By Sig Buddha Gurung
The stage was all set, all the preparations and scheduling was prepared in advance for an educational visit that would see Intake 2012 QGS visit various sites like the Gurkha Museum in Winchester, one of the ancient 7 wonders of the world Stonehenge, Blandford camp as well as the current exercise which was being run by the 248 Squadron in Okehampton. All there was left to do to make this trip a memorable day for us was to actually visit these places of interest, and inherit all the beauty and knowledge that these places had to offer. So, there we were at sharp 8am in the dawn of a quite chilly morning on the 7th November ready to embark on the long road ahead.
The first ‘pitstop’ was to visit the exercise run by the 248 Squadron in Oakhampton. After couple of hours of journey on a really drowsy seat condensed with hot air, we finally arrived at Oakhampton and were warmly greeted by 248 Squadron’s SSM Sahib WO2 Khagendra Pun. We were given a general overview as to what an exercise would look like in the Gurkha Signals. After our lunch, we were given a presentation mainly by the OC Sahib, Former Yoman SSgt Autar Shrestha and the OIC SSgt Sunuwar with a brief introduction of the exercise, as well as life in 248 Squadron. Immediately after finishing the presentation we went down to look at the exercise where we learned about the aim of the exercise, the different equipments in use such as the richer, routers, crypto, electricity and many more. We also learned that the 248 Squadron’s primary role was to assist the NATO forces.
After completing our visit to Oakhampton, we set off for Blandford and we reached there at around 8pm in the evening. We had our dinner and that was about it for the day. All we had going in our minds was how the lifestyle was going to be and what sort of accommodation we were likely to get on our future first course in Blandford. The next day all the answers were resolved when we were given a brief introduction about life in Blandford by Sgt Surendra Limbu. We were given ample of information about the three different trades as well as about the place itself and what sort of discipline was required of us. At night fall, there was a meet and greet programme launched by our Sergeant Jagatram guruji. All NCO’s up to the Officers level were at the programme and we were given plenty of advice and information, not forgetting that there was dinner available to satisfy our starved stomachs.
The following day was one which we were really looking forward too and surely we were not disappointed as we finally got to witness one of the ancient 7 wonders of the world, ‘Stonehenge’, with our naked eyes. We snapped many marvellous pictures and also managed to take our group photo there. However, we were still not fully satisfied until the day came to a truly astounding end when we visited our final destination at Winchester to witness the long and hard fought history of our ancestors at The Gurkha Museum, before we headed back to Bramcote. There we were warmly greeted by the personnel who were mostly senior retired officers and a lawyer. We were given a short presentation as to how the name Gurkha really came into existence and the history of them. We certainly got an excellent oppturnity to witness and inherit all the beauty of knowledge that the Gurkha Museum had to offer to us.
All in all, our educational visit was most beneficial to us, learning about the different aspects in life and seeing all that nature had to provide us. This trip shall indeed be an inscription to us in the long and windy route ahead of us, and certainly would never have been a success if it wasn’t for Sgt Jagatram guruji, his team and Sahibs who took time and effort to make this trip a complete success.