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

Gurkhas and the Empire Gallantry Medal and George Cross

Naik Nandlal Thapa and Lance Naik Chitrabahadur Gurung.  Over the course of its history, 26 Victoria Crosses, the highest military award for valour, have been awarded to Gurkha soldiers...

Gurkhas at Potsangbam – May 12th-15th 1944 

On 12th May 1944, 1st Battalion 10th Gurkha Rifles (1/10GR) undertook what has been described as ‘one of the hardest fought actions in which the Battalion was engaged in the War’: the...

The Brigade of Gurkhas and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip’s connections to the Brigade of Gurkhas are perhaps most famously exampled by the retitling of the 7th Gurkha Rifles to the ‘7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles’ which was given to the Regiment on January...

Rifleman Karanbahadur Rana VC and the action at El-Kefr, Palestine

By early 1918 British and Allied forces had placed Ottoman Turkish troops on the defensive on all fronts, advancing steadily up through Mesopotamia and from...

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