The start of the journey: Nepal

Tanahun District, Western Nepal. During hill selection, potential recruits have numbers painted on their chest in indelible ink. This prevents them from re-trying for selection elsewhere if they are initially unsuccessful. The boys' bodies are minutely examined for any signs of physical weakness and many boys are rejected for basic medical reasons which include high blood pressure, ear or dental problems.

Dada Bazaar, Eastern Nepal. The local ex-Gurkha recruiters are known as Gallawallahs. They live throughout hill recruitment areas and initially select boys who may be suitable for the British Army. Many have a long family history of service in the British Army, and photographs proudly displayed outside a home can show generations of Gurkhas.