On the 14th of October 2023 the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE) celebrated 75 years since their formation. A parade took place at Invicta Barracks, Kent UK. The inspecting Officer was the Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, Lieutenant General Richard Wardlaw OBE.
Gurkha Training Squadron RE was formed on the 4th of October 1948. 67 Field Squadron RE was raised in 1949, 68 Field Squadron RE in 1950 and the RHQ of 50 Field Regiment RE followed in 1951. The whole Regiment became part of the Brigade of Gurkhas in 1955 and on the 28th of September that year the name was changed to The Gurkha Engineers. It is this day that which is now celebrated every year the Regimental Birthday. The Royal title, Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, was bestowed by Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the 21st of April 1977.
QGE is now formed of 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, 70 Gurkha Parachute Squadron, 67 Gurkha Field Squadron and Gurkha Troop 37 Field Squadron.
During the parade a late entry Commissioning took place, and the Hendry Trophy, Bowring Trophy and Durand Medal were awarded for exceptional endeavours and professionalism over the last 12 months by selected personnel in QGE.
During the parade an historical enactment of the history of QGE was played out, in uniforms from across the history of the Regiment and the reformation of the Pipes and Drums of QGE. This was followed by an excellent Khukuri Fighting Skills Demonstration.
The Colonel Commandant, Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Commandant QGE and other senior officers were then asked to cut a large Birthday cake with two even larger Kukuri Knifes. This was followed by an update from the Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Castro (Commandant QGE) and an address by the Inspecting Officer.
The Commandant QGE said, “today is an historic occasion and the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers move from strength to strength and are an integrated part of the Regiment and the local community around Maidstone. You can all be proud to say you are part of the historic journey of the Brigade of Gurkhas”.
The parade was supported by The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas. After the parade QGE personnel and guests retired for lunch prepared by Gurkha chefs and the Gurkha Major thanked everyone for their work and attending the event.
Photographs by: Mr Mick Latter