12 May 1969 – 19 July 2011 | Died in Service
Gurkha Staff & Personnel Support Company
It is with great sadness that we record the death of Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Somprasad Gurung GSPS, who was serving at the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow.
His funeral took place in Invicta Park Barracks, Maidstone, on 9 August. Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Colonel D G Hayes CBE, delivered the eulogy which is reproduced below.
On behalf of both our Colonel Commandant General Sir David Richards and the Colonel of the Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support Company Brigadier Nicky Moffat, I express to both Padma and Srijan the heartfelt condolences of the Brigade on the loss of their dear husband and father Warrant Officer Class One Somprasad Gurung, who died in Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow on 19th July after a short illness, with members of his family and colleagues by his bedside. He was 42 years old.
Padma and Srijan have lost a husband and father who is the dearest to them, who cannot ever be replaced. The Brigade has lost one of its most highly respected Warrant Officers whose death leaves us bereft of his wise counsel and professional talent. He was the epitome of loyalty and dedication to his profession. He would have been a most able influence of reassurance within the Brigade of the future.
He was born in Bhoksing Deurali, in the Parbat district of Nepal on 12th May 1969. He joined the British Army in April 1989 as a Regimental Clerk with The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers in Hong Kong. His father Lt (QGO) Motiprasad Gurung had served for over 25 years with The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, before retiring in 1986.
It is because of those close family regimental ties with The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers that we are assembled here today. During more than 22 years service, W01 Somprasad served in a wide variety of units, appointments and theatres, including South Korea, the Falkland Islands, Brunei, Fiji, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada and Kenya. Prior to taking up his appointment at the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow he served with the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, during which time he deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months as the Regiment’s Assistant Intelligence Officer. He was selected for promotion to W01 for appointment as the Divisional Career Management Officer (DCMO) for the Brigade in May last year, and was the first and only warrant officer to fill this captain’s post. Since taking up this demanding, wide-ranging appointment he discharged all his duties and responsibilities with aplomb, and was admired for his calm, methodical and ever-reliable approach and attitude. He was both respected and justifiably popular. He had intended to apply for a commission within the Brigade this year but his health precluded that. As a younger man he was a competitive footballer. Like many of his generation of Gurkhas, he was also a keen golfer and renowned for the length of his powerful drives, which undoubtedly contributed to his winning of the inaugural Bardell Golf Cup in 2009.
W01 Somprasad had a quiet, unassuming nature, but could be firm and forceful when the occasion required. He had a meticulous eye for detail. Despite his natural reserve, he had a ready sense of humour and a bright, engaging smile; it was seldom that there was not a twinkle in his eyes. A natural family man, he was very much a team player and he clearly relished and enjoyed being an active member of a small, close-knit community. Within our Brigade of Gurkhas we are very proud of our Clerks. They make an invaluable contribution to the operational effectiveness of all our units. They provide the foundation for our unit’s administration and have a direct influence on the lives of our soldiers and their families. W01 Somprasad was at the pinnacle of his expertise when his distinguished life was tragically cut short.
He never had the privilege to serve in the uniform of the GSPS. However, I do know from the conversations that I had with him when I consulted him regarding its formation, that he was a keen advocate of the GSPS concept.
He recognised in the Company the road for further opportunities for our Clerks. It was for them that he placed a priority to ensure they received the benefits of broader career advantages which had not been available to him. It was typical that his priority was the minding of the career future of others. Furthermore, he would have felt very humbled that Brigadier Nicky Moffat the first Colonel of the GSPS Company has joined us in our congregation here today. W01 Somprasad’s death in the prime of life and career was as untimely as it was unexpected. We have lost not only a conscientious and truly professional colleague, but a dear and well-loved brother and friend.
May the blessings of all our Gods wrap their arms around W01 Somprasad, and we should pray that they shall give comfort and strength to Padma and Srijan, for now and the years ahead.
Amen – Jai Gurkha.
Parbate September 2011