Gurkhas

Catterick Waves Off Largest Gurkha Intake In 30 Years

Emotions were running high as 399 classmates was assigned to their regimental homes.

The largest Gurkha intake to be trained at Catterick have been assigned their new regiments.

Even among the record-setting 399 Gurkhas passing out, it was easy to spot a few tears in North Yorkshire.

Trainee riflemen no more, the class are saying goodbye to what has become a second home.

The recruits moved to England from Nepal in February after a gruelling selection process in Pokhara.

The staff and fellow trainees at Catterick have been all they have known since moving to the UK.

“Saying goodbye is always hardest. I’m trying hard not to cry...I’m seeing lots of tears and it’s hard to control feelings", said Rifleman Rojan Rai. 

The staff of Gurkha Company who have invested time and effort into those passing out also found the day to be emotional.

"When they leave, we’re all sad," Corporal Balbahaudr Gurung said.

"Nine months we've been together and when they leave there is no one.

"It's, like, empty."

The group have been together for nine months, but will now go their separate ways.

After nine months of training, some of the Gurkhas will be joining 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles, leaving from Heathrow for Brunei.

The rest of the group are headed to their various regiments, stationed across the UK.

The remaining trainee rifleman out of the original 400 will have to wait a couple of months to pass out as he recovers from a broken leg.

Staff at Catterick will now be preparing for their class of 2020, which will see a 10% growth in company size.