Gurkha veterans honoured by UK
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 25, 2010
Kathmandu: Britain has honoured the families of six Gurkha veterans, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the British Army, with Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll.
Colonel Andrew MacFarlane Mills conferred the prestigious honours to the families and dependents of the veteran Gurkhas at a function in Dharan district, the British Embassy here said.
They were conferred with the awards for sacrificing their lives while serving in the British Army, it said. “This seems to me a right and proper way of showing our enduring debt to those who are killed while actively protecting what is most dear to us all”, Queen Elizabeth II said in her message.
Introduced in July 2009, the Elizabeth Cross, named after the current British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is a commemorative emblem given to the recognised next of kin of members of the British Armed Forces killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack after the Second World War.
Those who received the honours include Mani Prasad Rai, son of late rifleman Kinderman Rai, Mrs. Jogmaya Rai, wife of late rifleman Gopal Prasad Rai, Krishna Maya Rai, daughter of late rifleman Dangadhoj Rai, Motisara Rai, wife of late rifleman Ratna Bahadur Rai, Mrs. Turimoti Rail, wife of late Sergeant Kabir Bahadur Rai and Deoman Limbu, father of Lance Corporal Budhi Prasad Limbu. The Gurkha veterans displayed their bravery between 1949 and 1982.
Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years. The potential of these warriors was first realised by the British at the height of their empire-building in the last century. The Victorians identified them as a “martial race”, perceiving in them particularly masculine qualities of toughness.
“Better to die than be a coward” is the motto of the world-famous Nepalese Gurkha soldiers who are an integral part of the British Army. They still carry into battle their traditional weapon – an 18-inch long curved knife known as the kukri.