Sunday, 9 November 2008

A DEBT WE OWE OUR GURKHA SOLDIERS?













Last Tuesday, The 4th November 2008, The 2nd Battalion The Gurkha Rifles, on operations in Afghanistan and based at Sir John Moore Barracks, Folkestone, suuffered the loss of Rifleman Yubraj Rai, aged 28 years, in a contact with the Taliban during an operation near Musa Qala in Southern Afghanistan.
Here is what his Commanding Officer, Lt Col Chris Darby said of him:
"Yubraj Rai was an extraordinary character and a hard professional soldier witha proven operational record. Big, strong and highly experienced Rifleman Yubraj was one of the cornerstones of his Company and he was known throughout the Battalion for his presence, drive and ability as a soldier. He died doing what he did best, amongst his greatest friends and admirers and for a cause he had taken time to understand. He epitomised all that makes the Ghurkas great - the best."
Tim Garbutt has contacted me to remind readers that the petition to allow Gurkha's with service prior to 1997 to have automatic right of residence in the UK is still on-line and needs support. In addition he has asked me to say that The Ramsgate British Legion would like to arrange a regular Legion dinner with its serving Gurkha comrades and anyone with contacts with The Batallion at Folkestone is asked to contact Ramsgate British Legion on 01843-593114.
British Legion members are also reminded that they can dine for free as guests of The Surin Restaurant in Ramsgate every Tuesday and contact details are shown below:
Surin Restaurant
30 Harbour Street
RamsgateKent CT11 8HA
Tel/Fax: (01843) 592001
Web: www.surinrestaurant.co.uk

5 comments:

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

I dont agree with much of what Tim Garbutt says but on this ocassion he is spot on,, the way the Ghurkas have been treated by successive Governments in this Country is despicable and having given years of loyal service to this country they should at the very minimum have the right of permanent residence.
Although I am not suprised by the lack of respect shown to people who serve their country, cast your minds back to 1982 when the Atlantic Conveyor was sunk by Argentine missiles, the crew thought they were carrying jeeps, lorries, tanks, helicopters and other military hardware as it turned out they were in fact also carrying munitions and some quite unpleasant ones at that, anyway they all lost everything as he boat sank,there were 12 casualties. On their return to the UK dressed only in clothes they had begged, borrowed or otherwise obtained they were detained by Customs, searched and interrogated to ascertain their right to be in this country, bear in mind they were rescued as a group and kept together as a group to be repatriated by the Royal Navy.

Rick said...

Ten years ago our nephew (who is now APTC staff PTI at Sandhurst) did his first regimental PTI all arms course.

And some genius of NCO command put the nephew in a team and barracks room with two Ghurkas (one of whom was a World Tae Kwon Do champion)

First morning and our kid decides he will have a lay in. And it is time for parade.

Two Ghurkas trying to get him to shake himself and make parade to avoid a charge.

"You go lads, I will have a nap and face the caccky later" says our lad.

He peeps out from his covers to see both Ghurkas standing exactly on the spot where they were when he said he was staying put.

"What's going on lads" asks our lad

"You in sh-t we in sh-t we have been teamed with you. You stay we stay. Team"

So our lad, immune to any discipline, discovered that he has a conscience and was out of bed in a flash and with an effort just made the parade.

NCO in charge grinning knowingly.

When his parents (my wife's sister is his mother) met the Ghurkas at the passing out parade they were just so impressed.

Ghurkas are great people.

Obviously we have signed Joana Lumley's petition.

James Maskell said...

I commented recently on a Bill making its way through Parliament which would grant former Gurkhas indefinite leave to enter and remain in the UK irrelevant of when they were discharged. Hopefully both Thanet MPs will back the Bill and perhaps even speak at the debate given Gurkhas being stationed not too far from Thanet.

Anonymous said...

This is clearly a case of institutional racism.

Anonymous said...

Kaphar hunnu bhanda marnu ramro - "Better to die than live a coward".