Sam Cowan first visited Nepal in 1966 when he trekked for two months in east and west Nepal. At the time he was on a three-year tour as a junior officer with Queen’s Gurkha Signals in Borneo, Malaya and Hong Kong. During a long and distinguished career, until his retirement as a four-star general in 2002, he performed numerous staff and command jobs culminating in the successive appointments of Inspector General of Army Training, Quartermaster General, and Chief of Defence Logistics. In 1989, he became Colonel of Queen’s Gurkha Signals and a trustee of the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT). In 1994, he was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Brigade of Gurkhas, the titular Head of Gurkhas in the British Army, an appointment which also carried with it the responsibility of being Chairman of the GWT. His annual visits to Nepal as Colonel Commandant included eight official audiences with the reigning monarchs to deliver a report on the Brigade of Gurkhas. Since 1989, he has done a further 30-plus treks.