On 18th March 2023, 4 years after its inception the 6GR Memorial was formally dedicated in Pokhara. A very special and historic event.
The concept for the Memorial, initiated by John Mackinlay was for a memorial that allowed our Veterans in Nepal and UK to revere their war dead, but also to remember the 6th Gurkhas as a Family – the soldiers who died in war as well as those who had fought bravely beside them and survived, the wives and the children who were left at home, the attached servicemen and women who supported us in peace and war and the family welfare staff. In this way the memorial would serve both as a regimental cenotaph for formal occasions and as a place for an individual to cherish a private memory.
The simple design of the memorial reflects this intent. On the vertical face of white granite stone the Devanagari inscription reads:
TO THE MEN OF ALL RANKS OF THE 6th GURKHA RIFLES AND THEIR FAMILIES
WE SHALL NOT FORGET YOUR BRAVERY, COURAGE AND SACRIFICE
Below is a flat altar stone on which to put wreaths and the flowers and keepsakes of individuals who come to remember their friends and family. Across the face of the altar stone are the words:
LET THEIR DEEDS NOT BE FORGOTTEN
Our President, Big John Anderson OBE welcomed all those assembled as part of the ‘6th Gurkhas Family’. Veterans and their families came from all over Nepal, UK, India and many other parts of the world; in total numbering over 400. Tribute was paid to all those involved in the construction of the Memorial: John Mackinlay who conceived, promoted and designed it, Mike Channing and his committee who raised the funds and supervised the whole project, Gopalbahadur Gurung who led the Nepal team, Purnabahadur Gurung the Project Manager in Nepal, Dharma Raj who sculpted it, Mike Adler who managed and kept track of the money and to Yambahadur Gurung who facilitated the positioning of the memorial in the most perfect setting in front of the Gurkha Memorial Museum in Pokhara. He went on the thank all those who so generously donated funds to make this dream come true.
After the unveiling by the President, the Memorial was blessed by a Pandit, Lama, Bon and a Priest. Wreaths were then laid by: the eldest ex 6GR Other Rank, the eldest ex 6GR Gurkha Officer and the eldest British Officer. Everyone was then encouraged to pay their own respects and lay flowers and tributes.
Following the Dedication Ceremony, the gathering retired to the British Gurkhas Camp, Pokhara for where there were drinks and Tipantapan while listening to speeches by key persons of the regiment. After the speeches there was a Curry Lunch for all and continued opportunity to meet and talk with old friends. The event concluded at 4pm when buses were organised to take people home.
Major ADO Bredin (Retd)