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.

Explore Gurkha History & Our 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...

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. 

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