In 1814, the Bengal Army of the Honourable East India Company was at war with a marauding Nepal. It was there that the British first encountered the martial spirit of their indomitable foe, the Gurkha soldiers from the hills of mountainous independent land. Impressed by their fighting qualities and with the end of hostilities in sight, the Company began to recruit them into its own ranks.
Since then these light hearted and gallant soldiers have successfully fought wherever the British have campaigned from the North West Frontier of India through two World Wars to the contemporary battlefields of the Falklands Islands and Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, with well over one hundred battle honours to their name.
In this talk, General Duffell objectively recounts something of the history, character and spirit of these loyal and dedicated soldiers seen through the prism of his own service and campaigning as a regular officer in the 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles, as the Brigade of Gurkhas Major General and as Regimental Colonel of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.
Lieutenant General Sir Peter Duffell, KCB CBE MC was Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong. He was educated at Dulwich College and was commissioned into the 2nd Gurkha Rifles in 1960. He served with his Regiment in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency and in Borneo during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation as well as in Northern Ireland. As a young company commander, he was awarded the Military Cross leading Gurkhas in clandestine operations against Indonesia in the 1960s. Military service took him from Malaya to Whitehall and from subaltern to Lieutenant General with much campaigning in between.
Having served in Hong Kong with the Gurkhas on several occasions throughout his service, General Duffell was Commander British Forces in Hong Kong and a member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong between 1989 and 1992. He then became the British Army’s Inspector General. On retirement in 1995, he worked commercially for 20 years for an American Law Firm in London, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Moscow and elsewhere.
Members of the RGS and the Hong Kong Club and their guests are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$250. Members of the Hong Kong Club should apply through the Club's Banqueting office.
The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong would like to thank:
Cathay Pacific and
the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
for their generous assistance with this event.