The Band Of The Brigade Of Gurkhas

timthumb (5)The Band Of The Brigade Of Gurkhas
The Band was organized in November of 1859 as part of Simoor Rifle Regiment, an Indian Army Gurkha Regiment. It is composed of 16 Bandsmen and one Naik. It is not part of the Corps of Army Music but belongs solely to the Gurkha Brigade. Participants undertook their training and mastery at the Royal Military School of Music after a basic training within the Band. The Headquarters (Corps of Army Music) issues policy rules and guidance and regularly inspect the band together with the other 22Bands of the Army. It also has slight contrast in terms of management structure as compared with the other Army Bands. It is secured with a British Director of Music and a Gurkha Assistant Director of Music who graduated from the Bandmaster’s course and later on commissioned.

The Band soon became a member of Regimental Life performing during parades, polo matches, dinners and entertainment of troop at Regimental based in Dehra Dun, North East of Delhi. It has also travelled to other places like Malta, Cyprus, Afghanistan, and areas in India. It was in 1886 that a need for another Battalion of Band was seen and thus recruited 16 Bandsmen and a leader Naik who joined the first created Band to form a one large band.

In 1947 when India was partitioned, the band selected their new affiliations to either India or Britain. The Regiments of the 2nd Gurkhas had chosen Britain and with their Band instruments, they sailed to Sungei Patani, Malaya. Unfortunately, there were no bandsmen to play the instruments as they all decided to stay in India.

In the year 1949, approval was again given to raise another band ending with 56 recruits who immediately attended training. Improvised musical instruction from British Regimental Bandmasters was used until May of 1951 commencing the appointment of Captain JPC Bailey MBE as the first Director of Music. Soon after those days, they performed fast and slick marching displays, lively concert, Nepali ethnic folk tunes and traditional dances that thrilled the viewers.

A Staff Band for the Brigade was raised in 1950 and by 1958 there were already two Gurkha bands separately in full swing. But after twelve years, due to financial crisis, these two bands merged. United Kingdom and Hong Kong supplied dual bases for the Band to assist the 2nd Gurkha Battalions and other units of Gurkha Brigade. The band finally moved back to United Kingdom in 1994 and stayed there permanently.

 The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas has toured greatly around the world performing both to public events as well as military affairs. In the 70’s it travelled to Australia, Brunei, Canada, South Korea and Malaya. It went recently to Solomon Island, France, Canada, Korea, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, and again Australia in 1995. The Band is based in Shorncliffe near Folkestone.

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