The History of The Gurkha Museum

At its peak during the Second World War the Gurkha Brigade of the British Indian army contained upwards of 120,000 Gurkha soldiers, and the Brigade remained many tens of thousands strong throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. However, after the close of British involvement in conflicts such as the Malayan Emergency and the Borneo Confrontation, the Brigade of Gurkhas began a gradual reduction in size, and concerns were raised over the continuing preservation of the history of the Brigade, which had until this point been the preserve of individual regiments and units within the Brigade.

The decision was taken to create a Gurkha Museum to preserve and protect Gurkha history. The original Museum was based in converted barrack blocks at Church Crookham barracks, where Gurkha units had become permanently stationed in 1972, and was opened in 1974.

The Museum remained at Church Crookham for 16 years and eventually its collections and archives outgrew its original buildings. In 1990 the museum moved from Church Crookham to its present location within the Short Barrack Block at Peninsula Barracks in Winchester (once a working barracks and now home to a number of Winchester’s Military Museums).

The Museum continues to preserve the heritage of the Brigade of Gurkhas, from its origins in 1815 through to the present day.

See Our Latest History & Collections

Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung and Tamandu Day – 5th March 1945

Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung was born in September 1921 in Phalpu in the Gorkha District of Nepal and joined 3rd Battalion, 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles (3/2GR) in 1940. He saw service in...

The Treaty of Segauli – 4th March 1816

A TREATY OF “PERPETUAL PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP” After Nepal was unified into a modern state in the 1760’s and 70’s by the King of Gorkha,...

Uncle Bill

William ‘Bill’ Slim is most often remembered for his command of 14th Army in Burma during the Second World War, but the undoubted skill of...

British Empire Medal of Rifleman Bhajbir Gurung, 2nd Battalion/5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)

Rifleman Bhajbir Gurung served with the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) (2/5GR) in Burma, including during the withdrawal from Burma...

© The Gurkha Museum Trust Winchester - Registered Charity Number 1169920 (formerly 272426)