The Gurkha Connection is a community based project in which three groups of young people aged 12 – 18 from Hart and Rushmoor have taken a central leading role, culminating in an exhibition and a commemorative book.
Through their hard work and commitment they have shaped and owned the project, which showcases, celebrates and commemorates the important and historic relationship between the Gurkhas and the British Army.
This extraordinary relationship began during the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-1816, when British forces came to admire and respect their Gurkha adversaries. 2015 saw the 200 year anniversary of service by the Gurkhas to the British Crown.
Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had a country more faithful friends than you
Sir Ralph Turner MCBody
Through the work of the young people the project has also come to recognise and celebrate the Gurkha and local Nepali community. The community exhibition reflects over 200 years of shared history, with the relationship celebrated through a visually impactful display of photography of serving Gurkhas, veterans and members of the local Nepali community.
This project is part of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s ‘Better Life Chances’ programme which aims to use arts and culture to inspire positive change. On this project the young people have worked with professionals including photographers, heritage and museum experts, to learn the skills required to develop this meaningful exhibition and book. They visited museums and met and worked with members of the local Nepali community from Maddhat Shamuha – Nepalese Help, and serving Gurkhas from 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.
Throughout the project, the young people developed confidence, research and teamwork skills and through their hard work developed a creative and rewarding experience. It has been a pleasure to work with all the young people, professional staff and artist educators, Gurkhas and members of the Nepali community on this wonderful and truly collaborative project.
The project was funded by a grant from the Armed Forces Community Covenant and ran with support from Rushmoor Borough Council.