The Rt. Hon. Earl Howe is Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and former Minister of Defence. Earl Howe has said "The Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden is an inspired concept, brought to life by a brilliant, award-winning designer. As well as being an amenity for the residents of Woolwich, it will provide a space for all visitors to reflect upon the enormous contribution made by those from the Commonwealth and Nepali backgrounds in the cause of freedom."
Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS was born in Kashmir, India and has been a staunch supporter of campaigns championing Gurkhas. Joanna has said "The Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden is going to be a place of quietness and remembrance, a place of rustling leaves and comforting sun and shade, it will be a place to have pride, to feel sorrow being washed away, a place to think and be grateful for all those who came from faraway homes to fight for our country and for freedom from tyranny. I love it already."
Carolyn Browne (Local supporter and benefactor) - Built in 1862, destroyed in 1944, reborn in the last 10 years - the Garrison Church is an inspiring example of how London adapts and develops. The next chapter in the Garrison Church's history is to establish a garden drawing inspiration from across the Commonwealth. I can't think of a better way to reflect London's multi-cultural heritage, or Woolwich's history.
Col Ed Taylor CO Woolwich Station - I fully support the exciting initiative of a Commonwealth and Gurkha Memorial Garden at the Garrison Church of St George's. Woolwich has an extensive history of shared experience between the Army, the Garrison Church and the local Borough of Greenwich and this project sits on the geographic, physical and metaphorical seam of the military and our local diverse community. It will provide a fitting memorial and a valuable, visually outstanding, outside space for the whole community to enjoy together.
Lt Co Tol Khamcha Commanding Officer SO1 GMT - ’It’s a great honour to be involved on this fantastic project, not only as a serving Gurkha officer but also a proud Nepali. To have a Chautara within the garden will remind those Ex Gurkha Nepali community who are settled and well-integrated within the community in Woolwich, Charlton, Greenwich, Plumstead, Welling and beyond, of their homeland, when they visit the site. It will also symbolise our bond and outstanding service to the Crown and country for over 206 years – Jai Gurkha’’.
Matthew Pennycook, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich - “I wholeheartedly support the inspired Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden Project at St George’s Garrison Church. If the proposal were realised, it would not only provide a fitting memorial to the service and sacrifice of those from the Commonwealth and Nepal who served alongside British forces in successive conflicts but a place of peace and reflection for visitors from the local community and beyond. I encourage everyone to get behind it”.
HE the Hon George Brandis QC, High Commissioner for Australia to the United Kingdom - Over 100,000 Australians have given their lives in wars to preserve our freedoms. They often did so standing side by side with men and women from other Commonwealth nations, including the famous Gurkha soldiers. The Commonwealth & Gurkha Commemorative Garden is an important initiative to remember these brave men and women. It will provide a fitting place of reflection and remembrance for the local community and visitors alike, and a lasting memorial to the sacrifice which they gave to preserve and defend our freedoms.
Lt Col MD Hendry MBE, The Queen's Gurkha Engineers - "I am delighted to support the Commonwealth and Gurkha Garden at the Garrison Church and am pleased that The Queen's Gurkha Engineers will be responsible for the construction of the Gurkha Chautara”.
Peter Waine, Master of the Gardeners Livery Company - The importance of gardens and green landscapes is now well established and The Worshipful Company of Gardeners is keen to support projects that will enhance public spaces and give a sense of ownership to the communities that surround them. The Woolwich Garrison Church Trust has an exciting venture that will bring new life to an historical area of land through the building of a Commonwealth and Gurkha Memorial Garden. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners gives its wholehearted support to this imaginative scheme. We urge you to follow the progress of the design for the garden surrounding the historical St George’s Church and to share it as widely as possible.
Lord Ranger - The Commonwealth & Gurkha Garden bears testament to the sacrifices of soldiers who came to defend King & Empire to help preserve world freedom.