Service of the Gurkhas honoured in Aldershot

September 30, 2021

Ever proud of their military history, the town of Aldershot has raised a statue in honour of their longstanding relationship with the Gurkhas.

The bronze statue stands regally in Princes Gardens, opposite the Airbourne Soldier. It portrays a moving scene of Kulbir Thapa Magar carrying a wounded soldier from a WWI battlefield, a soldier from the Leicestershire Regiment, in 1915.

The relationship between Nepal and the UK spans over 200 years, with Aldershot having a long history of friendship with our Gurkha allies.

A memorial was held last Saturday in order to commemorate the sacrifices made by the Gurkhas. Prayers were dedicated and a number of wreaths were laid at the foot of the statue. 

Celebrated Hampshire artist Amy Goodman sculpted the statue, with private donations flooding into the Greater Rushmoor Nepali Community, who commissioned the works.

The incredible bravery shown by Thapa is evident in the story behind the statue. Discovering the soldier within a first-line German trench, he showed amazing resolve. Suffering from wounds himself, he stayed with the injured man throughout the day and night, before carrying him through the opposition’s wire, under heavy danger of enemy fire.

Remaining undeterred, once he had brought the soldier to safety, he returned to the battlefield, vulnerable in the daylight, to retrieve two wounded Gurkhas, carrying them back one at a time over the treacherous No Mans Land. 

Kulbir Thapa Magar was the first Nepalese Gurkha to be awarded the distinction of The Victoria Cross and retired with the high standing rank of Halivdar.

Sourced from BBC News and Hampshire Live.

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