Craig Lawrence's new Gurkha history was published in July 2019 to commemorate the 25 years of The Royal Gurkha Rifles. This section describes the book, explains why it was written and includes images of the Regimental Launch on 9 July 2019 with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (who wrote the book's foreword).
Craig Lawrence was commissioned into the British Army's Gurkhas in 1983. After studying engineering science at Durham University, he joined his regiment in Hong Kong and then spent the next thirty-three years either serving with Gurkhas or filling a variety of appointments in various military headquarters, including the Ministry of Defence. Whilst in the Army, he completed numerous overseas tours and commanded his Gurkha battalion on operations in the Balkans and in Africa. His final operational deployment was to Afghanistan as the Director of the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF's) Election Support Cell, where. working with the Afghan authorities and the international community, he led the development and implementation of a strategy to reduce risk to the 2014 Presidential and Provincial Elections. He left the military as a major general in 2016 to join the staff of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London, where, until recently, he was the Course Director and Director of Strategy and Strategic Leadership. He now runs his own consultancy company, Craig Lawrence Consulting, which helps organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors develop the strategies and senior leadership skills they need to succeed in today's dynamic, uncertain and competitive operating environment.
Craig Lawrence is the author of five books: two thrillers (both featuring Gurkha veteran Harry Parker); a book on strategy and strategic leadership for RCDS; and two commemorative Gurkha histories, both of which have become Amazon best-sellers. He is now working on another book on strategy and leadership, as well as on the third book in the Harry Parker series. This website provides an introduction to Craig Lawrence's books and articles and provides short illustrated histories of the Gurkhas and their famous kukri (or khukuri) knife! It also includes collections of quotes about Gurkhas and strategy. Use the page tabs above or the links at the bottom of the page - below 'Latest News' - to navigate around the website.
Left and Right: I was truly humbled this June when the magazine of The Royal British Legion included an article about my career and, specifically, why I wrote the new 'Gurkha' book. The author of the article did a fantastic job of reducing my ramblings in a long interview down to a pithy explanation of why I think it is so important to record the heroic actions of the many people who have made The Royal Gurkha Rifles what it is today, particularly those who have been killed or wounded on the Regiment's numerous overseas operations. You can read the full article by clicking the link below.
All about strategy
Publishing start-up 'The Ginger Pirate Press' released 'Reasonable Doubt' in paperback on 28 March 2020 and as a Kindle e-book on on 30 March 2020. The second book in the Harry Parker action adventure series, it's got heroes, villains, fab locations, romance and, of course, Gurkhas. You can see the book on Amazon using the hyperlinks in this paragraph, by clicking the cover image or following the link below it (or you can order it in your local bookshop!). The story in a few lines is:
When her brother is killed in a diving accident, journalist Amélie Lagarde asks ex-Gurkha Harry Parker to help her investigate. Together they get drawn into a desperate battle between an ambitious Prime Minister, the intelligence services and the world’s most wanted terrorist, leaving them with no choice but to assemble a small team of Gurkhas and take matters into their own hands.
The book has attracted fantastic reviews, not only from 'verified purchasers' on Amazon but also from magazines such as 'Soldier', the magazine of the British Army. Here's what people think:
'A good old-fashioned thriller, this title is fast paced and action-packed from the start... a good, easy-to-read book which is well worth getting hold of.’ Soldier Magazine (the British Army magazine) July 2020 - p64
'A fantastic read. If you like politico thrillers, with action, sex, travel and a Bond-like hero, then look no further.' Amazon 'Verified Purchaser' review dated 15 April 2020
It was a real privilege on Saturday 15 August 2020 to talk to Lukwesa Burak on BBC News about the role of Gurkhas in the Far East Campaign and, in particular, as part of General Bill Slim's so-called 'Forgotten Army' in Burma. The interview formed part of the BBC's coverage of VJ Day 75, the formal commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Japan at the end of the Second World War. Not many people realise the enormous contribution that Gurkhas made in the Far East Campaign, with 35,000 soldiers deploying in 27 infantry battalions, including two parachute battalions. Gurkhas also took part in the two Chindit Operations, the first of which took place in February and March of 1943 with the second taking place from March to July 1944. In the first Chindit Operation, 1,289 of the 3,000 strong force were Gurkhas. During the Burma Campaign, Gurkhas were awarded 9 Victoria Crosses, a quite remarkable achievement. Click on either of the images to the left to watch the interview.
One legacy of the Burma Campaign that endures today is the Gurkhas' professionalism in the jungle. The skills developed during the Burma Campaign proved extremely effective in a number of subsequent conflicts, including:
- The Malayan Emergency (1948 - 1960).
- The Brunei Revolt (1962).
- The Borneo Confrontation (1963 - 1966).
- East Timor (1999).
The Gurkhas continue to place huge importance on being able to live and fight in the jungle better than anybody else. This is important as the Gurkha battalion based in Brunei now provides the British Army's only fully trained and acclimatised jungle unit. You can find out more about Gurkhas in the jungle at this link and more about Gurkhas in the Second World War at this link.
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25 years of the RGR!
The famous Gurkha fighting knife, the kukri or khukuri, has remained virtually unchanged for over two centuries. This short illustrated history looks back over 200 years and explains why it remains as relevant on today as it was more than 200 years ago when it was first used against the British!
FIND OUT MORE: CLICKING ON A SECTION WILL TAKE YOU TO THE APPROPRIATE WEB PAGE
Left and Right: I was delighted in July 2020 when Soldier Magazine, the official magazine of the British Army, gave 'Reasonable Doubt' a fantastic review, describing it as 'fast paced and action packed' and recommending it as 'a good, easy-to-read book which is well worth getting hold of.' I work extremely hard to make my books accessible, regardless of the complexity of the plot and the characters, so I was particularly pleased with the bit about being 'easy to read'. You can read the complete review below:
'A GOOD old-fashioned thriller, this title is fast paced and action-packed from the start. It involves a former Gurkha officer, Harry Parker, tracking down a terrorist called Malik who has been arranging attacks in the UK and France as part of an attempt to stage a coup in Nigeria. Our hero trails his quarry to Malta, then Afghanistan – picking up a beautiful investigative journalist and some former Army colleagues along the way. All in all, this is a good, easy-to-read book which is well worth getting hold of.' Soldier Magazine, July 2020 (see Page 64)
Gurkhas were first recruited to serve the Crown in 1815 during the wars between the East India Company and Nepal. This brief illustrated history explains the background and provides an insight into why, 200 years later, these remarkable soldiers continue to serve in today's British Army.
Gurkhas have served the British Crown for over 200 years. During that time, many people have made statements about them that describe why they are so special. This section contains a selection of the best Gurkha quotes.
Gurkha adventure thriller
You can use the following links to see quotes about Gurkhas and find out what soldiers from The Royal Gurkha Rifles are currently doing:
Some think a strategy is just a high level plan; others believe it differs from a plan because it is designed to deal with uncertainty. This section provides multiple perspectives in the form of strategy quotes. It also describes 'Getting Strategy Right (Enough)' and provides a link to a recent article co-authored by Craig Lawrence that looks at the defining nature of strategy.
Craig Lawrence's first adventure thriller was published in 2015. With heroes, villains, a bit of romance, Gurkhas and lots of action, it has attracted excellent reviews, some of which are included in this section.
Left and Right: It was a great privilege to launch the new Gurkha book with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales on 9 July 2019 at the 25th anniversary celebrations of The Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR). Prince Charles kindly wrote the foreword to the book, using this as an opportunity to explain why he is so proud to be the Colonel in Chief of this famous regiment.
Click on the images (or the second panel below) to find out more about the book.
New Gurkha thriller
200 years of Gurkha history