Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Staff Sergeant Balaram Rai

21st June 1999

SSgt Balaram Rai

21167255 SSgt Balaram Rai was born in Bhojpur, East Nepal on 28 Dec 63. He enlisted into the Brigade of Gurkhas in 24 Jan 1985 from Dharan, East Nepal. Having completed his Basic Infantry training at the Training Depot Brigade of Gurkhas in Hong Kong, he joined the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers on 14 Dec 1985.

SSgt Balaram Rai was involved from the very beginning with the entry in Kosovo. He first flew into Macedonia at short notice with the remainder of the Squadron in order to begin preparations for the entry operation. During the first few days, with the rapid pace of change and movement beginning to take their toll it was his, and others’ like him, steady hand that guided the soldiers and their young officers through, and enabled clear and calm thought. During the initial KFOR entry into Kosovo, and the advance up an exposed main road littered with the debris of war and with an extreme likelihood of mining, SSgt Balaram led the way.

His task, to recce and classify bridges for the advance of NATO armour meant that he spent most of the time at the forefront, calmly going about his business, ever alert to the very real threat. A successful entry into the country having been achieved, SSgt Balaram and his troop were rapidly deployed into The Dresnica, a notorious region that had seen some of the worst of the atrocities committed by the Serbs. It was in this area on 21 June 1999, whilst attempting with his officer to clear a local school of unexploded munitions, that
he was killed.

SSgt Balaram Rai was a conscientious, industrious and willing individual, who diligently approached all his duties. He had exhibited all the exemplary qualities expected from a Gurkha Soldier and was set on a excellent career. He was very proud to serve in the British Army. SSgt Balaram always took his duty very seriously and was a very cheerful and popular SNCO in the Regiment. During his tenure of service, he had served in Hong Kong, Brunei, Great Britain, Norway, Bosnia, Falkland Islands, Canada, Kenya and Kosovo. SSgt Balaram Rai was married and has a son (6 yrs) and a daughter (5 yrs).

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