Brunei Darussalam



Straight off the press kit, the aim of the Garrison Open Day is an opportunity for British Forces to engage with the local community, demonstrate its military capabilities, equipment and supporting services as well as providing an insight into the Gurkhas, their history and traditions. The Association of the Brigade of Gurkhas with Brunei was established 48 years ago in 1962 and being a Kuala Belait then later a Seria resident, I practically grew up with the British Forces in our community along with various other nationals that as a whole makes the oil town so culturally diverse and interesting. [see also Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla visit at the same venue—the British Forces Sports Field]

The Gurkhas are recruited from in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal into the British Army and are a unique unit with a reputation of being amongst the finest and most feared soldiers in the world. The Royal Gurkha Rifles currently have a jungle role Battalion permanently based in Brunei and a Light Role Battalion in the U.K. For many Gurkhas, service in the British Army is a strong family tradition and they come from tight knit communities where mutual respect and trust are instilled from an early age. One of the strengths of a Gurkha Battalion on operations today is the ability of the soldiers to understand cultural nuances, and to empathise with people in conflict zones. Unforgiving in battle, the soldiers are equally generous and warm hearted to those who are affected by conflict.

Gurkha soldiers hold up kukri knives while Director of Music holds up his baton,
symbolizing the back to back dignity and significance of military might and musical prowess!

The Garrison Open Day is held at the Sports Field. On arrival, we were greeted by Gurkha soldiers manning the entrance. Some VIPs had arrived before Major Toby Jackman led us inside.
What initially looked like candies are ear plugs to drown out extremely loud noises from sniper fire during the mock "Platoon Attack" arena show.
Gurkha Soldiers dressed in their traditional attire, dancing in their traditional Nepali style to add gaiety to the auspicious occasion


The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas. The band was raised in November 1859 as part of an Indian Army Gurkha Regiment called the Sirmoor Rifle Regiment. It had 16 Bandsmen and one Naik (a leader) and soon became a part of Regimental life, playing for parades, polo matches, dinners and troop entertainment at the Regimental base at Dehra Dun, North East of Delhi. The band has traveled extensively throughout the world and musicians are recruited into the band after their basic military training. Initial musical instruction then commences, first under the supervision of the Director of Music then after approximately four years, at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall in London.


A Gurkha soldier performs a kukri routine before the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas featuring the Pipes and Drums Platoon of 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.
The kukri is national weapon of Nepal and is carried by Gurkhas. It's also used as an every day work tool in hill communities. Every Gurkha carries at least two kukris; one for ceremonial purposes and another for general use. Keeping the knives clean and sharp is a key part of their daily routine.
Director of Music: Major Wayne Hopla BA (Hons)






VIP guests from the diplomatic corps, secretariat office and Royal Brunei Armed Forces


  1. Great Photos !! Congratulations.

    The Nepali folk dance caption under your consideration may be: “Gurkha Soldiers dressed in their traditional attire, dancing in their traditional Nepali style to add gaity to the auspicious occasion.”

    Furthermore, you might be more than a little surprised to find quite a few of the Gurkha soldiers in Brunei with roots and relatives from the hills of ‘Darjeeling and Sikkim or other parts in India’ and known as the ‘Indian Gorkhas’ currently struggling for ‘Recognition and an Identity in India’ in the form of a new state within the Indian Union, distinct from the country of Nepal.


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