Explore and Research the History of the Gurkhas

Explore and Research the History of the Gurkhas

“Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful friends than you”. Professor Sir Ralph Lilley Turner MC, former Gurkha Officer

The Gurkha’s service to Britain originated during the Anglo-Nepal war in the early 19th century and arose out of each side’s respect for the others honour, bravery and fighting capabilities. Since then they have loyally served Britain as part of the British Indian Army for over a century, fighting for and defending us through numerous wars, campaigns and periods of political unrest. Following the Partition of India in 1947, an agreement between Nepal, India and Britain meant four Gurkha regiments from the Indian Army were transferred to the British Army, eventually becoming the Brigade of Gurkhas.

More than 200,000 fought in the two world wars, and in the past 50 years they have served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Borneo, Cyprus, the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq and most recently Afghanistan. Gurkhas today continue to protect and serve Britain with regiments across the UK and the world manned by Nepali soldiers and officers and British officers, a blend of culture that makes the Brigade of Gurkhas unique. Gurkhas are known for their professionalism, fighting prowess, humour and humility, qualities that distinguish themselves in a variety of roles from military deployments to training and public duties and supporting humanitarian efforts.

Our Research Facilities

The Gurkha Museum holds records and archive material from over 200 years of Gurkha History, including documentation from the period of the earliest Gurkha recruitment into Britain’s forces in 1815. The museum’s records document the expansion of the Brigade and their actions in the 19th century along the North-West Frontier, and records detailing the role of the Gurkhas in both World Wars. 

Explore Gurkha History & Our Collections

SUMMER EXHIBITION – Medal Groups of Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun, VC and Captain Michael Allmand, VC

Gurkha soldiers and officers received nine Victoria Crosses during the Burma Campaign of the Second World War. Three of these were awarded during the Chindit...

SUMMER EXHIBITION – Operational Order Banknote

Conditions during the Burma campaign often deprived soldiers of the supplies needed to continue operations, forcing them to improvise. During the 2nd Chindit Operation in...

SUMMER EXHIBITION – General Walter ‘Joe’ Lentaigne

General Walter ‘Joe’ Lentaigne first commissioned into the 4th Gurkha Rifles in 1918, and saw action in the 3rd Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, gaining valuable...

SUMMER EXHIBITION – Military Identification Tags of Havildar Gaje Ghale, VC

On May 27th 1943, Havildar Gaje Ghale of the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) led his platoon of Gurkha soldiers...

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