The Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS) annual award for 2014 was published on 14 March 2014. The existing rates of Gurkha Retirement Pension, Gurkha Service Pension, Gurkha Disability and Gurkha Family Pension have been revised with effect from 1 April 2014.
Gurkha personnel on the Gurkha Pension Scheme will therefore see the following impacts of the award, where relevant, from 1 April 2014, which include:
– An increase in pensions paid through the Gurkha Pension Scheme of 10.3% with effect from 1 April 2014.
– The new rates of pension will be applied to the Far East and Nepal Administration System for the pensions run for April 2014.
– Pensioners paid in cash at the Pension Paying Offices will have their new rates due available from 1 May 2014.
– Banking pensioners will have their accounts credited by end of April 2014, although this may be later depending on location and the bank used.
– Payments in cash from Area Welfare Centres will be made in May/June 2014 according to the programme published by Headquarters British Gurkhas Nepal.
The increment of 10.3% in Gurkha Pension takes into account the cost of living increases in Nepal based on the Nepal Rastra Bank figure for inflation.
This increase ensures that Gurkha pensions are kept at a fair and appropriate level and demonstrates the UK Government’s continuing commitments to the Gurkha Pension Scheme.
The Daily Telegraph visited Nepal to see Gurkha recruiting in December 2013 and then went to visit the new recruits starting their initial training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick in early 2014. Their article was published in the Saturday magazine and the Telegraph website on 8 March.
Click here to view article.
Every year since 2002, a short but moving Ceremony is held on Commonwealth Day, at the Memorial Gates to honour those Commonwealth Nations and Nepal who volunteered to serve with the Armed Forces. This year the Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Colonel J G Robinson, accompanied by the Brigade Secretary, Major N D Wylie Carrick and the two Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officers, Captain Kumar Gurung and Captain Sureshkumar Thapa, attended the Memorial Gates Ceremony on 10 March 2014 to lay a wreath on behalf of all ranks the Brigade of Gurkhas in memory of those who volunteered from Nepal to serve in the Gurkha Brigade.Also present were: ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major, Firled Marshall Sir John Chapell and the Bishop of London.
The Commonwealth Memorial Gates, located at the top of Constitution Hill in Central London, were inaugurated by Her Majesty The Queen on 6 November 2002. The Memorial Gates are dedicated to the people of the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who served in the Armed Forces during the two World Wars, in London, UK. Significantly, the contribution made by Nepal is also acknowledged. The names of all Commonwealth VCs, including the Gurkha VCs, are also engraved under the roof of the Cupola. The notice on the gates read, “These Gates have been erected as a lasting memorial to honour the five million men and women from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who volunteered to serve with the Armed Forces during the First and Second World Wars. They also celebrate the contribution that these men and women and their descendants, members of the Commonwealth family, continue to make to the rich diversity of British society”.
Images:courtesy of Defense imagery
His Excellency Dr Suresh Chandra Chalise, the outgoing Nepalese Ambassador to the United Kingdom was dined out at a Brigade of Gurkha’s Curry Lunch held at 101 Logistic Brigade Mess at St Omer Barracks, Aldershot on 21 Feb 14. Dr Chalise was accompanied by the Nepalese Military Attache, Colonel Bishwanath Ghimire and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr Tej Bahadur Chhetri. Senior representatives from Gurkha Units, including the Hindu and Buddhist Religious Teachers, were also present.
Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Colonel James Robinson, highlighted the significance of the historical relationship between Great Britain and Nepal in the context of the Brigade of Gurkhas and acknowledged the important contribution the Nepalese Embassy has made to support the settlement and integration of ex-Gurkha communities in the United Kingdom. Dr Chalise, in return, thanked the Brigade of Gurkhas and highlighted its importance in underpinning the unique relationship, built on trust and friendship, between the two countries.
Dr Chalise has been the Nepalese Ambassador to the Court of St James since January 2010 and is due to depart for Nepal with his family in early March 2014.
At Buckingham Palace. on 12 November 2013, at His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge’s second investiture, Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkha’s, General Sir Peter Wall GCB CBE ADC Gen, was presented with the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.
At the first investiture for the Duke of Cambridge on 17 October 2013, Maj (Retd) Hemchandra Rai BEM was presented the MBE, for his dedicated commitment to Headquarter Brigade of Gurkhas, as Deputy Chief of Staff. Maj (Retd) Hemchandra Rai BEM was one of 88 recipients on the day to receive medals.
Another year has passed for the Brigade and Dashain is with us once again. It has been a momentous year and it is right that we should reflect on our achievements as we celebrate the primary event in our cultural calendar. As Gurkhas we have a responsibility to be the best operationally and remember our cultural identity. Dashain provides us with this opportunity.
Operationally we continue to make our mark. Some of our units are committed to operations in which the British army is involved. Our reputational stock is exceptionally high and we are valued as an effective military organisation designed for operations. Our thoughts are especially with those NCOs and soldiers of QGE, QGS, QOGLR and GSPS who will be in Afghanistan over Dashain.
Dashain is also a time to focus on our families and thank them for the love and support that they give us. This is particularly so at a time of constant operations. Your strength and fortitude enables us to be who we are – Gurkha soldiers – knowing that we are supported by our own families and the wider Brigade family is a great source of comfort to us. To you goes our deepest gratitude and affection.
Indeed this Dashain is particularly special. This year we are able to enjoy the company of many more of our ex-servicemen and their families who may have chosen to join us here in UK. It is good to see our old friends again and welcome you back to your Brigade family in the UK.
To all members of our brigade, young and old, our soldiers and their families – both near and far – I send you my warmest best wishes for a happy Dashain, and a peaceful but fulfilling year ahead. And for those deployed on operations – safe home – Jai Gurkha.
On 25th September 2013 Col James Robinson, Col BG paid a visit to BFBS Gurkha Radio in Shorncliffe and provided an update on the current Bde Issues, Redundancy, Resettlement, Gurkha Employment Fair, Future Manning of the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Reserve Forces in general.
To listen to the interview pse fol this link – http://www.bfbs.com/radio/article/colonel-brigade-of-gurkhas-at-the-gurkha-radio
In honour of 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown, a Gurkha memorial – ‘Chautara’ (a resting place for travellers on hillside trails) was formally opened on 23 September 2013 at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire. The service was attended by representatives from all UK-based Gurkha units, members from the Gurkha Brigade Associations (GBA), Gurkha Welfare Trust, Gurkha Museum and local dignitaries.
The President of the GBA, Lt Gen Sir David Bill KCB, opened the service, which was then followed by a brief dedication and blessing of the Memorial by Pandit, Lama and GBA honorary chaplain. The Chairman GBA, Brig John Anderson led the Remembrance Service and one-minute silence was observed in remembrance of the fallen.
The Memorial, in the form of a traditional Nepalese ‘Chautara’, was erected as a result of two years of voluntary work by Mr Andrew Brown-Jackson and his team of volunteer workers from the Queen’s Gurkha Signals.
Further article on the Gurkha memorial is contained in the BFBS Gurkha Facebook link: http://www.bfbs.com/radio/article/gurkha-memorial-dedication-service