Wilkinson Sword Kukri

Wilkinson Sword Kukri

Accession Number – 2010.10.24

Kukri and scabbard.

The Kukri has remained a key weapon of Gurkhas in British service from 1815. Traditionally made in village furnaces and forges across Nepal, by the First World War kukri production began to be standardised. In 1951 the Wilkinson Sword Company in the UK made about 1400 kukris and scabbards for the Brigade of Gurkhas, to see if production could be moved to the UK for the Brigade. These are composed of very high-quality steel blades which have wood grips riveted together.

These examples are marked with the name of the firm and the date 1951. Despite being some of the highest-quality kukris ever created, when issued to Gurkha soldiers in Malaya they were not a success. This was ironically due to their quality. It was reported that the edge, though sharp, dulled quickly, and required much grinding to re-establish, which was not always possibly for soldiers out on campaign. As such no further Wilkinson Sword Kukris were ordered and military service Kukris continue to be manufactured in Nepal.

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