On the auspicious occasion of Bijaya Dashami and Dipawali, Bikram Sambat 2077, I send my warmest wishes for a Happy Dashain and a prosperous Tihar to all past and present members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and your extended pariwar.
Like so many events and occasions, the festival falls during the Covid-19 pandemic and we will be prevented from celebrating in the traditional manner or in the way we would wish. We have all had to adapt, at work and at home there was no Pandemic SOP to go to in our Tactical Aide Memoire! For some, Dashain and Tihar will be a particularly religious and spiritual time, for others it is an occasion that will remind you of home, the friends and family still there and the rich tapestry of cultures in Nepal that are reflected in the Brigade. Regardless of one’s faith, it’s certainly a time to reflect and refocus. It is a time to thank our families for their love, care and support. This year celebrations might be different with so many of our spouses working for the NHS and in the care sector. For some, there will be enforced separation due to the travel restrictions.
Dashain is also a time where we can reflect on the military achievements of the last year, the overseas operations and exercises; and the support of other government departments in the UK. High profile delivery for the NHS being an obvious headline. Basic skills have been maintained and much value has been added in the moral component space with hugely inventive charity events, challenges and training. Our units in Nepal and Brunei have shown great resilience when faced with local challenging aspects of the pandemic and are coming through with enhanced reputations. This is all testament to strong leadership, team work and hard work – Gurkha hallmarks.
Well done and thank you for all your collective and individual efforts once again. The Reputation of the Brigade is justifiably strong and all our six cap badges are delivering to the highest professional standards despite these unique and testing times. The growth of the Brigade of Gurkhas, to deliver additional capability for Defence and the British Army, continues apace. We all continue to have a part to play in this. We must set the conditions in our units and sub units to receive our latest gallah into the Field Army. Concurrently, our teams in Nepal are grappling with the Covid-19 restrictions and in Catterick as they prepare their training and transition.
I wish you and your families a prosperous, peaceful and heathy year ahead.
Colonel J P Davies MBE