The Gurkha Hat
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Burma Military Police

This cap badge was worn by a member of the Ruby Mines Battalion of the Burma Military Police, at some point between 1900 and 1914. Beginning with the first Anglo-Burmese War in March 1824 and ending at the close of the third Anglo-Burmese War in 1886, Britain (represented first by the Honourable East India Company and then later the British government), fought three wars with Burma in the 19th century, which gradually brought the country of Burma under the control of the British Empire. Though defeated militarily, an active Burmese resistance movement remained for many years after annexation, meaning that control of the country could only be maintained through the presence of a large series of military outposts and police stations spread throughout Burma. To staff these posts and to reduce the costs of stationing regular Indian Army troops in the region a series of Military Police Battalions were established from 1886. Many Gurkhas were recruited into these battalions, along with other troops from regions of Northern India including Garhwal and Kumaon.

The Ruby Mines Battalion of the Burma Military Police was formed in 1887 and existed until 1914, when it was absorbed by the Mandalay Battalion. It consisted of over 300 serving troops (including Gurkhas, as suggested by the presence of distinctive crossed kukris in its design) in three companies and was based in Mogok in central Burma. It acquired its name due to the presence of many gem and precious stone mines in the region, which were a major source of revenue and consequently required adequate protection.
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