The Queen’s Gurkha Signals are the Dyers’ most recent affiliation, which we were honoured to establish in 2015, especially given the story behind our affiliation.
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake, known as the Gorkha earthquake, struck near Pokhara, Nepal on April 25, 2015, and creating landslides and avalanches in the Himalaya Mountains. Nearly 9,000 people died and more than 22,000 suffered injuries. It was the deadliest earthquake in the seismically active region in 81 years.
17 days later, 12 May 2015, there was another major quake to the east of Kathmandu, a magnitude 7.3 temblor, toppling multi-story buildings and famous monuments in Kathmandu, the capital. Hundreds of thousands of people lost everything and faced extreme poverty. More than 600,000 homes were destroyed and more than 288,000 were damaged in the 14 worst-hit districts. The quakes’ strongest impact was in remote rural areas, making the response extremely challenging.
Humanitarian organizations responded quickly to the disaster with search and rescue teams and immediate aid deliveries. The Court of the Dyers Company wished to help in whatever way they could. A most unusual step since the Dyers Company normally focuses all its charitable activities within the United Kingdom. Investigations were initiated by the then Prime Warden, James Crockatt, through the Commanding Officer of 30 Signal Regiment, with whom the Dyers Company have had a link since the 1950’s, who is also the Commanding Officer for the Queen’s Gurkha Signals.
This resulted in an introduction to the work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, who through their network of support stations in Nepal had already initiated work to rebuild schools, health clinics, houses, livelihoods, and to help families and communities gain more resilience to environmental shocks.
On 12 May 2015 the Dyers Company were approached about a possible link with The Queen’s Gurkha Signals, which was accepted. To strengthen that link annually the Prime and Renter Wardens are invited to Bramcote to celebrate the happy and colourful feast of Dashain and to Sandhurst to admire a Troop by the massed band of the Gurkha Brigade. The Gurkha Major and Adjutant are invited to join the Dyers Company for their Summer and Swan Dinners and, if possible, join us for lunch on their handovers.
In November 2016, Angus Macpherson recently retired as Prime Warden was fortunate to join Major General Jon Cole, a previous Commanding Officer of 30 Signal Regiment and The Queen’s Gurkha Signals and a Trustee of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, and Major Om Pun, then Gurkha Major in the Queen’s Gurkha Signals, accompanied by Staff Sergeant Laxman Gurung, Nepal Signal Troop and 6 bearers on a trek to visit the earthquake sites in Nepal, see some of the seven houses built using Dyers money and admire the work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust.