Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

New Commander at British Gurkhas Nepal

There has been a number of changes at the command level of British Gurkhas Nepal with a new Commander BGN, new DCOS and new GM.

Colonel Ian Logan takes of from Colonel Harris while HQBG’s former DCOS, Major Bijayant Sherchan GSPS, has taken over the DCOS role. They are joined by former Queens Gurkha Orderly Officer Major Prakash Gurung MVO RGR as the new Gurkha Major.

The Colonel was welcomed to BGN by the new DCOS and GM during a formal reception on 3 September 2015.

The New Commander BGN’s Biography:

Colonel Ian Logan joined the Army in 1986 and was initially commissioned into The Royal Tank Regiment. As a Junior Officer he held appointments as Reconnaissance Officer, Intelligence Officer and Operations Officer. In 1996, he commanded a Squadron in Germany and Northern Ireland. He was posted to the Combined Arms Field Training Group in 1998 to command the newly formed Tactical Engagement Simulation Training Advisory Team.

In 1999 Colonel Logan attended the Joint Command and Staff Course in Bracknell, transferring to The Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) as a permanent cadre officer in 2000. He served as a Company Commander with the 1st Battalion in Brunei and Sierra Leone.

From 2002-2004 he served as a Staff Officer in Headquarters Northern Ireland. In 2004 he returned to regimental duty in Brunei as Battalion Second in Command. He deployed with the 2nd Battalion to Afghanistan in 2005 initially as Chief of Staff of the UK Provincial Reconstruction Team, then as Military Assistant to the Deputy Commanding General Combined Forces Command Afghanistan. In 2006 he served as the Chief of Staff of Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas (HQ BG), where he was responsible for implementing the MOD Review of Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2007 and served on the MOD policy staff of the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff for Logistics Operations. In 2009 he was seconded to work on a number of studies for the Strategic Defence Review. In 2010 he was assigned to the Army Command and Control Development Centre in Warminster where he was responsible for Concepts and Doctrine. From 2012 to 2014 he was Commandant of the Military Corrective Training Centre, and Commanding Officer of the Military Provost Staff Regiment.

In 2014 he was selected for promotion and took over his current appointments as Defence Attaché Kathmandu, Commander British Gurkhas Nepal and Director of the Gurkha Welfare Scheme in August 2015.

He is married to Edwina and they have three children. Grace (21) has graduated from the Royal Agricultural College and is employed at the All England Show Jumping Course at Hickstead. Ruairi (20) is a Royal Engineer Geographic Technician serving in 42 Engr Regt. Freya (17) is a sixth form student at Leweston School in Dorset.

With his family he has travelled in South East Asia including Australia; Borneo; Cambodia; Nepal; New Zealand; Malaysia; Singapore and Thailand.

His interests include deer management. He has recently handed over as the Secretary for Defence Deer Management, which is an organisation of 300 MOD Crown Servants who manage deer on behalf of the UK MOD over some 240,000 hectares of the UK Defence Estate.

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Almost 5000 serving and Ex- Gurkhas together with their families attended the Brigade of Gurkhas G200 Bhela which was held on Saturday, 11 July 15 in Queen’s Avenue Aldershot.

This big event saw hundreds of retired and serving Gurkhas come together to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Gurkha Service to the British Crown. The past and present Gurkha units’ flags were held high at the centre of the pitch while various fun fair attractions were set up to entertain the crowd. The weather was fantastic all day and the lovely tunes from the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas made it even better.

The day began with the veteran’s football match being played for the Kathmandu Cup. RGR and QOGLR were able to make their way to the finals beating QG Signals and QGE respectively. At 1100 hrs, Chairman GBA, Brigadier Anderson OBE led the final two veteran teams to the football pitch accompanied by the Gulmi Naumati Baja group (typical Nepali Cultural performers). An early and the only goal from RGR veterans became the decider of the match and thus, RGR were able to claim the Kathmandu Cup for another year.

Various fun fair attractions in a lovely weather were enjoyed by all the guests. Ferrets race and Birds of Prey display were obviously a new taste for some of the Gurkha families but it did not fail to be the centre of attractions. Army Outreach stands were also present to attract some of those interested and Gurkha Museum provided various regimental souvenirs to some  interested buyers. Together with all of these, a delicious Nepalese food was on service from a local Aldershot Restaurant. At 1345 hrs, Maj Rudra Khadka QOGLR and his team from RLC displayed a fantastic Parachute Jump. Maj Rudra Khadka presented Col BG, Col James Robinson with the match ball after his landing and eventually the crowd gathered to watch the awaited Nepal Cup Final 2015.

1 RGR showed their excellent performance against Queen’s Gurkha Engineers beating them four goals to one. Unfortunately, the former champions of Nepal Cup had to settle with a runner up title this year. Before the Nepal Cup presentation started, Commander and Gurkha Major QGE presented a cheque of £55,943.00 to Chairman Gurkha Welfare Trust for the Nepal Earthquake relief fund. Following this, there were various prizes awarded for the winners of Nepal Cup 2015 which are as below:

Winner – 1 RGR
Runner up – QGE
Best Player – WO2 Bishnu Thapa 1 RGR
Top Scorer – LCpl Brindan Tulachan QG Signals

After a moment of celebration from 1 RGR, the crowd gathered for the Bhela which started off with top Nepalese artists performing in the crowd’s favourite numbers. Col BG also took the opportunity to thank all those who came and made the Brigade Bhela successful. He added that the relationship between the serving and retired personnel was closer than ever and all in all this had been a historical day for the Brigade where serving and retired came together to celebrate a great achievement.

Jai Brigade of Gurkhas!

Here are the selected pictures of the whole day-

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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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Cycling to all Gurkha recruiting centres in Nepal to raise money for GWT on the occasion of G200

Recruitment of young boys from Nepal into the British Army started from early 19th century.  2015 marks 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown. The recruiting centres of Gurkhas in Nepal have changed over the years. There are currently two main recruiting centres in Nepal – the country where Gurkhas originate from.

The team comprises of all serving Gurkhas – Capt Rajeev Shrestha, Capt ER Whithey, SSgt Dugendra Tamang,Cpl Kumar Thapa, Cpl Rabindra Shrestha, Cpl Nirbikram Limbu, LCpl Ramesh Rai, LCpl Bibek Yonzon and LCpl Puspa Gurung. It is their intention to reach all recruiting centres, past and present, within Nepal by cycle, namely Dharan, Paklihawa and Pokhara.  They will cover over 750 kms on road in nine days and their main aim to raise money for Gurkha Welfare Trust by completing this event.

Small or big- Your support to this cause is invaluable. Please click on the link provided to donate for a good cause.  https://www.justgiving.com/Dugendra-Tamang.

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230  new recruits have begun their training as Gurkhas at Catterick after passing central selection in Nepal.

The final parade at BG Pokhara on January 3rd was presided over by Maj Gen T R Urch CBE who was the inspecting officer.

The newly selected cadets then headed to Kathmandu for final visits from the family before boarding flights to the UK.

They were welcomed to Manchester airport by members of the Catterick training team and the local and armed forces media.

 

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Photo 3 Recruit Intake 2015

 

Central Selection for Recruit Intake 2015, is in full flow at British Gurkhas Pokhara. This year the target is to recruit 230 young Trainees with the aptitude, upon completion of their training, to meet the demands of the contemporary Brigade of Gurkhas. From the 7,865 who originally applied, 500 have been called forward to Central Selection.

They undergo a number of objective tests: medical, education and physical before going through to the final interview. All recruits have now completed the Doko race, a 5km push uphill carrying 25kg in a Doko basket. This tests their determination and grit and so far this year, only 33 of 500 have failed to finish the race within the cut-off time of 48 minutes. The Potential Recruits (PRs) now also undergo new medical tests. They undertake Electro-Cardiograms (ECGs) and also, a new addition is Functional Movement Screening of the PRs. Under an examination from a physiotherapist this should flag-up any existing injuries and perhaps, more importantly, identify those PRs more at risk of sustaining an injury over the next 6 months. This will give Gurkha Company Catterick (GCC) the chance to correctly manage those successful T/Rfn who are slightly more prone to injury.

This is a great move forward and a test that currently only the UKSF and PARAS commit to. The 230 young men who are successful will then complete 3 weeks induction training with instructors from GCC before being officially handed over to GCC at the Attestation Parade in Pokahara. At the Attestation Parade, they will swear their allegiance to the Queen in front of Chief of Staff Land Forces and Colonel QGE, Major General Tyrone Urch CBE, before saying farewell to their families and departing back to the UK to begin their 9 months training in Catterick.

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Gurkhas across the world have been getting involved with ANZAC day, commemorating members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. Gurkhas have special affinity with the day, especially since the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 where the they fought valiantly.

Like in previous years, BGN (British Gurkhas Nepal) received an invitation letter from HE Glenn White (Australian Ambassador to Nepal) to participate in the ANZAC day to be held on 25 April 2014.  Hence, Col S P F Harris OBE (Comd BGN) and a group of serving member’s,  including a piper from BGN participated in ANZAC day commemoration at Australian Embassy, Nepal representing the Brigade of Gurkhas on 25 April 2014.

Elsewhere the British and Australian Embassies in Manila invited Pipers from 1 RGR to celebrate an annual event, Queen Birthday Party Celebration and ANZAC Day in the capital city of the Philippines.

The Australian and New Zealand embassies had hosted the 99th ANZAC Day dawn service commemoration in Manila. A parade was held on the same day at the Tomb of an Unknown Soldier (Libingan ng maga Bayani) in Fort Bonifacio,Taguig City.

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By Sgt Shankar QGS

The Attestation Parade for Recruit Intake 2014 (RI14) was hosted by British Gurkhas Pokhara (BGP), situated below the panoramic view of the Annapurna mountain range. After a rigorous and competitive selection process, only 126 potential recruits out of thousands made it through to become soldiers in the Brigade of Gurkhas.

3 January 2014 was a day to be proud for the new recruits, their families and friends. BGP had put in a tremendous amount of effort throughout the year to ensure this day was a great success. Chief of the General Staff (CGS)/Col Comdt Bde of Gurkhas General Sir Peter Wall GCB CBE ADC Gen was the inspecting officer; other VIPs were also in attendance, they were: Lady Wall, the Brigadier General of the Nepal Army and the DIG of the Nepal Police Force, together with many more spectators who had come to watch the parade.

At 1030 hrs, 126 recruits marched on to the parade ground accompanied by the Brigade Band. You could see the pride on the spectators faces as the recruits took their oath of allegiance to the Crown and to keep Gurkha history alive with its own ‘Gurkha Kaida’. The CGS gave a speech in Nepali language highlighting the importance of the day, the day the recruits finally became Gurkha soldiers.
After the recruits marched off the parade ground, a group photograph was taken before the recruits and their families and friends had the chance to meet and greet with the CGS. A big curry lunch stall provided delicious food for all of the guests in the aid of Army Benevolent Fund The Soldier’s Charity.

The day ended with a last dance being performed by all the recruits for their families and friends before they had to say goodbye to their loved ones, an exceptionally emotional moment for all.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

 

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Col BG being welcomed by BFBS Nepal Station Manager Binoddhoj Khadka

Col BG being welcomed by BFBS Nepal Station Manager Binoddhoj Khadka

 

L-R WO1(RSM) Babindra Gurung, Col BG, Maj Manoj Mohora & Mr Binoddhoj Khadka

L-R WO1(RSM) Babindra Gurung, Col BG, Maj Manoj Mohora & Mr Binoddhoj Khadka

 

 

 
 

 

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