"Wonderful," he said about his first impression of the country that he had heard so much about."Nepal was gold, India was bronze." In the years that followed, Cross made himself well acquainted with the country.Since he secured a royal seal of approval from then-king Birendra in 1985, Cross has settled in the western city of Pokhara, where he worked as a British Gurkha recruitment officer from 1976 to 1982.
We took out 10 leeches from our ankle every hour." Cross referred to his troops' success and their survival as an "epiphany" and that "some superpower had shown what [the Gurkhas] could do".
His war diaries and the heroism of Gurkha soldiers have been the subject of many books that Cross has authored.
Thus he is very defensive about the Gurkhas, especially about their "mercenary" status.
At 88, he still cannot get rid of his habit: the fragile-looking but fit ex-army man who uses a cane to walk around his house wakes up at 4am and walks for 12 to 16 kilometres every day.
In his neighbourhood and community, Colonel Cross, as he is known, comes across as a recognised and respected figure with a great sense of humour.