Gurkhas

Princess Royal Marks Gurkha Squadron's Reformation

249 Gurkha Squadron were welcomed to Picton Barracks by Princess Anne.

The Princess Royal has welcomed 249 Gurkha Squadron to Bulford during a parade.

At Picton Barracks, Princess Anne, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Signals, welcomed the Squadron, which recently reformed as part of 3rd Division Signal Regiment after originally being disbanded in 2003.

Corporal Shem Limbu, from 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron, said he felt "lucky" to meet the royal.

"It was a great experience," he said.

This reformation means the Queens Gurkha signals has increased from four to five squadrons.

Princess Royal Gurkhas Credit BFBS 290519
They performed a special parade for the Princes Royal.

Major James Corns, Officer Commanding 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron said the Gurkhas are "the bravest of the brave".

"They're tenacious, they're loyal and brave.

"They're just so proactive that it causes everyone to raise their game when working alongside them.

"I'm very proud to command Gurkha soldiers."

The occasion also marked the centenary of the Bulford Kiwi - a 420-foot monument carved into Beacon Hill on Salisbury Plain in 1919 by New Zealand soldiers stationed there waiting to return home.

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Healee, from the New Zealand Army, said a "breakdown of travel arrangements" caused soldiers to create the Bulford Kiwi.

"They were frustrated, as anyone would be with a breakdown of transport arrangements," he said.

The soldiers were sent up the hill to stay out of "mischief" and keep them occupied.

"As a result, we have the beautiful monument that we see today."

Bulford Kiwi Credit BFBS 290519
The Bulford Kiwi was restored last year.

249 Gurkha Squadron are former custodians of the monument.

The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas provided music during the parade in Wiltshire.

259 Gurkha squadron will remain based in Bulford as part of 3rd division signal regiment on high readiness.