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

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...

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