Royal Engineers Museum receives a ‘New Stories New Audiences’ grant

 The Royal Engineers Museum has been awarded a grant from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), in the latest allocation of AIM’s New Stories New Audiences grant. These grants are supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Players across the UK.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE). To celebrate this, the Royal Engineers Museum in conjunction with The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers will be holding an Anniversary exhibition and event, as well as starting a longer-term project that is looking to build on the shared experiences between the Gurkhas and Royal Engineers, and improve the military heritage held by the Royal Engineers Museum.

Gurkhas were first enlisted into the Corps of Royal Engineers in September 1948 when a Gurkha Training Squadron RE was formed at Kluang, Malaya. The Regiment became part of the Brigade of Gurkhas in September 1955, and by Royal Warrant, on 28 September 1955, its designation was changed to “The Gurkha Engineers” and its own cap badge and insignia were adopted. The title ‘The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers’ was bestowed by Her Majesty The Queen on 21st April 1977.

Thousands of men who have served in the QGE have been integral to the UK’s armed forces, they have seen service across the world, deploying to Afghanistan, supporting UN forces in South Sudan and emergency relief for the Nepal earthquakes in 2015.  In the UK they have deployed in Op. Rescript, building Nightingale hospitals in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and, most recently, paraded for HM The Queen’s funeral.

In celebration of this service and the 75th Anniversary, the museum aims to help build a more dynamic relationship with the Nepali community living in Medway and North Kent.

To reach these goals the Museum will have a long-term project to gather more material about the QGE, its service and the soldier’s personal lives; an exhibition to tell the story of the QGE and expand the public knowledge of the unit; and will be hosting a weekend event celebrating the anniversary and showcasing QGE history and heritage as well as Nepali culture.

None of this would have been possible without generous funding from the Association of Independent Museums, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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