Gurkha Statue unveiled
The Gurkha statue, newly unveiled in Aldershot (Picture: Gurkha Memorial Project).
Gurkhas

Statue Recognising The Gallantry And Value Gurkhas Bring To The British Army Unveiled

The statue demonstrates a true story from the battlefield.

Gurkha Statue unveiled
The Gurkha statue, newly unveiled in Aldershot (Picture: Gurkha Memorial Project).

A statue recognising the gallantry and value Gurkhas bring to the British Army has been unveiled in Aldershot. 

It depicts a real scene from the battlefield, when Havildar Kulbir Thapa VC carried a British Tommy, Bill Keightley, off the battlefield in 1915. 

Havildar Kulbir Thapa was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his actions, this is the first VC award within the Gurkhas. 

Since then, there have been another 12 Gurkha Victoria Crosses awarded.

The statue is located in the Princes Gardens, in the heart of Aldershot, and is the first historical project launched by the Gurkha Memorial Project (GMP) team.

Major Khaim Gauchan, the chief co-ordinator for the project, said: "This is a symbol of all the 200 years of service, sacrifice and service to the crown and also serving together with the British hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, regardless of situation, whether at war or in peace."

The local MP for Aldershot, Leo Docherty, who is also the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, made a speech at the unveiling.

He spoke about the Gurkhas' "courage, comradeship, compassion and bravery in the face of danger".

Watch: The Gurkha selection process in 2021.

He said: "We should be very proud of the way this statue symbolises, particularly, the comradeship forged in war between a Gurkha and a British soldier, blood brothers defiant in the face of the enemy, voraciously brave, but also one dependant upon the other."

Amy Goodman, the sculptor of the statue, said she was loaned a few items to take back to her studio for reference and tried to find as many photos of Havildar Kulbir Thapa as possible.

"There is a very famous photo of him smiling so I have got his mouth open but he is more grimacing," she said

"Also getting the very distinctive Nepalese bone structure and features, I wanted to show the contrast between that and the British soldier and capture some movement and life.

"But again it's about that comradeship and special relationship between the Gurkhas, the Nepalese and the British, because, of course, the Gurkhas have served loyally with the British Army for over 200 years."