Monument to honour fallen Gurkha soldiers unveiled in Catterick Garrison

A brick monument, constructed by Gurkha soldiers to honour their own, has been unveiled in Catterick Garrison.

The memorial, which recognises those who have lost their lives on operational tours since 1999, takes centre stage in the trainee accommodation in Helles Barracks, Catterick.

Captain Ram Rai, who oversaw the construction, said: “It took us two weeks to complete. Because we run the Combat Infantry Course training, it was really difficult to find a window to build it.

“It was all made by the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers. The new trainees will learn respect from this monument when they see it. It’s an awesome piece.”

A total of 19 names adorn a brass plague on the side of the memorial, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

For Captain Rai, the construction was a very personal one, given his connection to some of those men.

He said: “I know pretty much half of the names on this monument. I actually trained one of the Sappers on there. I feel really proud that at least I have done something for them. It is really important to see, especially for the young generation.”

The unveiling was marked by a short ceremony that saw a bugler from The Rifles play the last post after an honour guard of Gurkhas was inspected by senior officers.

The sacrifices of the soldiers, traditionally recruited from Nepal and the holders of a fearsome reputation, are now permanently enshrined in this corner of North Yorkshire.