Gurkha Memorial Museum 2nd floor Gurkha Rifles
The second floor of the Gurkha Memorial Museum is dedicated to the Gurkha infantry regiments. The displays on the second floor consist of uniforms and accessories. In addition to the displays and regiment information, instances of Gurkha bravery and gallantry are highlighted. If you missed parts one and two of the first floor, you can access them through the provided links.
2nd King Edward VII’s own Gurkhas (The Sirmoor Rifles)
The adjunct general of India asked Lieutenant Frederick Young to lead a group of “irregulars” (hill men). Young raised the Sirmoor Rifles on April 24, 1815. He collected 1,223 men and arranged them into 10 companies. They remained in India until 1947 to join the British army.
Before the Sirmoor Rifles left India, they had a major battle in Delhi, which became their defining moment. Hindu soldiers revolted against the British East India Company on May 10th, 1857, because they were given ammo cartridges greased with cow fat, which was against their religion. The Sirmoor Rifles defended against the mutineers for 3 months. Then with the help of reinforcements, they attacked rebellion stronghold. The Sirmoor Rifles suppressed the rebellion on September 14th, 1857.
Queen Victoria recognized their bravery and valor and presented them with the Queens Truncheon.
6th Queen Elizabeth’s own Gurkha Rifles
The 6th Queen Elizabeth’s own Gurkha Rifles (6th Rifles) was originated in Cuttack, Orissa in India. Captain Simon Frasier created the regiment to help keep order in the area. The first Gurkha soldier joined the group in 1824 and by 1886 it was solely composed of 656 Gurkhas.
Before the 6th Rifles left India in 1947 to join the British army, they fought the Japanese in WW 2, which was their defining moment. The 6th Rifles had orders to attack a railroad bridge in Mogaung, Burma. The Japanese had a strong position, which they reinforced with machine guns and bombs.
The 6th Rifles received heavy casualties along with other units. Tulbahadur Pun, one of the last men alive in his section, seized a bren gun and while firing from the hip he charged the Japanese base. He single-highhandedly captured the base despite a heavy concentration of automatic fire directed at him. Pun received the Victoria Cross for his bravery.
7th Duke of Edinburgh’s own Gurkha Rifles
The 7th Duke of Edinburgh’s own Gurkha Rifles (7th Rifles) has a mixed history. It originated in 1902 but didn’t have any Gurkha soldiers until 1959. They moved through north east India and Pakastan for a while and were even converted to a field artillery unit for a short time. This company has 2 defining moments.
The Japanese advanced on Imphal, Bruma in June 1944. The 7th Rifles went to Burma to defend against the Japanese attacks. Japanese’s enforcements used tanks and superior fire power to break through the rear guard at the Tiddim road blockade. Rifleman Ganju Lama immobilized 3 tanks and killed many enemy soldiers. He received the Victoria Cross for his actions.
Japan stationed 3,000 men in Meiktala, Bhutan. They had a strong position and were effectively fighting the 7th Rifles. 2 Gurkha soldiers, Naik Dalbir Rana and Narbir Pun, charged over open ground firing their rifles at the enemy. As they advanced on a position, 2 Japanese soldiers fled into a nearby building. Narbir Pun chased after the enemy and engaged them with his kukhuri. Pun killed the soldiers then rejoined Rana at the front of the fight. They defeated the Japanese a short time later.
Pun and Rana received the Victoria Cross for the bravery.
10th Princess Mary’s own Gurkha Rifles
England created the 10th Princess Mary’s own Gurkha Rifles (10th Rifles) in 1890, to support Burma. After service, the 800-man regiment left Burma and went to Pakistan. lieutenant colonel MacGregor led the 10th Rifles.
Macgregor deployed the 10th Rifles to Gallipoli to fight Turkey in WW 1. The 10th Rifles fought the most successful operation of the campaign even though the allied forces eventually had to withdraw from Turkey. The 10th Rifles engaged the Turkish army and gained 1,000 yards and 5 lines of trenches. They killed over 10,000 enemy soldiers and wounded 6,000 more. They withdrew from Gallipoli when Turkish reinforcements arrived on July 5th.
Royal Gurkha Rifles
England scaled back its military on July 1st, 1994. England condensed the Gurkha Rifles in to the Royal Gurkha Rifles, because of budget cuts. They served in Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Iraq, and Afghanistan with other UN forces.
Acting Sargent Dipprasad Pun was 1 of 4 men guarding a base in Afghanistan. The rest of his platoon were off base on assignment. Pun had sentry duties on the evening of September 17, 2010. That evening his base was attacked by an unknown number of Afghan guerilla forces. Pun identified hostile enemies approaching and engaged them with a grenade launcher and automatic fire. The enemy counter attacked, but Pun anticipated their movements and gained a strategic post. This occurred three times. By the end of the fire fight Pun had killed 3 men and made the others retreat.