New Gurkha unit welcomed to MoD Stafford
A regimental parade welcomed in a new squadron of Gurkha soldiers to an MoD base.
247 Gurkha Signal Squadron have joined the ranks of 16th Signal Regiment at Beacon Barracks, Stafford, making them the second squadron of Queen’s Gurkha Signals’ (QGS) soldiers at the base.
They will play an integral part in 16th Signal Regiment’s new lead role supporting the army’s logistic formations. The regiment is also part of the army’s restructuring plan to meet its future tasks.
To welcome them, a regimental parade was held yesterday at Beacon Barracks.
The vast majority of the new squadron are Gurkha soldiers, drawn from existing squadrons, as well as being bolstered by a small increase in Gurkha recruitment from Nepal.
They will be commanded by Major Dave Murphy, Queen’s Gurkha Signals, and the Squadron Sergeant Major will be Warrant Officer Class 2 Pandu Tamang.
At first the squadron will be two troops strong, but when fully formed will be made up of approximately 110 soldiers.
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Davenport, Commanding Officer of the 16th Signal Regiment, has welcomed the new soldiers to the base.
He said: “I am delighted to see the reformation of this fourth Queen’s Gurkha Signal Squadron which will continue the rich tradition of Royal Corps of Signals soldiers serving alongside their Gurkha compatriots.
“The new squadron will enrich the regiment and enhance our capability. It will engender pride and a healthy sense of competition across all five sub-units and it reinforces our role at readiness for military tasks at home and abroad.”
The QGS is a regular unit of Royal Corps of Signals, one of the combat support arms of the British Army.
It was formed during The Malayan Emergency to support the 17th Gurkha Division. The unit was raised to support the Gurkha Infantry involved in battle against communist-sponsored guerilla organisation Malayan Races Liberation Army.
Together with the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and the Royal Gurkha Rifles they form part of the Brigade of Gurkhas.
In December 1959, the unit was christened 48th Gurkha Brigade Signal Squadron with its commander Major L H Gregory MBE.
The other squadrons are based in York, Bulford and Bramcote.