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

The First Gurkha Victoria Cross – Rifleman Kulbir Thapa, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles, 25th/26th September 1915

Prior to the First World War the deployment of Indian Army troops far from India had usually been mooted. Gurkha soldiers had previously served outside...

Gurkha Victoria Cross at San Marino, Italy – Rifleman Sherbahadur Thapa

Born in Ghalechap in the Tanhu District of Nepal in 1921, Sherbahadur Thapa enlisted with 9th Gurkha Rifles in November 1942 and joined 1st Battalion...

Delhi Day – Gurkhas at the Siege of Delhi, 1857

The Siege of Delhi by British forces between June and September of 1857 during what is often referred to as the Indian Mutiny is one...

The untold story of the hero Gurkha Victoria Cross holders who helped win the war in Burma

By Lieutenant General Sir Peter Duffell, from a recent article written for the Daily Telegraph. Marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day former Gurkha commander, Lieutenant...

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