History of the Gurkhas

A brief history…

1817 – 1918

The Gurkhas first conflict in service with the British Crown was the Pindaree War in 1817. This was followed by a string of campaigns in which the reputation of the Gurkhas grew vigorously. In 1857, during the Indian Mutiny, whilst many Indian Regiments turned against the British the 2nd Goorkhas remained loyal and held a key position on the outskirts of Delhi for over 3 months.
As a result of this concrete commitment the 2nd Goorkhas were awarded the Queens Truncheon and were restyled as a Rifle Regiment as a mark of respect by the 60th Rifles alongside whom they had fought.
Gurkhas have also fought under the British Crown on innumerable other occasions including the Second Afghan War and The First World War where their bravery led to astounding victories and their reputation grew strength by strength.


1919 – 1994

During the Second World War the Gurkhas strength increase to a peak of forty battalions, more than the entire British Infantry today.
Until 1947 the Gurkhas had been part of the Indian Army however on the partition of India in 1947 six of the ten Gurkha Regiments remained in India and four transferred to the British Army, in which their first conflict was the twelve year long Malayan Emergency.
In 1994 the four Gurkha Regiments amalgamated to form the Royal Gurkha Rifles.