Gurkha squadron grateful for Hebridean ‘hand of friendship’

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Major Giles Sugdon revealed he and the Gurkha squadron which have made Stornoway their base camp for a week have been humbled and delighted to receive the well known Hebridean ‘hand of friendship.’

Almost 90 soldiers and a number of army vehicles have been stationed on Lewis for training on the single track roads which are common place throughout the islands.

And Major Sugdon says it has been a week to remember for all involved.

“The welcome we have received from the island community has been first class and they have extended that well known hand of friendship to us so we couldn’t ask for anything more,” he said.

“We have been driving the vehicles on the A-type roads and some of the more challenging single-track roads around the island.

“We have just under 90 people deployed and 30 vehicles which is a mixture of landrovers and we also have six tonne and 15 tonne manned support vehicles and an armoured patrol vehicle.

“I’ve been coming to the Western Isles for a number of years and I’ve always thought it would provide some real good challenges for the drivers. It is terrain we don’t see on normal training down in hampshire and gives us the opportunity to pracrices something new.”

In addition to their training the Gurkha’s have been a popular sight around the town and they dished up helpings of their own Gurkha curry to locals at the weekend on a busy day in Stornoway in which they teamed up with the local 7 Scots for an information and recruiting event.