THE BRIGADE OF GURKHAS
No. 58. The Queen's Gurkha Engineers
Captain, Queen's Gurkha Officer: No. 1 Dress.
Sapper: Equipped for Diving.
Background: The Cathedral, Rochester.
From a watercolour painting by Douglas N. Anderson.
Postcard No. 58 THE QUEEN'S GURKHA ENGINEERS
The first Gurkha Engineers were formed in 1948 in Malaya. Further
Squadrons followed and in 1951 the Regimental Headquarters of a Field
Engineer Regiment was formed in Hong Kong.
The Captain (Queen Gurkha Officer) is in No. 1 Dress. His Kilmarnock cap
is dark blue with two bands of gold lace, a gold tourie and Regimental
badge. The tunic and trousers are dark blue, the latter with a wide
scarlet stripe. The pouch belt is unusual being of red patent leather with
gilt fittings. The sword is the 1897 infantry pattern with scrolled steel
guard and steel scabbard. Black gloves and shoes are worn.
The Queen's Gurkha Engineer is equipped for diving. Army divers are
responsible for underwater reconnaissance. They can clear and lay mines
and other obstacles on river banks and beaches. They are trained in
underwater demolition techniques and they assist with underwater
construction work. The diver shown is wearing a naval issue dry suit with
a full face mask. Two compressed air cylinders are supported by a harness
on his back. The air is regulated by a two stage demand valve system. The
blue belt is weighted to help him submerge under water. A small air bottle
called a suit inflation unit is attached to the front belt. Military
divers generally work in depths of about 18 metres but an advanced diver
can descend to 45 metres.
In September 1988 the Regiment was given the Freedom of the City of
Rochester. The ancient Cathedral of Rochester is shown in the background.
Copyright © 1995 Published by Geoff White Ltd.
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