the district centre of Now Zad. He was told to prepare for a forty-eight hour operation. In the end, he and his men were under siege for thirty-one days – one of the longest such sieges in the whole of the Afghan campaign.

Kailash Limbu recalls the terrifying and exciting details of those thirty-one days – in which they killed an estimated one hundred Taliban fighters – and intersperses them with the story of his own life as a villager from the Himalayas. He grew up in a place without roads or electricity and didn’t see a car until he was fifteen.

Kailash’s descriptions of Gurkha training and rituals – including how to use the lethal Kukri knife – are eye-opening and fascinating. They combine with the story of his time in Helmand to create a unique account of one man’s life as a Gurkha.

Joanna Lumley OBE provided a review of the book on Amazon which has been reproduced below

I was completely bowled over by Kailash’s book and read it with a beating heart and dry mouth. I felt as though I was at his side, hearing the shells and bullets, enjoying the jokes and listening in the scary dead of night. The skill with which he has included his childhood and training is immense, always discovered with ease in the narrative: it actually felt as though I was watching, was IN a film with him. It brought me nearer than I have ever been not only to the mind of the universal soldier but to a hill boy of Nepal and a hugely impressive Gurkha. I raced through it and couldn’t put it down: it reads like a thriller. If you want to know anything about the Gurkhas, read this book, and be prepared for a thrilling and dangerous trip.

Becky Clark interviews WO2 Kailash which has been produced on page 72-73 June 15 edition of Soldier Magazine. Click on the photo below to view the article.

WO2 Kailash Limbu 2

 An article on the Daily Telegraph dated 4 June 15 also covers a short summary of his book.

The book is now available to purchase from Amazon and ebay.

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal, members of the Brigade of Gurkhas have been working hard to assist their fellow countrymen with rescue, aid and reconstruction projects taking place across the country.

Soldiers from QGE and RGR have joined the troops permanently stationed in British Gurkhas Nepal based in Kathmandu and Pokhara to assist with aid pack distribution, shelter construction and clean water projects in the aftermath of the major quakes that have hit the country over the past weeks and their subsequent aftershocks.

While the focus has shifted away from the rescue of survivors trapped in rubble, a new threat in the form of the  impending monsoon looms making water and shelter from the elements priority effort. The work of the Gurkhas so far has been vital in ensuring that the people in the worst affected areas do not get hit by disease or starvation with the RGR  teams alone having already distributed over 670 temporary shelters.

The initial quake struck right in the traditional Gurkha heartland with its effects felt in Kathmandu, where many buildings were destroyed, and at Mount Everest where a number of avalanches hit the climbers in the region.

HQ British Gurkhas Nepal (BGN) in Kathmandu was immediately tasked with providing assistance in the local area while sending updates back to the UK providing important situational awareness. BGN subsequently became part of the logistics and management of the UK military relief efforts.  Gurkha soldiers were sent out patrols to the remote areas to find out the impact of the earthquake and direct emergency aid there.

The Brigade of Gurkhas will continue to assist Nepal over the coming weeks and months while the people rebuild the homes and villages destroyed by the earthquakes.

The public support from Britain has been over whelming with over £115 million pounds in aid sent to Nepal through a mixture of government funding and public donations towards the various Nepal disaster appeals. If you would like to help the victims of the Nepal earthquakes, please visit the GWT’s earthquake appeal fund.

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The Triple Crown Challenge 15 took place in Worthy Down, Winchester yesterday on 14 May 15. The event is organised annually to encourage all AGC Personnel to uphold their Corps ethos as in reflecting the Soldier first principles.

The Competition was divided into two groups: The 12 Miles March and Shoot Competition and the Military Skills Competition. Altogether, 7 teams from Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support (GSPS) took part in the 12 Miles March and Shoot competition for the Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas Cup along with more than 100 AGC teams competing for their Corps Trophy.

This year, 1 RGR successfully won the Col Comdt Brigade of Gurkhas trophy beating the last year’s winner, 2 RGR who had to settle down as runners up. 1 RGR Team Captain, LCpl Roshan Tamang said that the team deserved to win this year’s trophy, as they were practicing hard regularly. He also added that the weather was in their favour as they had practiced in a much hotter climate as compared to the UK.

The Adjutant General, Lieutenant General Sir G W Berragan KBE CB presented the prizes to the winning teams and also spoke with Sandhurst based GSPS team about the GSPS commitment in the Triple Crown Challenge. He said that it was incredible to see about one third of the whole GSPS Cohort taking part in the event. The competition ended after the prize distribution and winner team photographs with OC GSPS, Maj Bijayant Sherchan and other senior GSPS Ranks.

Some glimpses from the event

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