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A Cold Awakening For The Latest Gurkha Recruits

Nearly 9000 miles from home, 270 new Gurkha recruits are settling into life in Catterick as they begin their new careers in the British Army...

Nearly 9000 miles from home, 270 new Gurkha recruits are settling into life in Catterick as they begin their new careers in the British Army.

Despite the announcement of a significant increase in Gurkha numbers, this year’s intake has remained the same as last.

As the recruits landed at Manchester Airport it was a harsh introduction to the British weather and for many, like Training Rifleman, Karan Gurung, it was their first time seeing snow;

"It's really nice when I see it from inside ... But when I touched it, it was really cold. I don't think this is going to be easy."

Gurkha Recruits 2018

At the Infantry Training Centre, there was a traditional welcome and an opportunity to meet the rest of their numree and instructors. 

Captain Milanchandra Rai believes this connection to their community is extremely important; 

"They are unique in the British Army because British soldiers have their family and homes here in the UK.

"But the recruits have travelled from Nepal, miles away, so we have to give them a homely feeling when they arrive".  

Gurka Recruits 2018

For the Gurkha class of 2018, the weeks ahead will be testing - with language classes, culture and history lessons - on top of learning all their basic soldiering.

Despite the upcoming challenges, for Training Rifleman, Tek Bahadur Limbu, it is a dream come true;

"Since my childhood, I dreamed of becoming a British soldier, a British Gurkha. So to fulfil the dream and for it to come true, is a great thing."