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.

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George Wheeler VC

Regiment 9th Gurkha Rifles Date 23rd February 1917   See more Gurkha Victoria Cross stories here

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