The link between the British Army and the tough mountain dwellers of Nepal can be traced back over 200 years when troops of the British East India Company invaded Nepal but suffered heavily at the hands of the Nepalese Gurkhas. In a piece of typical pragmatism the company signed a peace treaty and made a contract to hire the tough soldiers to fight for them. Serving with the British Army Gurkhas have won 26 Victoria Crosses and two George Crosses.
During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the Gurkhas fought side by side with British troops and formed a strong bond with the 60th Rifles. Later in the century Gurkhas were in action in Afghanistan as fighting flared along the North West Frontier.
During the First World War more than 200,000 Gurkhas served in the British Army, suffering approximately 20,000 casualties, and receiving almost 2,000 gallantry awards In the Second World War 250,280 Gurkhas served in almost all theatres. In addition to keeping peace in India, Gurkhas fought in Syria, North Africa, Italy, Greece and notably against the Japanese in Burma and northeast India They earning 2,734 bravery awards and suffering around 32,000 casualties in all theatres during the Second World War. More recently Gurkhas played a key role in the Emergency in Malaya and the Confrontation. They were part of 5 Brigade in the Falklands in 1982 have been employed in peace keeping operations. Gurkhas have been invaluable in on going operations in Afghanistan.
"Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali" is their war cry. Translated it means "Glory be to the Goddess of War, here come the Gorkhas!"
Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful friends than you.