14 September 2020
DELHI DAY GREETINGS
DAILY TELEGRAPH ANNOUNCEMENT
‘In memoriam their name liveth for evermore’
2ND KING EDWARD VII’S OWN GURKHA RIFLES.—(The Sirmoor Rifles). Delhi Day 14th September 2020. On this day, the surviving members of the Regiment remember with pride all those who gave their lives serving in our Regiment from 1815 to 1994. Online ref: 586663
SIRMOOR CLUB (NEPAL)
Dear President, Chairman and Trustee saheb haru and SC UK Members
On the occasion of 163rd Delhi Day I on behalf of all Sirmooris in Nepal, India, Brunei and Hong Kong send you Delhi Day Greetings.
Although due to COVID-19 no other branches will be observing, the Pokhara Branch will hold a brief ceremony to commemorate Delhi Day at the Gurkha Memorial Museum Pokhara in front of the Lal Gate on 14th September 2020. Under the Branch Chairman Captain Karnabahadur Thapa, a small group of about 8 Sirmoori veterans will gather keeping social distance wearing their Anniversary Medal. The Story of the Siege of Delhi by The Sirmoor Battalion in 1857 will be read by the senior Sirmooree present Major Yambahadur Gurung BEM. The Last Post bugle call will be played, wreath will be laid to remember the Delhi veterans and the replica of the Queen’s Truncheon will be given full respect by those present.
Jai Sirmoor !
BIOGRAPHY OF GENERAL RONNIE McALISTER
Rupert Litherland’s biography of General Ronnie McAlister, who served as Major General Brigade of Gurkhas, titled ‘A Modest Major General’ is now available on Amazon or through Waterstones. It follows Rupert’s biography on General ‘Bunny’ Burnett and is his second contribution to Brigade and 10GR history.
The reviews, so far are:
General Sir Garry Johnson, who served in 2/10GR with Ronnie McAlister, writes ‘I thought I knew ‘Ronnie Mac’, as he was known, but Rupert’s research and insights have revealed a great deal I did not know about Major General Ronnie McAlister’s life and achievements: both are of interest.‘
Gordon Corrigan, historian and ex-6GR writes: ‘Of particular value, not just to the Brigade but to military historians generally, is the account of the events on the Hong Kong border in 1967, when McAlister was in command of 1/10GR’. Litherland has gone to great lengths to uncover previously unpublished sources and interview leading participants, and he has produced the most accurate account to date, and which is unlikely to be surpassed’. A Modest Major general is a good read.’
SOLDIER IN THE SAND – LT GEN SIR SIMON MAYALL – TALK AT THE NAM
Members may be interested to see the following presentation ‘Soldier in the Sand’ by Lt Gen Sir Simon Mayall.
AWARD TO MAJ(Retd) SUDAH DEWAN BEM
Congratulations to Maj (Retd) Sudan Dewan BEM, who is working as a Safety & Security Supervisor at DELL HQ Scotland, Glasgow on being awarded a highly commended “Community Core Value Certificate” by the Securitas UK Security Company in recognition of his outstanding achievements and ongoing dedication to the community during the COVID-19 crisis.
Left to Right: Joseph McLoughlin (Regional Security Manager EMEA),
Sudan Dewan, Mark White (Senior Director, DELL Scotland).
14 September 2020
GURKHA BRIGADE ASSOCIATION EVENTS IN NOVEMBER 2020
The Chairman of the GBA has issued the following updates:
GBA Briefing and Dinner: I regret to announce that due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, the President GBA has decided that in the interest of our Members, the Pre-GBA dinner briefing and the GBA dinner is to be cancelled.
Field of Remembrance Service: At present The Royal British Legion intend to continue with the Field of Remembrance Service (FoRS), but at a much reduced level. As yet I have not been informed as to how many GBA Members will be issued with tickets. My intent is to have at least one member form each RA present, to enable us to continue with the Slim and Gurkha statues ceremonies.
AGM: Dependant on the attendance at the FoRS, the Chairman GBA’s intent was to hold the AGM at the Army and Navy Club as originally planned. This, however, has changed with the latest Govt announcement about size of household groups (6) that may meet. The GBA AGM will, therefore, be a virtual meeting via Skype/Zoom – details to follow.
Cenotaph Parade – 8 Nov 20: The Cenotaph Parade is to go ahead, but again at a much reduced level. Each “Association” will only be allowed a maximum of 8 marchers only. Again details to follow.
13 September 2020
DELHI DAY MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT & CHAIRMAN OF THE SIRMOOR RIFLES ASSOCIATION
GAVIN EDGERLEY-HARRIS, DIRECTOR GURKHA MUSEUM – (Gathering material for a farewell presentation)
Gavin Edgerley-Harris will stand down as Director The Gurkha Museum at the end of this month. His successor is Daren Bowyer and a Press Release announcing his appointment was published on the website at the end of July (see below).
A Kudoboard has been established to enable those who know Gavin to place photos, messages etc which will be converged into hard copy as a memento of his time as custodian of the Brigade’s heritage. This is where we can all place messages, photos and other media and this will converted into a permanent and hard copy memento for Gavin at the end of the month. You can post as many times as you want or add to your post. Photos will be particularly welcome.The Kudoboard can be accessed at: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/XAUguELP
The SRA Chairman has asked for this information to be put on the Noticeboard so that Sirmooreescan record their appreciation of the terrific work he has done on our behalf and wish him well in retirement.
13 September 2020
GENERAL SIR SAM COWAN – ENTERTAINING GURKHA VCs
Sirmooris may be interested in this article by General Sir Sam Cowan describing a visit to his house by 5 Gurkha VC winners in 1995 (click on the link to access it).
15 August 2020
OBITUARY: Indian Army No. 7514 Rfm Chamar Gurung Ex 2/2 GR
The late Rfm Chamar Gurung, 100 years old, at Field Marshal Lord Bramall’s Memorial Service at the Residential Home Kaski on 4th December 2019.
We regret to inform all that Rfm Chamar Gurung ex 2/2 GR, a Resident of Residential Home Kaski (RHK), passed away in Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara, on 20 August 2020 from illnesses unrelated to COVID-19.
Born on 1st January 1921 in Singdi, Pashgaon VDC, Lamjung, Rfm Chamar Gurung joined the British Indian Army on 16 November 1940 and was discharged on 17 June 1946. He was Prisoner of War (PoW) in Singapore from 1942 to1945. He had been suffering from gallbladder cancer for a long time and was admitted to Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara, on 7 Aug.
Coordinated by Lamjung Pokhara Samaj Rfm Chamar’s last rites were performed by his nephew and his daughter and son-in-law, and as per his wish was cremated at Ramghat, Pokhara on the same day, attended by other family relatives living in Pokhara. Sadly his only son, aged 75, who lives in his village in Singdi could not be present because he himself is suffering from spinal injury.
Date for his Arghun to be held in Lamjung is yet to be announced.
The President, Chairman and members of the Sirmoor Rifles Association, Chairmen of the Sirmoor Sathies UK and Sirmoor Club Nepal and all Sirmooris in the UK, Nepal, India, Brunei and Hong Kong offer their condolences to the late Rfm Chamar Gurung’s son and other members in the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.
Lt Gen Sir Peter Duffell meeting Rfm Chamar Gurung at the Residential Home in Kaski in 2015
A tribute to Rfm Chamar has also been posted on the GWT website here: https://www.gwt.org.uk/news/In-honour-of-Chamar-bahadur-gurung/
15 August 2020
GURKHA VCs IN BURMA – ARTICLE FROM DAILY TELEGRAPH 15 AUGUST 2020 BY LT GEN SIR PETER DUFFELL
You can download a copy (e.g. for printing) by clicking on the link below the article.
GBA VJ DAY COMMEMORATION IN LONDON 15 AUGUST 2020
Lt Gen Sir Peter Duffell represented the Sirmoor Rifles Association at the GBA VJ Commemoration event in London with representatives of the other Gurkha Regiments plus Gavin Edgerley-Harris (the curator of the Gurkha Museum), Major Mani Rai the Brigade Secretary and Hugo Slim, the grandson of Field Marshal Sir William Slim. The two Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officers, a bugler and a piper were also present. Wreaths were laid at the Chindit memorial and Field Marshal Slim’s statue followed by a short remembrance ceremony at the Gurkha statue in Whitehall.
Please follow this link to see the images from the VJ Day 75 GBA London events and please click here to see the record, including a video of the event, posted by the Gurkha Brigade Association on their website.
NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM (NAM) PRESENTATIONS
The NAM gave a very good presentation on ‘The War in the Far East and in Modern Memory’. In the short time available the 4 speakers, historians from the 3 service museums and CWGC gave a well-balanced, holistic view. Replay is available at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/neverforgotten.
11 August 2020
DEHRADUN TO DELHI CHARITY RUN – 8 SEPTEMBER 2020
A (Delhi) Coy 1 RGR is conducting a charity run where a section is collectively running the distance from Dehradun to Delhi, approximately 250km, with 16kg weight in the webbing and daysack on 08 September 2020. The event is led by Cpl Kiransingh Pariyar to mark the 163rd Delhi Day celebration in order to commemorate our forefathers during the siege of Delhi in 1857.
For Further details please click on Dehradun to Delhi Charity Run.
Please support this great initiative from A (Delhi) Coy 1RGR. As of 11 Aug, 51% of their total has been raised so far – lets help them pick up the pace!
8 August 2020
GENERAL COWAN ARTICLES ABOUT NEPAL
General Sir Sam Cowan, former Colonel Commandant of the Brigade of Gurkhas, has published 3 articles about the Ranas which give new insights into the history of Nepal based on his own research:
6 August 2020
VJ 75 – BURMA CAMPAIGN FACT SHEET (Produced by the Gurkha Museum)
Sirmooris will be interested in reading the VJ Day (15 Aug)– Burma Campaign Fact Sheet produced by the Gurkha Museum.
OBITUARY: Capt Guptabahadur Gurung (2nd Bn 1961 – 92)
Capt Guptabahadur Gurung (2nd Bn 1961 – 92) – Obituary
5 August 2020
OBITUARIES: CAPTAIN (QGO) TEJBAHADUR GURUNG MM AND LIEUTENANT (QGO) SOMBAHADUR THAPA MM
Notification has been received from Nepal of the death of two brave and highly-respected Gurkha Officers of the Regiment:
483492 CAPTAIN (QGO) TEJBAHADUR GURUNG MM 1/2 GR
Born: 1932, Kolma, Syangja. Enlisted 9 October 1949. Retired 24 June 1977 after 28 years’ service. Medals: GSM 1923 with Clasp Malaya and Clasp Brunei; Military Medal; GSM 1962 with Clasp Borneo; Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
Captain Tejbahadur was awarded the Military Medal when a Corporal Section Commander for his leadership and bravery on 27/28 September 1963 during an operation at Long Jawi in Borneo. An account of the action can be found in the Borneo section of the campaign medals page here.
He sadly suffered a stroke in 2001 since when he became housebound because of paralysis. The paralysis got worse over the years to the extent that in the last 5 years or so he was almost totally incapacitated. He passed away in Fishtail Hospital Pokhara on Tuesday 28 July 2020 at the age of 88. He leaves behind his widow Mrs Krishna Kumari Gurung, 3 sons, 2 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
The President, Chairman and members of the Sirmoor Rifles Association, the Chairman of the Sirmoor Club Nepal, all members of Central Committee and all Sirmooris in Nepal, India, Brunei and Hong Kong offer their condolences to the late Captain Tejbahadur Saheb’s widow and all members of his bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.
484179 LIEUTENANT (QGO) SOMBAHADUR THAPA MM 1/2 GR
Born 1931 in Panlase Gaon, Horsangde W/No 3, Parbat. His father was Subedar Dambarbahadur Thapa 9 GR. Enlisted 6 October 1949. Commissioned 25 April 1967. Retired 30 April 1970. Medals: GSM with Clasp Malaya; GSM 1962 with Clasp Borneo & Clasp Brunei; Military Medal; Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.
Lieutenant Sombahadur won his Military Medal for bravery as the Corporal Company Signaller for Captain F A Lea, Officer Commanding C Company, in the action in Tutong on 8/9 Dec 1962 during the Brunei Rebellion. Captain Lea won the Military Cross in the same operation. See an account of it in the campaign medals page here.
In retirement he was deeply involved in community work in his village and served as Gaon Panchayat Pradhan Pancha from 1987-91 (BS 2044-48).
He died peacefully at his home on 28 July 2019. He is survived by 3 wives (living) and many children and grand children.
The President, Chairman and members of the Sirmoor Rifles Association, the Chairman of the Sirmoor Club Nepal, all members of Central Committee and all Sirmooris in Nepal, India, Brunei and Hong Kong offer their condolences to the late Lieutenant Sombahadur Saheb’s widow and all members in the bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.
The Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel E D Smith DSO, introducing the then Sergeant Sombahadur Thapa MM to The Right Honourable Denis Healey, Secretary of State for Defence, in Singapore 1965.
31 July 2020
COMMONWEALTH VETERANS VJ DAY FILM TRIBUTE BY GENERAL THE LORD RICHARDS OF HERSTMONCEUX GCB CBE DSO DL
From: Grand President The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League
Lord Richards invites you to view an 8 minute film tribute to World War II Commonwealth Veterans who fought under command of Admiral Mountbatten (later to be The Earl Mountbatten of Burma), Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command. The film has been produced by the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League to commemorate and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Commonwealth contribution to victory in the Far East in August 1945.
BBC BROADCAST – VJ DAY 75 – SAT 15 AUG 2020
The BBC is broadcasting a 90 minute programme on mark VJ75 on Saturday 15th August on BBC One at 20:00 hrs.
There are interviews filmed with the Chindits and others, as part of the televised celebration of VJ Day 75. One of the veterans of the Burma Campaign being interviewed is Subedar-Major (Honorary Captain) Kulbahadur Gurung MM, 3rd/6th Gurkha Rifles.
RBL VJ DAY 75 – SHARE YOUR STORIES OF VJ DAY
As we mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on 15th August this year, The Royal British Legion is encouraging members of the public to learn more about the Asia-Pacific conflict. We will be shining a spotlight on the previously untold stories of the British, Allied and Commonwealth forces and civilians who served and sacrificed in the Far East during the Second World War.
The Legion is looking to highlight the significant contribution and diversity of all those who served in the Far East including military personnel and civilians from across Europe, Africa, South and East Asia, North America and Australasia. We would like to hear from veterans, descendants and those impacted by this period of history who are interested in sharing their stories and memories.
Those who would like to find out more, and are happy to be contacted by the Legion’s PR Team, should contact the Legion by emailing PRTeam@britishlegion.org.uk<mailto:PRTeam@britishlegion.org.uk>
Please note the intention is for the stories contributed to be shared in public forums such as media outlets and social media channels, but owing to the number received we are unfortunately unable to guarantee every story can be shared.
The Remembrance Team
199 Borough High Street
London SE1 1AA
VJ DAY 15 AUG 2020 – EVENTS
Plans for VJ Day have yet to be confirmed, however current plans include:
- RBL. The RBL is organising a National Act of Remembrance at 1100hrs on Saturday 15 August and that the focus will be a wreath laying ceremony at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. Details have been sent to RBL Members.
- Chindit Memorial, Slim Statue and Gurkha Statues in London. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions only “principle officers” (CDS, ACDS and the 3 x service chiefs) will attend the events with no requirement for Gurkha service personnel or veterans to attend. Gurkha presence will be in the form of a Piper/Bugler at these events. Col William Shuttlewood (Chairmen SRA), Brig John Anderson (President 6 GRRA), Col Bob Couldrey (Chairman 7 GRRA) and Col Nigel Rowe (Chairman 10 GRRA) plan to lay wreaths at these locations after the ‘official’ wreaths have been laid. Individuals who wish to pay tribute at any of the memorials may do so, but only after the MoD event has taken place.
- HQBG/GBA. HQBG and GBA have no plans to organise separate VJ 75 services.
- SRA. There are tentative plans to attend a service in either Salisbury or Winchester Cathedral followed by a curry in a local Gurkha Restaurant. Details tbc.
- Local Events. Local VJ Day Celebrations will be coordinated by Local Government authorities, supported by RBL under local arrangements following Governments COVID Guidelines in force at the time.
VJ DAY COMMEMORATION IN SE ASIA
Arrangements made under local arrangements
- SINGAPORE: 12 Aug 20 – Kranji War Memorial and 12 Sep 20 – Singapore-led Commemorations (anniversary of the signing of the surrender in Singapore).
- MALAYASIA: 15 Aug 20: Royal Artillery led Commemoration in Sandakan, Sabah.
- THAILAND: 15 Aug 20: RBL Service of Remembrance, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
- MYANMAR: 15 Aug 20: RBL Service of Remembrance at Htaukkyan Cemetery, Yangon.
- INDIA: 15 Aug 20: RBL Service of Remembrance at Imphal.
- INDONESIA: 15 Feb 20: Australia led ceremony in Muntok and 11 Nov 20: Australia Ceremony at Ambon CWGC. [/expander_maker]
APPOINTMENTS: GURKHA MUSEUM – Daren Bowyer Appointed as Director of the Gurkha Museum on the Retirement of Gavin Edgerley-Harris
The Gurkha Museum is very pleased to announce the appointment of Daren Bowyer as the new Director of the Gurkha Museum effective from 1 October 2020 in succession to Gavin Edgerley-Harris who is retiring after twentyseven years at the Gurkha Museum, latterly as Director for the last seven years. For further details please read the New Director Press Release
All members will be sad to see Gavin go after so many years, but Martin and his Trustees are confident that he hands over a very “safe pair of hands” in Darren.
APPOINTMENTS: DEPUTY FIELD DIRECTOR GWT(N) – Lt Col(retd) Yam Bahadur Rana (late Queen’s Gurkha Signals
Interviews were successfully held to select a new Deputy Field Director to take over from Maj Hemchandra Rai MBE BEM. Lt Col(retd) Yam Bahadur Rana (late Queen’s Gurkha Signals) was selected and, subject to a medical, will be taking up the role in October 2020.
GURKHA BRIGADE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GOLF DAY – THU 10 SEP 20
Please the attached instructions for the GBA Golf Competition from Major Dammar Shahi.
The attendance last year was good. You are requested to send your return to Major Dammar Shahi by 6th of Aug 20. Should you have any questions, he can be contacted on 07460 794797.
28 July 2020
REVISED CAMPAIGN MEDALS PAGE
Major John Harrop and Colonel Nick Hinton, with valuable support from Colonel Denis Wood, have compiled and posted a webpage of the 2nd Goorkhas campaign medals. As well as showing the medals themselves it contains short descriptions of the campaigns and some related photos and maps. More material will be added, but if you are looking for an accessible summary of the exciting bits of the Regiment’s history, please check it out.
6 June 2020
CENOTAPH PARADE 2020 – 8 NOVEMBER 2020
You will be aware that the “Calling Notice” for names to be submitted to The Royal British Legion normally comes out in June and we have a short period in which to submit names. So far I have had no indication of when the calling notice will be promulgated, or if indeed the event will take place.
If you are planning to march on 8 November 2020 with the GBA Contingent, it is essential that you submit ALL the details required as per the Cenotaph Return proforma. In summary, the following information is required:
First Name (this must be the name on photo ID)
Date of Birth (please use the format DD/MM/YYYY)
Place of Birth
First line of address
Military number (where applicable)
Criteria (see Category Box below)
Regtl Assn: 2GR SRA
|Category 1||Ex-Service Personnel holding a campaign medal|
|Category 2||Civilians deployed on operations in support of the Military
(Includes; Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Civil Servants)
|Category 3||Ex-Service Personnel with no campaign medal|
|Category 4||Bereaved Spouses (who died on operations)|
|Category 5||Veteran association representatives|
|Category 6||Military Charities and associated Civilian groups|
Applications. Please forward your details to the Hon Sec by Mon 22 Jun 20 in order for the Sirmoor return to be submitted to the Bde Sec by Fri 26 Jun 20.
CANCELLATION OF THE SIRMOOR CLUB ANNUAL REUNION – 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
The Sirmoor Club Reunion was programmed for 5 September 2020 at the Travellers Club. Regrettably due to the Coronavirus Pandemic the Sirmoor Club Committee has with reluctance cancelled the Sirmoor Club Annual Reunion 2020 at the Travellers Club, London.
CANCELLATION OF THE SIRMOOR SATHI ANNUAL DELHI DAY REUNION – 12 SEPTEMBER 2020
Regrettably due to the Coronavirus Pandemic the Sirmoor Sathi Committee has with reluctance cancelled the Sirmoor Sathis Annual ‘Delhi Day’ Reunion programmed for Saturday 12 September at the Empire Hall, Aldershot.
COVID-19 IMPACT ON GURKHA VETERANS
SITREPs on the impact of Covid-19 on our veterans in UK were sent out a few weeks ago. As a result, the Bde Sec has had a few enquiries from individuals asking how they can help.
The Bde Sec will need to discuss this with GWAC (Saisbury and Aldershot) to see if there is a possibility for a “one off” contribution to alleviate the hardship our veterans are going through. His intent is not to absolve RBL, ABF or the Government of their responsibilities but to provide a “sticking plaster” solution until they are able to get the help needed.
If you have anyone who is interested in assisting (financially, provisions or time) please ask them to get in touch with the Bde Sec at:
Major Mani K Rai MBE
Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas| Robertson House | Camberley | GU15 4NP