On Sunday 26 July the Gurkha Bhuros crossed the Finish Line after walking for 23 hrs and 55 minutes – we broke the 24 hr barrier again, on our sixth consecutive Trailwalker. And what a great team – Ian Rigden as supportive and determined as usual, Yam Rana forcing the pace with a huge grin on his face, General Sir David showing that, although this might be his first Trailwalker, he was tougher than some of us. This was, in my 70th year, my final Trailwalker, and I shall always be extraordinarily proud to have been a member of this team – the Gurkha Bhuros.
Doing Trailwalker is a most humbling experience, one which reinforces the value of friendship and the strength of our Brigade. This is particularly important this year, as we commemorate 200 years of Gurkha Service to the British Crown but also mourn those who lost their lives in the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April and May.
With your help, we have raised a great amount for our charity – the Gurkha Welfare Trust – and these funds will go to help both our old soldiers in need and the people of Nepal as they rebuild their lives after these brutal earthquakes.
Thank you all so very much for your support.
Our StoryThis year we commemorate 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown. No one should be in any doubt as to the debt of honour that we, as a nation, owe these magnificent warriors from Nepal – fearless in war, strong in adversity, and the staunchest and most loyal of friends. Our Trailwalker team are all privileged to have served with Gurkha soldiers. When we joined our Regiments we made a pact with our men that we would support each-other to the best of our abilities: now, years later, we reaffirm our promise and are determined to help any of our old soldiers who need our support, anywhere and at anytime. All of us are closely involved with the Gurkha Welfare Trust, the charity which looks after our retired Gurkha soldiers, their families and their communities. Quite simply, the charity ensures that they can live out their lives in safety, in good health and with their pride undiminished: it is the very least that we can do.
We four – “The Gurkha Bhuros” (the old Gurkha men!) - have joined forces for the sixth successive year to raise funds for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. In the past five years we have raised over £27,000 thanks to people like you and we ask, in this special year, that you continue to support us, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, and our old soldiers.Trailwalker 2015 is no simple walk, but rather a very hard 100 km (62.5 Miles) non-stop team challenge across the hilly South Downs that must be completed in less than 30 hrs: it takes place on 25/26 July 2015. It is demanding for even fit young people, but last year we completed the course in less than 24 hours - not bad for a group of somewhat mature fellows! And it is all for a fantastic cause.
Please make it worthwhile - support us by giving what you can. Our Gurkha soldiers have fought for – and died for – this nation for the last 200 years. We cannot ever repay their sacrifices, but we can make sure that any of our retired soldiers who need help will receive it.Team Members.
John AndersonJohn, 69, served in The Brigade of Gurkhas from 1966 to 2000, commanding 6th QEO Gurkha Rifles from 1985 to 1988. He retired as a Brigadier in 2000. He is Chairman of the Gurkha Brigade Association, President of his Regimental Association and a Trustee of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, as well as being involved with several other Regimental and Gurkha charities. This is his sixth consecutive year as part of the Gurkha Bhuros team – and, as he reaches 70, his last.
Ian RigdenIan, 52, is a serving Brigadier, has in the past been Colonel, The Brigade of Gurkhas. He was commissioned into 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles in 1982 and commanded 2nd Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles in Brunei and Afghanistan. Ian thrives on physical challenges – he completed the Marathon Des Sables in 2004 with his wife Zoe and he has competed in the Hong Kong Marathon, the Great London Swim and other challenge events. He has done Trailwalker seven times (with a best time of 17hrs 50mins) and this is his fifth year with the Gurkha Bhuros.
Yam RanaYam, 51, is a serving Major currently based at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst but due to retire later this year: he hopes to work for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. He joined The Brigade of Gurkhas in 1983 and served with 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles and then the Royal Gurkha Rifles. He has been on operational service in numerous theatres and worked alongside Prince Harry in Afghanistan before serving as Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officer to HM The Queen from Jul 2008 – Jul 09. He is an Ex-Officio Trustee of the Gurkha Museum. This is his second year with the Gurkha Bhuros.
David BillDavid, 60, served in The Brigade of Gurkhas from 1978-83 as a young officer in the The Queen's Gurkha Engineers in Hong Kong, Belize and the UK. He was Colonel of the Queen's Gurkha Engineers from 2007-13 and was concurrently a trustee of the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Retiring as a Lieutenant General in 2011, he is now President of The Gurkha Brigade Association. He is delighted and honoured to be a member of the 2015 Ghurkha Bhuros' team for this, his first Trailwalker.
.........and we could not even begin to do this without a fantastic Support Team, supplied as always by the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre in Salisbury and Aldershot