Gurkha Recruits Taken To Whitby

Posted on May 31, 2019

In only their second visit away from their home base of Catterick, the recruits were taken to Whitby in Yorkshire – a Gurkha tradition that has been running for years.

They took their first steps outside of Catterick camp in March, visiting the local town with their instructors. The trainees who visited Whitby are part of the British Army’s biggest intake of Gurkha recruits in 33 years.

Instead of recruiting a typical 320 budding-Gurkhas, more than 400 were signed up in the latest recruitment process. Growing up in land-locked Nepal, many of the recruits have never seen the sea, making the day out a memorable one.

“A lot of new experiences – I haven’t seen a beach [before] in real life,” said Training Rifleman Suresh Kerung. “When I first saw the sea, I got soaked and I was like ‘wow’ – it was a very great experience.”

Training Rifleman Swarup Thapa Magar said: “[The beach] is so beautiful.”

But the day is just as academic as it is fun. Getting out into the wider community enables the soldiers to embrace the British culture, learn about its history and also practise their English. The recruits also visited the town centre, experiencing a traditional high street and visiting Whitby Abbey.

English language teacher Karen Thompson said: “Seeing their faces, the ‘aha’ moments, the ‘oh wow’ bits and the funny side of things when we say ‘we’re going to see the sea’ and they get so excited.”

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