The existing rates of Gurkha Retirement Pension, Gurkha Service Pension, Gurkha Disability Pension and Gurkha Family Pension have been revised with effect from 1 April 2019. The current rates, which are based on Indian Army pensions, but incorporate a welfare related cash uplift to take account of the benefits in kind provided to Indian Army ex-servicemen, have received a 2019 pension increment of 3.7% to take account of cost of living increases in Nepal. In line with existing policy the increase is based on the Nepal Rastra Bank consumer price index for inflation in Nepal.
The results of the Indian 7th Central Pay Commission (7CPC) have been announced separately and are not included in these new rates. Full 7CPC rate tables will be issued in due course.
More details can be found in the letter and tables on the attachments below.
Sittang Day Celebration 2019
“Sittang” is the battle honour won by 1/4th Gorkha Rifles (part of 17th British Indian Infantry Division) on 23rd February 1942 during the Burma Campaign. The Battle of Sittang Bridge is one of the most well-known battles of that time where more than 5,000 soldiers lost their lives in action against the Japanese.
On 4th March 2019, Gurkha Company Sittang (GCS) commemorated “Sittang Day” in front of their home, Nepal Lines in Sandhurst, to honour the fallen. GCS Second in Command Captain Dipakraj Ghale, gave a powerful account of the battle and explanation of the battle honour. Sergeant Prakash Gurung led the honour guard who gave the salute to the fallen soldiers for their sacrifice, before Officer Commanding Major Chandra Pun and Commanding Officer Sandhurst Support Unit Lieutenant Colonel Chris Boryer MBE laid wreathes in memory of those who fought so bravely.
GCS celebrated “Sittang Day” to remember and honour our great forefathers. The sacrifice they made are the reasons we are who we are today.
“When you go home, tell them of us and say; for your tomorrow, we gave our today”
Dear all Gurkha Brigade Association friends, please find below the link to all online version of Parbate.
This is March’s edition and it covers some events including:
The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.
The Brigade Culture and Language Team (BCLT) is currently in Nepal to deliver a ten week long residential Nepali language course. The Survival Nepali Language Course (SNLC), as it is known, is run in British Gurkhas Pokhara and commenced on 18th February 2019.
The SNLC is in its second week and expected to finish on 25th April 2019 following which they complete a two week long Directed Duty Trek in Nepal. A total of ten new Young Officers across the Brigade of Gurkhas Units are participating on the course.
Colonel Royal Gurkha Rifles, Major General Strickland DSO MBE visited the BCLT during his visit to Nepal on 26th February 2018 and was briefed on its activities. He also took the time to meet the students where he re-emphasised the importance and the relevance of Young Officers learning the Nepali language.
The delivery of Nepali language and culture to prepare British officers and soldiers to serve with Gurkhas goes to the heart of the Brigade. The SNLC offers a rare opportunity to Young Officers joining the Brigade to learn, first hand, about the people, culture and the rich tradition of the Gurkha soldier in a unique environment.
On 11th March 2019 members of the Brigade of Gurkhas gathered with International Commonwealth dignitaries, representatives of International organisations, Embassies, High Commissions and Service representatives for the Commonwealth Commemoration event at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill, London.
The history behind the Memorial.
On the 6th November 2002 Her Majesty The Queen officially inaugurated the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill, in London. 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.
Since Her Majesty opened the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill in 2002, there has been a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial Gates to commemorate the actions of all those from the Empire who sought for the British in the two World Wars.
On 10th March Rt Hon Mark Lancaster TD VR MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, announced an expansion to the Brigade of Gurkhas which will see it provide an additional Queen’s Gurkha Engineer Squadron, two additional Queen’s Gurkha Signals Squadrons and additional support to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion and the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
He also confirmed the reformation of 3rd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles to become the British Army’s fifth Specialised Infantry Battalion (SpIB).
The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15) set out the Army’s plans to develop up to five specialised infantry battalions. Specialised Infantry Battalions consist of about 270 personnel, roughly half the size of an ordinary infantry battalion.
They are made up of Non-Commissioned Officers/Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and officers as their role is to train, advise, assist and mentor designated partner nation, something that private soldiers would not be experienced enough to do.
They will operate overseas in specified regions on a long-term basis, to enable the formation of strong relationships and to gain in-depth knowledge of their areas of responsibility including the terrain, culture and language.
The expansion in the Brigade will allow Gurkhas to access more career opportunities, including promotion and increased chances to serve a full 24-year Army career within the Brigade of Gurkhas. To assist with initial requirements, there will be an increase in Gurkha recruiting from 270 in 2018 to 432 personnel per year for the next few years.
Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster has announced an increased support package for 22,000 Gurkha veterans and their families.
The veterans, who all joined the Brigade of Gurkhas before 2007, will benefit from a £15 million (2.2bn Nepali Rupees) increase in the Gurkha Pension Scheme. While the increased remuneration will vary depending on an individual’s circumstances, veterans could receive increases of up to 34% extra in their pensions and with the increases being backdated to 1 January 2016 this means Gurkha pensioners will receive a total of £46m (6.7bn Nepali Rupees) extra this financial year.
Alongside the increased pensions, the MOD is also announcing today a new £25 million (3.6bn Nepali Rupees) investment, over the next ten years, for medical support for veterans living in Nepal.
This new investment will be delivered in partnership with the Gurkha Welfare Trust, a charity which provides a range of support to Gurkha veterans in Nepal, including via a series of regional healthcare facilities.
Today’s announcement comes after Mr Lancaster recently visited Nepal, where he met with the President, Rt. Hon. Mrs Bidya Devi Bhandari, to present the annual report of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
The Minister also met with the Prime Minister of Nepal, Rt Hon. Mr K P Sharma Oli, the country’s Foreign and Defence Ministers, and the Chief of the Nepal Army Staff. Both sides emphasised the importance of Gurkhas in the UK-Nepal relationship and discussions covered a range of issues, including the additional support for Gurkha veterans being announced today and UK-Nepal economic and investment collaboration.
The Minister also saw work being done to reduce pollution and improve social conditions in brick kiln manufacture being supported by DFID Nepal.
Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said:
This pension increase for Gurkha veterans, alongside long-term funding for healthcare support in Nepal, will make a difference to the lives of Gurkha veterans and their families.
I have huge respect for the Gurkhas, who have been important to the British military for more than 200 years, and I hope will be for many years to come.
These are significant sums which reflect the outcome of dialogue with Gurkha veterans and the Government of Nepal.
Read more on these documents:
Brigadier Simon Banton OBE, who has recently taken over as Head of Arms and Services (Commander of all Regimental/Corps Headquarters) at Home Command, made his first official visit to Headquarters (HQ) Brigade of Gurkhas in his new role on Thursday 21st February.
The Brigadier received a welcome brief on the HQ and wider Brigade from Colonel James Robinson CBE and Major Shane Burton, who were able to explain the Brigade’s laydown and unique construct as well as the plans to help alleviate the Army’s current manning challenge before taking the time to meet and talk to other HQ staff over coffee.
Brigadier Banton has taken up his new post having previously served as Chief of Staff at HQ Regional Command and was delighted to be able to talk about his previous experiences including three official visits to Nepal and Brunei.
This year the Brigade of Gurkhas will run a Photography Competition open to all serving members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and Gurkha Veterans.
There will be a prize for the best image and this will be presented by the Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas. The winning image will also feature on the front of an edition of Parbate in 2019.
The best images will also feature on our various websites and social media channels to enhance the brand of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
If you are a professional photographer in your own right you are not allowed to enter and any entries made from such parties will be removed from the competition. HQBG reserves the right to disallow any entries or persons submitting entries.
So please submit your entries (up to 3 per person) and application form to: email@example.com no later than 31st May 2019.
Congratulations to 28 Squadron, who are the winners of Commander’s Sword Cross Country 2019. 36 Squadron finished second and 1 Squadron finished third.
The race was held over a gruelling 10km route around the Aldershot military training area.
The following were the worthy winners of individual medals:
Master’s Medal (40 and above)
Overall first Senior Non-Commissioned Officer