The Gorkha Brigade
THE GORKHA BRIGADE : A BRIEF HISTORY
In October 1948, the Gorkha Brigade Week, which was inaugurated by Lt Gen Nathu Singh, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command and Col 9 GR, was celebrated at Dehradun by the then Regimental Centres located there ( 3 GRRC, 5 GRRC, 8 GRRC and 9 GRRC), duly supported by 1 GRRC (Dharamsala), 4 GRRC (Bakloh) and 11 GRRC (Palampur). Guiding force of the event included Lt Col (later Brig) VBS Karki and Lt Col ( later Brig) PS Nair, Comdts 3 GRRC; Lt Col ( later Maj Gen) Niranjan Prasad, Comdt 5 GRRC; Lt Col ( later Col ) MS Chinwan, Comdt 8 GRRC and Lt Col (later Maj Gen) PC Mohan, Comdt 9 GRRC. Highlights of the Gorkha Brigade Week were, Inter –Centre Football and Boxing Matches duly rounded up with a spectacular Beating of the Retreat by the massed bands of all Gorkha Regiments and a Gala Dinner and Dance in the Officers’ Mess of 5 GRRC (No 6 the Mall, Dehradun).
The Gorkha Brigade Club-1952.
The idea of starting a Gorkha Brigade Association was mooted by Col DK (Monty) Palit, VrC, FRGS, the then senior most Centre Commandant (9 GR ) duly supported by the then Gorkha Regimental Centre Commandants, in 1951, on the lines of the Gurkha Brigade. First Gorkha Brigade Dinner was organised by him at the Doon Club in Dehradun in 1952 which was well attended. First Gorkha Journal was published by Monty in 1952 and the second in 1953. Finally in 1953,the Gorkha Brigade Club proposal was approved and, in “1954 Gorkha”, Monty used the subtitle “Journal of the Gorkha Brigade Club” and separately published Rules of the Gorkha Brigade Club. Field Marshal Sir William Slim, KG,GCB, GCMG, GVCO, GBE, DSO, MC had agreed to be the Patron. Maj Gen WDA Lentaigne, CB, CBE, DSO, as the senior serving Gorkha, automatically became the Vice President, under the Club Rules. Gen Chaudhuri was one of the only three serving officers to be elected as an Associate Member. Generals Kalwant Singh and KS Thimayya, DSO were the other two.
The Gorkha Brigade -2000.
Since its inception, the Gorkha Brigade Club had consolidated itself and then, after it was rechristened as the Gorkha Brigade towards the fag end of the last millennium, it was nothing short of a revolution. With canny ideas and vision of Lt Gen HM Khanna, SYSM, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, the then President, Gorkha Brigade reinvented itself. It kept the vast experience in view and underwent an organic change when the Gorkha Brigade Secretariat at GRD, Kunraghat became the epicentre of all Gorkha-centric activities instead of the rotational shifting of the responsibility of managing the affairs to the Gorkha Brigade amongst the regimental Centres. Besides, they started having the formal conference of the Gorkha Brigade duly attended by the Adjutant General and others at Delhi to discuss and decide about the various issues concerning the welfare of Gorkha troops and their families, instead of the Triennial Conference which used to be held at GRD Kunraghat in the years gone by.
Role of Gorkha Brigade
Gorkha Brigade Journal
The Gorkha Brigade publishes annually its journal, “THE GORKHA” Started in early 1952 by Col Palit, “THE GORKHA” has weathered interruptions and ups and downs. Over the years, it has rendered valuable service to the Gorkha Brigade fraternity by providing interesting reading material and keeping them informed about the Gorkha-Centric activities. The decision to have a suitable retired Gorkha Officer as its Editor should lead to a steady improvement.
Gorkha Brigade Welfare Schemes
After OPERATION VIJAY, a grant to Rs 25 lakhs was received from “Gem and Jewellery National Relief Foundation”, Mubai, for the welfare of the Gorkhas. The Gorkha Brigade fraternity is extremely grateful to Maj Gen(Retd) AR Kumar, VSM, Ex Colonel 1 Gorkha Rifles, who was instrumental in obtaining this grant for the purpose of creating a corpus for Gorkha Brigade welfare activities. The interest that accrues is being used to provide scholarships to children of Gorkha Serving personnel and ex-serviceman and financial assistance to needy widows and children of ex-serviceman as also to victims of natural calamities like floods, fire accidents and earthquakes.
The Gorkha Brigade Fraternity
All the Gorkha Regiments, Gorkha Recruiting Depot, 3 Mechanized Infantry (1/8 Gorkha Rifles),. Defence Attachee’ Nepal,64 Field Regiment, 107 Inf Bn (TA)11GR and Gorkha Resettlement Training Unit (Raiwala) constitute the Gorkha Brigade Fraternity.