Gurkhas owe a lot to British

Aug 2014
1,273
pakistan
I found this Photograph in book "The Campaign in Tirah, 1897-1898: An Account of the Expedition Against the Orakzais and Afridis Under General Sir William Lockhart" by Henry Doveton Hutchinson, 1898..........it is captioned as ""Gurkhas--The Raw Material" and "Gurkhas--The Finished Article"

They had little or no martial worth and reputation before the British invested in them...........barely clothed and carrying a knife as a weapon, and unknown...... British created/manufactured soldiers from the 'raw material'...no wonder they are still serving in the UK army, entire military history of Gurkhas revolve around British

 
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May 2013
395
Hays Kansas (ex Australian)
They had little or no martial worth and reputation before the British invested in them...........barely clothed and carrying a knife as a weapon, and unknown...... British created/manufactured soldiers from the 'raw material'...no wonder they are still serving in the UK army, entire military history of Gurkhas revolve around British
Well I suspect that the British Army consider the debt paid in full. The Gurkhas were very fine soldiers in WW2
 
Oct 2015
1,196
California
I found this Photograph in book "The Campaign in Tirah, 1897-1898: An Account of the Expedition Against the Orakzais and Afridis Under General Sir William Lockhart" by Henry Doveton Hutchinson, 1898..........it is captioned as ""Gurkhas--The Raw Material" and "Gurkhas--The Finished Article"

They had little or no martial worth and reputation before the British invested in them...........barely clothed and carrying a knife as a weapon, and unknown...... British created/manufactured soldiers from the 'raw material'...no wonder they are still serving in the UK army, entire military history of Gurkhas revolve around British


So what's your point?
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,754
Cornwall
They are still used because they have a lot of martial worth. The British may take credit for the railways but not for making the Ghurkas tough.

I know people who have fought alongside them - do you?
 
Jul 2017
29
London
Well I suspect that the British Army consider the debt paid in full. The Gurkhas were very fine soldiers in WW2
Absolutely. Brits would have lost against the Afrika Corps for sure if it wasn't for the dogged determination of the Gurkhas. An inspirational fighting force. Rommel was dumbfounded, and that's saying something!
 
Dec 2014
448
Wales
From the British Army website:

Robert Clive's decisive victory at the Battle of Plassey in 1757 firmly established British supremacy in India thereby opening the door for expansion of the Honourable East India Company. Some 10 years after Plassey the British started to come into contact with a unique and vigorous power on the northern borders of its newly won territories in Bengal and Bihar. This power was the city-state of Gorkha led by its dynamic king Prithwi Narayan Shah. Gorkha was a feudal hill village in what is now western Nepal, and is the place from which the Gurkha takes his name. Prithwi Narayan Shah and his successors grew so powerful that they overan the whole of the hill country from the Kashmir border in the west to Bhutan in the east. Eventually, as a result of boundary disputes and repeated raids by Gurkha columns into British territory, the Governor General declared war on Nepal in 1814. After two long and bloody campaigns a Peace Treaty was signed at Sugauli in 1816.

Peace Treaty
During the war a deep feeling of mutual respect and admiration had developed between the British and their adversaries, the British being much impressed by the fighting and other fine qualities of the Gurkha soldier. Under the terms of the Peace Treaty large numbers of Gurkhas were permitted to volunteer for service in the East India Company's Army.

Bravest of allies
From these volunteers were formed the first regiments of the Gurkha Brigade, and from this time stems Britain's friendship with Nepal, a country which has proved a staunch ally ever since and has become our 'oldest ally' in Asia. Never has the trust that was then placed in the Gurkha soldier ever been in doubt. Alongside his British comrade in arms he has fought in many parts of the world and has proved himself to be of the closest friends and bravest of allies that Britain has known.​

I, like most people I know, would say the British got the better deal - even today they are regarded as some of the finest soldiers in the British Army.
 
Aug 2014
1,273
pakistan
A 'Gurkha soldier' is a creation and discovery of British colonial empire and its not a compliment by any means. They were the only community of South Asia whose loyalty and dedication to British Raj did not waver in any circumstance. This made them notorious in India and even Gandhi badmouthed Gurkhas. It puzzled me and i tried to find their pre-British military history.......they have little or no history before the British. No other community of British India so unnaturally dedicated themselves to the British imperialists like Gurkhas......British discovered and polished 'mercenary' material
 
Dec 2014
448
Wales
A 'Gurkha soldier' is a creation and discovery of British colonial empire and its not a compliment by any means. They were the only community of South Asia whose loyalty and dedication to British Raj did not waver in any circumstance. This made them notorious in India and even Gandhi badmouthed Gurkhas. It puzzled me and i tried to find their pre-British military history.......they have little or no history before the British. No other community of British India so unnaturally dedicated themselves to the British imperialists like Gurkhas......British discovered and polished 'mercenary' material
Firstly I would disagree about their previous martial prowess - the British Empire fought it's way around the world, and very few enemies impressed them as much as the Gurkha's did. I think it's fair to say that they must have had some military prowess or they would never have been enlisted into the British Indian Army. It's also notable that they had conquered much of what is now Nepal and even some of Tibet by the time they encountered the British, which shows some military skill, probably acquired by experience. Just because there isn't much written military history, doesn't mean it's not there.

I would also say that it is odd that if India is so dismissive of them, it's strange that there are so many in the Indian army - even today there are some 39 battalions in seven regiments. Employing foreign soldiers is usually a sign that they are highly regarded:

Since independence, the Gorkhas have fought in every major campaign involving the Indian Army being awarded numerous battle and theatre honours. The regiments have won many gallantry awards like the Param Vir Chakra and the Maha Vir Chakra. The 5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force), has the unique distinction of producing one of the two Field Marshals of the Indian Army, Sam Manekshaw. (Wikipedia but still relevant)​
 
Jul 2014
1,638
world
I found this Photograph in book "The Campaign in Tirah, 1897-1898: An Account of the Expedition Against the Orakzais and Afridis Under General Sir William Lockhart" by Henry Doveton Hutchinson, 1898..........it is captioned as ""Gurkhas--The Raw Material" and "Gurkhas--The Finished Article"

They had little or no martial worth and reputation before the British invested in them...........barely clothed and carrying a knife as a weapon, and unknown...... British created/manufactured soldiers from the 'raw material'...no wonder they are still serving in the UK army, entire military history of Gurkhas revolve around British

Gurkha's as we know it today are composed of mountain tribes like Gurung, Rai, Limbu and Himalayan like Sherpa's. Gurkha's had over run whole of Nepal, Uttarakhand and Darjeeling before they fought the British.

They almost fought the British army to standstill only armed with knives and swords. Nepal is the only country in South Asia never under foreign occupation. They are mercenaries for sure ...but so were Afghans, Rajputs ...just about every soldier serving the British were serving for pay.

So yes Gurkhas own a lot to the British but so do the Brits to Gurkhas.