In 1963 I was posted to Headquarters, 51 Gurkha Brigade as their Brigade Electrical and Mechanical Engineer. At that time this HQ was stationed in Tidworth. I was delighted to receive this appointment not only because it coincided with my promotion to Major, but it was going to add to my experience in a new way, serving with units and soldiers that I had heard of but had never met. Immediately I was introduced to Rfn Dobahadur who told me he was appointed my batman. I could not have wished for a better helpmate.
In February 1964, the Brigade Headquarters was sent complete to Brunei to take control of an area of the Indonesian Confrontation. The units in the Brigade included two Gurkha Battalions. The Headquarters itself included several British Gurkha staff officers, who became great friends, but also the Headquarters Company of Gurkha soldiers. As we had been sent to the Far East in a hurry, we were replaced as individuals a year later. So my connection with Gurkha soldiers was very brief but was an unforgettable part of my career.
After I retired, one day I was approached by someone collecting in the street for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. This brought back all my fond memories of that year in the Far East. Of course, this 12 months cannot in any way be compared with anyone who had long service with these astonishing soldiers, sadly now such a reduced part of the British Army. But I am very proud to have served with some of them and am pleased to continue to support the Gurkha Welfare Trust.