Gurkhas honourPrince's visit
SOLDIERS from 1RGR were all smiles when the Prince of Wales visited them at their barracks ahead of their deployment.
Charles, their colonel-in-chief, dressed in full Gurkha Rifles uniform to meet 150 soldiers and their families at the Sir John Moore Barracks on Monday.
The prince presented Corporal Harribahadar Budha Magar, 32, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, with an operational service medal.
Mr Budha Magar said: "It's a pleasure and an honour to see him.
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"He asked me how I was coping with my legs. They are fantastic. They are better than nothing, better than a wheelchair.
"He is the commanding officer so I am very pleased. I am here in my uniform which I am very proud of. I have met him six times and he is nice every time."
Charles met commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel David Robinson and the Gurkha Major Dhyan Prasad and was greeted at battalion headquarters by a Ceremonial Quarter Guard.
At the mess, Nepalese children greeted the prince in traditional dress and presented Charles with a Royal Gurkha Rifles garland.
Charles then attended a reception for soldiers and their families. Belinda Robinson, wife of the commanding officer, said a lot of preparation had gone into the day and everyone had been nervous before the prince's arrival.
She added: "It's gone very well. He's very relaxed and casual and that has relaxed everyone else. He just seems such a nice man. He stopped and had a chat with everybody."
At the battalion's memorial garden, Charles laid a wreath and paid his respects to those who had died in service. This was followed by a piper playing the Last Post and the Reveille.
About 550 Royal Gurkha Rifles are currently undertaking pre-deployment training and will leave for Helmand Province in Afghanistan between September and April next year.
The prince presented the Prince of Wales's Kukri to Surash Gurung, this year's best non-commissioned officer, the Elizabeth Cross to the parents of Rifleman Sachin Limbu who died earlier this year from wounds sustained in Afghanistan, the annual Parish Trophy to Rifleman Surash Gurung for being the best rifleman in the battalion and Afghanistan Campaign medals to soldiers unable to receive them at the medals parade last year.