Statue honours contribution Gurkha soldiers made to British Army over last 200 years

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Mike Pearse

A landmark statue is to be unveiled in Hampshire to mark the contribution made by Gurkha soldiers to the British Army over the last 200 years.It was the idea of the Nepalese community around Farnborough and Aldershot, which is now the biggest community of its kind in the country.

The community, supported by Rushmoor Borough Council, raised £180,000 to pay for the statue.

The statue, which was built by a sculptor from Andover, has taken months to complete and has now been craned into position in Aldershot town centre.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The bronze statue symbolises a Gurkha soldier on a First World War battlefield carrying a British soldier to safety.

Amy Goodman, Sculptor said: "This piece depicts the first Gurkha recipient of the Victoria Cross, Kulbir Thapa Magar, rescuing his comrade, a British Tommy from the Leicestershire regiment on the 25th September 1915.

"He also rescued two of his other Gurkha comrades on the same day whilst also carrying his own injury. It's a sculpture that was a challenge and hopefully I've done it justice."

Kulbir Thapa Magar was the first Gurkha recipient of the Victoria Cross

For many years former Gurkha soldiers have been based in Aldershot and many have decided to stay.

Three members of the community have now been elected to the council.

Ram Rai, from the Gurkha Memorial Project, said: "It is very important for Aldershot and all around the world."Councillor Prabesh KC, Rushmoor Borough Council said: "It's hugely significant for Aldershot because it is a symbol of community cohesion in Aldershot and how the community are living together."

The statue was lifted into place on Saturday (18 September) and will be officially unveiled the following Saturday Credit: ITV News Meridian

Councillor Jib Belbase, Rushmoor Borough Council said: "This will be here forever and even when we go, everyone can see the history. You can't forget this moment and this lets future generations know what the relationship is between Nepal and Britain and what the Nepalese people did for Britain and why we are here. It is proof of that."

The statue will be officially unveiled on Saturday (25 September).