The Kurseong branch of the British Gurkhas Ex-Servicemen’s Association held an all-cap-badge Gurkha 200 celebration event at Monteviot Ground, Kurseong, Darjeeling District, on Saturday 25th April 2015 for all ex-Gurkhas living in India. Attractions at the event included music from the Ramakrishna Girls’ Band, the Darjeeling Police Pipes and Drums and St Joseph’s Girls High School Band and there were Nepalese cultural shows performed by Prativa Pariwar and Gyandeep School.
Guests included Capt Rambahadur Limbu VC, the widow of Ganju Lama VC, representatives from the Gurkha Brigade Association in UK, the Nepal-based Regimental Associations, the Indian Army Gorkha regiments and dignitaries from the Police and the local administration.
The exceptional support received from UK, from HQBG, GBA, the Regimental Associations and individuals meant that we were able to run an inclusive event and to ensure that no one was left out either because they could not afford travel costs or because they needed assistance to attend. A special award was made to the oldest ex-Serviceman attending, 96 year-old Rfn Bhudiman Thami, 4/10GR.
Inevitably, the event was overshadowed by the news of the first earthquake in Nepal but support for those attendees from Nepal was quick and the organisers were also able to start immediately putting together their own relief effort.
The day made it plain to all that we are all part of the British Gurkha family, whatever our cap-badge. This feeling of camaraderie was favourably commented on in the local press and by local dignitaries, as was the importance of the strong historical bonds linking Britain and India.