On the 10th of November 2022 members of the Gurkha Brigade Association and representatives from all the current and past regimental associations came together at the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey and the Gurkha Soldier Memorial opposite the Ministry of Defence Building in Whitehall.
The Field of Remembrance is organised by the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory as part of the annual Poppy Appeal commemorations. Each year, hundreds of volunteers help us to plant more than 120,000 tributes across six Fields of Remembrance in the UK. Members of the public can make a Remembrance tribute to be planted in the fields, in the form of a religious or secular symbol carrying a poppy and a personal message to someone who lost their life in the Service of our country.
The Field of Remembrance was started in 1928 by Major Howson MC, the founder of the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory. Major Howson and a few disabled ex-servicemen from the Poppy Factory grouped together around a battlefield cross and with trays of poppies, invited passers-by to plant a poppy in the vicinity of the cross. Since then, the Field has evolved to include a wide range of military interests. Ex-Servicemen and Woman, both young and old turn out for the opening ceremony to pay their respects to their colleagues.
On this occasion for the Westminster Garden, the Royal representation was the Queen Consort, who was escorted around the garden to talk to representatives from all the regiments and Corps, past and present, who had poppy memorials in the garden.
The Gurkha Brigade Association members and associated other guests moved along Whitehall, stopping to pay respect and lay wreaths at the statue of the 1st Viscount William Slim, who led many Gurkhas as part of the India Army and turned potential defeat in Burma into success. The Field Marshal had originally joined 6 Gurkha Rifles at the end of the World War One having fought alongside them in Gallipoli.
The representatives then moved to the Gurkha Soldier Memorial where the Gurkha Prayer and Collect were read, a Bagpiper from the Brigade of Gurkhas performed a lament and a Bugler played Last Post and Reveille after a 2-minute silence. A wreath for each of the past and current regiments of the Brigade of Gurkhas were laid at the foot of the monument.