On the 22nd of March, Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas (HQBG) hosted His Excellency Mr Gyan Chandra Acharya Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nepal to the United Kingdom. Also attending was the Nepal Defence Attaché (Colonel Ratna Kumar Godhar). The purpose of the visit was to welcome the new Ambassador and enhance an existing good working relationship between the Embassy of Nepal and the HQBG.
Lieutenant General Richard Wardlaw OBE (Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas) and Colonel David Robinson (Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas) greeted the Ambassador on his arrival outside Robertson House, the home of HQBG. An honour guard was on parade from across the Brigade capbadges, with the parade commander duties assigned to Captain Tom Sachs (Brigade of Gurkhas Adjutant).
The Ambassador was invited to inspect and meet the Gurkhas on parade by Captain Sachs and he was escorted around the honour guard. Music was supplied by a Bagpiper from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment (QOGLR).
Once the parade was completed the Ambassador was invited into the building and signed the HQBG visitors book, before he was given a brief about the Brigade from the HQBG staff including; Major Daniel O’Connor (Chief of Staff), Major Gary Power (Deputy Chief of Staff), Major Jit Jamal (Officer Commanding Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support) and Major Mani Rai MBE (Brigade Secretary). This was followed with a one-to-one discussion between the Ambassador and Lieutenant General Wardlaw.
On completion of the briefs and discussions, the Ambassador had the opportunity to meet more Gurkhas, who were arranged in the corridors of HQBG as groups relating to their capbagdes. The Ambassador was intrigued to know which district in Nepal each of the Gurkhas came from and was pleased to find several from his own district.
He was also keen to know what roles that had in the British Army and about some of the places they had deployed. An excellent Nepalese style lunch was produced by two chefs from QOGLR for the guests and served downstairs in Robertson House, allowing further less formal discussions to take place with the Ambassador and various senior Gurkhas, including the Gurkha Majors.
After lunch, the Ambassador was driven to Aldershot to visit the Gurkha temple located at the home of QOGLR. Here he had the opportunity to talk with the two pundits assigned to support the Brigade to understand how the British Army has allocated support to the religious and cultural side of our Brigade, a key part of the moral component and support to not only serving Gurkhas but their families as well.