Gurkhas

Largest Gurkha Intake Ever Trained At Catterick Passes Out

The next step in the riflemen's British Army journey will be 'Dispersal Day', where they will join their new regiments.

The largest intake of Gurkhas ever trained at Catterick has passed out in a ceremony in North Yorkshire.

Family and friends watched on as recruits marched on the parade square and made the step up as fully-fledged Gurkha riflemen.

The ceremony, although hampered by torrential rain, marked the end of nine months of intense infantry training.

Rifleman Dipesh Deuja said: "Everybody was watching us and it was so freezing... but still... we have to enjoy this day.

"I feel really proud today."

"After being selected in the British Army, I was really imagining this day," said Rifleman Posan Uchai.

Find out how personnel began their journeys to their new regimental homes here.

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

Four hundred were selected - double the usual number of around 200 who have been trained yearly at Catterick in recent times.

Gurkhas pass out at Catterick 151119 CREDIT BFBS
The recruits stand for attention at Catterick Garrison's parade square.

The recruits have not only had to learn soldiering skills but also a new language and culture, as well as the weight of extra independence.

Rifleman Shivraj Gurung said: "I think I've probably changed a lot because after nine months when I will see my mum and dad, they will be very surprised like 'my son has changed a lot'.

"Taking responsibilities... ironing, polishing the shoes.

"[My mother] will be happy." 

All but one of the original 400 recruits passed out at the ceremony in North Yorkshire.

The remaining trainee rifleman will have to wait a couple of months as he recovers from a broken leg.

A Gurkha recruit celebrates passing out with a family member 151119 CREDIT BFBS
Families celebrated with their loved ones after the passing out parade concluded.

Major Rajesh Kumar Gurung, Officer Commanding, said: "It is a big day... nine months of challenges and rollercoasters.

"Straight from the streets of Nepal, coming all the way [to the UK], receiving the best training in the British Army, probably the best training Army in the world.

"They are absolutely professional, they are absolutely ready to deploy - I'm probably the proudest Officer Commanding in the entire British Army right now."

The next step in the riflemen's British Army journey will be 'Dispersal Day' where they will head off to their new regiments.

Next year, the instructors at Gurkha Company will be even busier with the number of recruits expected to rise again to 432.