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Information and history of BMH Nepal in Dharan. Pictured below is Captain Carole Murray QARANC greeting a 17 years old TB patient with a Namaste. This front cover is from the February 1977 edition of Soldier Magazine and reproduced here with kind permission of Soldier Magazine.
BMH Nepal in Dharan was opened in 1960 to care for the Ghurkhas and their families (cited in the book Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (Famous Regts. S) by Juliet Piggott).
At the time of opening the Matron of BMH Nepal was Major Ballesty.
The book Sub Cruce Candida: A Celebration of One Hundred Years of Army Nursing has photos of the staff at BMH Dharan which includes the children's ward. There is also a photograph of the QARANC and RAMC team that was sent from BMH Hong Kong to Nepal in August 1988 as part of Operation Nightingale to provide disaster relief after an earthquake.
The Scalpel and the Khukri
The Scalpel and the Kukri: A Surgeon and His Family's Adventures Among the Gurkhas is written by Major Peter Pitt who was an army surgeon at British Military Hospital Nepal from 1966 to 1968. In The Scalpel and the Kukri: A Surgeon and His Family's Adventures Among the Gurkhas Peter Pitt writes about his experiences at the BMH in Dharan in East Nepal where he treated Gurkha soldiers, the Nepalese people and British military personnel and their families. He encountered diseases and conditions such as rabies, cholera, snake bites, tiger attacks and tuberculosis, Buy Now!
Peter Pitt also wrote the book Surgeon in Nepal which was published in 1980. It is still available from private sellers at Amazon. More Information.
Some fine paintings of BMH Dharan were displayed in the Officers' Mess of The Duchess of Kent Military Hospital at Catterick Camp. When the Officers Mess closed when the DKMH closed in 1999 the paintings were given to the QARANC Museum.
To the left is a pastel painting of a Ghurkha pensioner on his way home after treatment at the hospital. It was painted by Mr John Carr and displayed on Qaranc.co.uk with kind permission.
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These wonderful photos are from the collection of Major Jack Thompson, Royal Army Medical Corps, and have been kindly provided by his son Paul who recalls:
My dad was posted for 18 months in Dharan from about late 1968 or early 1969. I was born in 1965 so was about 5-6 yrs. old at the time. I am not exactly sure of our arrival date but we were definitely there in Jan 1969 for my birthday. He was Major Jack Thompson, an anaesthetist, and unfortunately no longer with us so I cannot get more info. We went from Nepal to a posting in Hong Kong and back to England in 1971 to Catterick. We emigrated to Canada September 1973 and my dad took up private practice.
(The lady in the blue above is Punima Quirk.)
I had a great time in Nepal and Hong Kong… what an experience for a kid! Chasing butterflies and lizards, I even set fire to the banana tree! (prompted by my older brother). The gardener Marley calmly put the fire out with the hose, scolded us in Nepalese and then gave us each an ear twist so hard he almost lifted me on my tiptoes. Dad never found out but we told him the story when we were adults years later and we all had a good laugh.
Marley the gardener is on the left with Narahang, the cook, on the right.
My dad was also in Nairobi 1961-1963, my brother was born there in 1962. Paul Thompson
QARANC.co.uk would love to expand this page with more details about this former army hospital and include a photograph. If you are a former or serving member of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps we would love your help.
If you would like to contribute any info, photographs or share your memories of BMH Nepal then please contact me.
A Historian is currently researching smallpox in Nepal and is keen to hear from anyone who was in the Dharan area in the 1960s and has recollections and experiences of smallpox. If you can help please contact me.
See also the full Soldier Magazine article from 1977 on the Gurkhas Hospital Nepal page.
Forces War Records
Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.
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