Having been formed in 1943 and fought continuously in the vanguard of the Allied Italian advance since the breaking of the Gothic Line in late 1944, and winning many accolades in the process, the 43rd Gurkha Lorried Brigade, an armoured formation composed of the 2nd Battalions of the 6th, 8th and 10th Gurkha Rifles, had by April 1945, every hope of being some of the first and furthest northerly-advanced units in the Allied forces by the cessation of hostilities and pressed on actively.
On April 28th units of the Brigade were ordered to proceed with all speed to the ancient city of Padua to ensure its capture. Alongside New Zealand troops Gurkha soldiers from the Brigade were some of the first Allied soldiers to reach the city, being greeted with wild acclaim by its inhabitants and members of the local resistance. There were hopes that the Brigade would be ordered further north still (and 2/6GR would indeed be ordered to advance another 100 or so miles beyond the River Piave), to Venice or Trieste, but instead the majority of the Brigade were ordered to garrison and mop up final holdouts of German soldiers within Padua, as well as maintain order amidst a certain amount of score-settling amongst the local partisan population.
Days later, on May 2nd, news reached the Brigade of the surrender of all German forces within Italy, itself only days before the final surrender of Germany on May 8th, Victory in Europe Day.
Following the latest Government guidance regarding COVID-19 and careful consideration of the current situation, The Gurkha Museum has decided to close its doors to the public in the interest of visitor and staff safety, effective immediately.
The Museum will remain closed until further notice but will continue to operate behind the scenes with reduced staff on call to answer queries during this time. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will issue updates through our website and social media channels as soon as we become aware of further changes to our operations.
May we thank our Visitors, Friends and Supporters for their understanding and support through this difficult period.