Does anyone know where and when this picture was taken? Please use the contact page of this website if you do!
Does anyone know where and when this picture was taken? Please use the contact page of this website if you do!
Issued 22 April 2020
The AGM took place at Pokhara, Nepal, on Saturday 21 March 2020. Coronavirus restrictions meant it was limited to 25 attendees but the business of the meeting was succesfully conducted.
6 GR REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION NEPAL, ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2020, SATURDAY 21 MARCH 2020
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place at Hotel Gurkha Haven, Dam Side, Pokhara on Saturday 21 March 2020 but unlike previous AGMs, it was a mini – gathering with just 22 members attending including 3 UK members who were here visiting their friends and relatives. Sadly this very low attendance, the lowest ever since the formation of 6 GR Regimental Association Nepal some 23 years ago, was due to severe restriction, of maximum of 25 people at any gathering, placed by the Nepali authorities to prevent possible spread of deadly Covid 19 virus in Nepal.
Even with very low attendance anticipated and exclusion of some elderly members, we were compelled to go ahead due to legal requirements governing the functioning of ‘associations’ in Nepal. Many of our ‘old and bold’ living in the vicinity, who were eager to attend and would have very much graced the function, had to be politely asked not to come due to the nature of Corona virus that reportedly tend to affect the elderly more than the ‘not so elderly’. This meeting also marked the 23rd anniversary of the formation of the 6 GR Regt Association of Nepal.
A month earlier, committee members and Area Representatives from Kathmandu, Chitwan and Butwal had met at this very venue to plan the AGM and a simultaneous ‘6 GR Reunions’ at all three locations a week later. Attendance at AGM, at that time, was anticipated at 200 members with most coming from nearby districts of Baglung, Parbat, Gorkha, Lamjung and Tanahun. And to cater for this number, we planned on hiring a local ‘Party Palace’. The Area Reps had been busy informing members in their respective areas, finding suitable venues and making necessary arrangements for a successful gathering. The Chairman had already nominated committee members to attend these ‘Reunions’ to show our solidarity and the central committee’s presence there. But as the crisis loomed and restrictions became known, we hurriedly altered our plans and relocated the AGM to Gurkha Haven and postponed the ‘Reunions’ until such time the situation is back to normal and restrictions no longer extant.
Prior to the commencement of the AGM, all committee members gathered at ‘Gurkha Memorial Museum’ at 0900 hours to review the site for future placement of the ‘6 GR Memorial’. Many pros and cons of the allocated site was discussed and final decision will be forwarded by the coordinator, Major Gopal Gurung MBE, for consideration by the UK team.
Although 6 GR AGM 2020 was the one with the least number of members attending and no ladies at all, it was a very enjoyable and a wonderful of gathering of old friends of all ranks. Over a few beer and delicious curry lunch, we relived our happy days and much cherished memories as members of 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles. Everyone taking the time to reflect on the good old bygone days and reinforcing the bonds and camaraderie that will forever bind us together as 6 GR family.
Finally, the Chairman and all members of the central committee thank Major Gyanbahadur Gurung Sahib for so graciously and continuously allowing 6 GR Regimental Association, Nepal, to use the premises and facilities at Hotel Gurkha Haven gratis for all functions undertaken and as our de facto permanent base in Nepal. Thank you very much Gyanbahadur Sahib!!
Jai 6 Gurkha
Issued 14 November 2019
At my last attendance of the annual GBA Dinner, Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, Sir John Chapple had just taken over as Chief of the General Staff, John Anderson was Commanding Officer and I was a subaltern based at Church Crookham. That was 31 years ago.
My abiding memory of that event was that the antecedent regiments, from the pre-partition Brigade, were there in force. Most could still muster a table of ten and I believe that the 5th Gurkhas had two tables that year. It is with great sadness, with the benefit of hindsight, that we didn’t get to spend more time conversing with them that evening as their associations would shortly come to a natural end.
This time on 7 November 2019 it was clear that we were now also representing a bygone era as those who had served in one of the Gurkha regiments before their amalgamation into the Royal Gurkha Rifles.
We only amassed one table of those who had served with the 6th Gurkha Rifles, but we typically punched above our weight in the jovial banter stakes (and waistlines had clearly increased over the years too) and Jeremy Brade had us laying wagers on the length of the after dinner speeches. We did lose the facial hair award to 7GR who resembled a collection of ageing hipsters from Shoreditch but maybe not that smart! John Anderson won the prize for the most sequential GBA dinners attended – over to twenty and counting.
Not only had I been looking forward to catching up with Brigade friends, I was also extremely interested to attend the pre-dinner briefings from the new Colonel of the Brigade of Gurkhas, Jody Davies, and from Al Howard and the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Both proved fascinating. What was pleasing to see was that recruitment into the Brigade will increase in 2020 to a level not seen since 1988. The future is undoubtedly brighter than it has been for many years.
After dinner we adjourned to bars various to continue with the reminiscing and to meet some of the serving ‘youngsters’. I found it amusing when chatting with the Gurkha Major of 1RGR to find out that he had enlisted the year before I retired. How time marches on.
Last time the ‘sano sahebs’ moved on to Chelsea in search of the bright lights. Jeremy even found a wife that very evening. This time we drifted across St James’s Square to the In and Out to gate crash the Fleet Air Arm’s Taranto guest night. Needless to say, the Generals led the way. A big thank you to Mani Rai and Niall MacNaughton for all they did on the organisational front; it was an exceptionally good evening. Hopefully it won’t take three decades to make it to the next one.
Issued 10 November 2019
Well; we were really lucky with the weather, Sunday November 10 dawned fine and even sunny. The walk down to Horse Guards through Green Park was lovely and then onto the parade square to try to find the Gurkha Brigade group. I found the BGWS group led by Major Tikendra and stopped for a chat before locating the Hats Felt Gurkhas across the square.
It was a great turnout from the Brigade and from 6GR. Sadly, we were without stalwarts such as Jon Titley, John Conlin and Julian White, but with a turnout of 12 the rest of us more than made up for it. Interestingly we had two ladies in the GBA group, Maxine Cook, wife of Nick Cook and Caroline Newton Dunn, widow of Charlie Newton Dunn; it was lovely to see them both.
The usual long wait finally saw us through the arch and onto Whitehall and still in the sun. Thankfully, this year we were close to a large screen so we could see the ceremony at the Cenotaph itself. We found ourselves waiting next to a Dutch contingent and a few words in Dutch quickly broke the ice. What an interesting group they were. There was a gentleman in a wheel chair who had fought in Indonesia during WWII and had been attending our Remembrance Parade for 35 years; plus many others with interesting stories.
We applauded the other groups as they went past, including our Gambahadur doing a great job at the head of the BLESMA contingent. Finally we were off. The march went well, if confusing at a slow pace and even slower tunes from the bands. Photographs done back on Horse Guards, we made our way to a church hall close by where GBA had laid on bhat and beer. It was really well organised; went really well and was much enjoyed by everyone. A big shyabash to GBA for the organisation and to those from 6GRRA who turned up.
Issued 10 June 2019
In 1959, the 6th Gurkha Rifles was granted the title ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Own’. At the same time, 7th Gurkha Rifles were granted the title ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Own’. On 10th June 1959, a party of officers, serving and retired, and men from both regiments had the honour of being received in Audience by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace to mark the granting of their Royal Titles.
A photograph of those attending this audience was taken at Buckingham Palace and a short article about the occasion was published in the 1960 Brigade Kukri magazine. The article was written by Captain Antony Wakeham of our 1st Battalion, at the time ADC to Major General the Brigade of Gurkhas, Major General Jim Robertson, late 6 GR. In 1962, General Jim succeeded Field Marshal the Lord Harding as Colonel of the Regiment.
This year we will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the granting of the Royal Title at our annual Reunion at the Gurkha Museum, Winchester on Saturday 16 November. Anthony Wakeham, the only surviving 6th Gurkha present at the 1959 Royal Audience, all being well, has agreed to join us at the Reunion.
Issued 20 March 2019
The Gurkha Museum is delighted to announce that it has been gifted the medals and some personal papers of Colonel Cecil John Lyons Allanson CMG CIE DSO, late of the 6th Gurkha Rifles, thanks to the generosity the 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles Regimental Association and Trust. This follows on from their assistance in the purchase of the medals of Major General ‘Punch’ Cowan CB CBE DSO* MC, Commander of 17 Gurkha Division during the Burma Campaign.
Major Allanson commanded 1/6 Gurkha Rifles at Gallipoli in 1915 where they gained immortal fame for the action at Sari Bair: they were the only troops in the whole campaign to reach and hold the crest line and look down on the Straits which was the ultimate objective.
Allanson himself was severely wounded, as was every British officer in the 1/6 GR who had not been killed, except for the Medical Officer, Capt Phipson. Having captured the crest line the Battalion came under heavy fire, sadly from Allied artillery, and were forced to withdraw under command of Subedar-Major Gambirsing Pun, who spoke no English and relied on Capt Phipson to interpret for him.
The Battalion withdrew in good order and Gambirsing was awarded the MC for his leadership and gallantry. Total casualties amounted to 204 all ranks in three days fighting, of whom 45 were killed, three of them British officers. Allanson and Phipson were awarded the DSO.
From August the 28th to September 10th 1/6 GR were engaged in the usual routine of trench warfare but, after a spell of 34 days fighting, were relieved by the 19th Australian Infantry Battalion and sent into reserve.
On 12 December Battalion commanders were told in great secrecy that it was intended to evacuate the Anzac and Suvla areas of the Peninsula. At 4pm on the 21st the 1/6 GR left Murdos on S.S. Knight Templar and arrived in Alexandria on Christmas Eve.
The 6GR were subsequently awarded the Battle Honours “Helles”, “Suvla”, “Krithia”, “Gallipoli 1915”, and “Sari Bair”. This latter award appears in a place of honour at the top of the cipher of the Regiment’s cross-belt plate as well as on the drums of the Pipe-band.
President of the 6GR Association, Brigadier J.A. Anderson OBE, noted that: “It is vital that the history of all our Regiments is preserved for posterity, and it is the very least we can do to honour all those who made so many sacrifices for this country. The Gurkha Museum, as the repository for our legacy, is the right place for this and merits the support of all.”
Martin Brooks, Chairman of The Gurkha Museum commented: “We are extremely grateful to the 6th Gurkha Regimental Association for securing these fine medals for us all to share them with the public as part of the wider collection of the Brigade of Gurkhas held at the Gurkha Museum.”