His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam graced the Gurkha 200 Commemoration Parade at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien on Monday 12 October 2015.
Representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, General Sir Peter Wall.
The parade consisted of two contingents: one from the Brigade of Gurkhas and one from the Royal Brunei Land Forces, comprising around 820 military personnel in total. After the royal salute, His Majesty the Sultan inspected the parade accompanied by General Sir Peter Wall for the Brigade of Gurkhas contingent, then accompanied by RBAF Commander Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih Abdullah for the Royal Brunei Land Forces contingent.
This year marks the Brigade of Gurkha’s 200 years service to the British Crown. It is a bicentennial that provides and opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary martial qualities of the Gurkha soldier, his temperament, his loyal and selfless service and his supreme courage in battle. It is also an opportunity to mark the unique relationship that exists between the Gurkha soldier, his British and Gurkha Officers and Brunei.
Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, General Sir Peter Wall said:
I am indebted to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah for his generosity in allowing this parade of the 3rd Battalion Royal Brunei Land Forces and elements of the Brigade of Gurkhas based in Brunei to take place.
The unique and enduring relationship between Brunei and the United Kingdom, based on mutual respect, trust and close cooperation in education and defence has never been stronger.
General Sir Peter Wall added:
Today’s Parade is a demonstration of the special relationship between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the British Army.
It has been 17 years since a similar parade was last held in 1998, when His Majesty The Sultan and Her Majesty The Queen inspected a parade of Royal Brunei Armed Forces and Brigade of Gurkhas and it is remarkable that some of those men are here on parade today.
Since 1962 Gurkhas have been based in Brunei. There is always one infantry battalion of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, supported by troops from The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, The Queen’s Gurkha Signals, The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, and The Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support Company based in Tuker Lines, Seria. Today the Brigade of Gurkhas primary role in Brunei is to train in the tropical environment. The jungle provides fantastic training opportunities, with its diverse and unique flora and fauna. Critical to the training mission is maintaining the training areas to ensure it for future generations, and high standards of real-estate conservation are rigorously enforced.
Gurkha soldiers are privileged to conduct regular arduous training with the Royal Brunei Land Forces. Each military exercise and sporting event provides officers and soldiers and soldiers with indispensable learning opportunities: sharing experiences creates better soldiers and closer friendships.