An attestation parade was held on 3 January 2016 in British Gurkhas Pokhara with the families of the successful 240 recruits invited to attend the celebration from different corners of Nepal. The sun shined down beautifully onto Pokhara for a memorable parade where Trainee Rifleman swore their Oath of Allegiance to HRH and the British Army in front of their families and loved ones.
500 recruits were called forward from regional selection (250 from both east and west respectively) in the first week of December and spent two weeks being tested to the limit with everything from language tests, medical examinations, swimming challenges, fitness tests and the legendary doko race.
The very best were selected to join the ranks of the British Gurkhas with a further a further few being selected for the Gurkha Contingent Singapore Police Force.
Lt Gen James Bashall, CBE, presided over the ceremony and inspected the newly recruited Trainee Riflemen while the recently appointed British Ambassador to Nepal, His Excellency Richard Morris also attended.
This year has been especially challenging for Nepal and for selection as a result of the Earthquake and Fuel Crisis so it was a wonderful day to celebrate. The Nepal Army Band were appointed to play music throughout the Parade. After the Parade, the 240 young men, already somewhat soldier like in appearance, shared tales of their experiences at selection with their families. Fathers looked on proud; girlfriends impressed; whilst mothers often wept with a mixture of joy and sadness as their sons embarked on their wonderful new journey.
The families know their sons are in the excellent hands of Gurkha Company Catterick and the 240 are all too aware that they owe a large amount of their success to their families, who they will always look after and keep in their hearts. These newly recruited Trainee Rifleman will now undergo nine months of Combat Infantrymen Training in Catterick to become the real Gurkhas.