Gurkhas owe a lot to British

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
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We gave them English I suppose.
And they have railways and a justice system.
And I suppose ended their fragmented regional states and made an actual state called India.

But on balance we took a lot of wealth and business, shot a lot of them and stopped much loved and cherished cultural customs like sati and the thuggee religion.... and they helped us win two world wars. So they might consider the debt paid.
 
Jan 2019
212
Valencia
Whether the BEIC had a patronising view of the Gurkha is irrelevant, the contention is that they did not consider them good soldier material which has not been proved in fact the opposite.
Unfortunately, you seem too emotionally invested for me to take you seriously. Where did I claim that the British did not view them as good soldier material? I merely said that they were not special. Don't misrepresent me again.

fighting record
Please show me this hallowed "fighting record'. I can show you the fighting record of many such groups. And I highly doubt the records of the post-1857 period would be highly reliable considering the prevalence of the debunked "martial race" theory.

Your contribution has done nothing of the sort.
Yes it has. It is you who has yet to post a single source.
 
Jan 2019
212
Valencia
And they recruited these soldier from other parts of South Asia because they considered them poor martial material? I doubt it.

So why reruit Gurkha even though according to you they considered them poor soldiers? doesn't really make sense does it.
What a weird misrepresentation of my post. Did I use the term "poor martial material" or anything akin to it? I merely said that they were unremarkable in relation to the variety of other recruits. Your repeated attempts to strawman me should stop.

It demonstrates that the British admired their honest and loyalty hardly surprising during such a widespread mutiny , it does not illustrate that this was their only quality. the British can hardly be said to be 'taken aback' at all.
And how does "honesty and loyalty" (more like submissiveness), relate to their supposed "martial ability".

And sorry describing the soldiers as 'little fellows' is not patronising but may even be considered affectionate.
Of course it does my little friend!;)

The contention is that the Gurkhas were poorly regarded by the British and were poor soldier material which is simply nonsense.
That's your perceived contention.
 
Jan 2019
212
Valencia
“I have never seen more steadiness or bravery exhibited in my life. Run they would not and of death they seemed to have no fear, though their comrades were falling thick around them, for we were so near that every shot told."
Ensign John Shipp WRITING in 1816. John Shipp was a ranker who had risen to officer rank. He fought in many wars in India. Against the Ghurkas he was in the 87th Foot. He had fought against Pindarees, Marahattas before but considered the Ghurkas the bravest.


Also on a personal note. You are in no position to lecture on childishness or semantics when your sources are not saying what you say and you seem to be doing mental gymnastics to interpret any references to a ghurkas height as “see the Brits said they were small. Must not have considered them special then” the two lines of thought are not related. And yes if you take a quote like “the ghurkas stayed loyal”
And then use that to say “the Brits were amazed by their loyalty” then yes you need to find some proof of the amazement because it’s not in the source you suggested.
This is just getting sad now and you've lifted these quotes from a random website without properly considering them: https://www.craiglawrence.co/quotes.html (not very reliable). The first quote is from the Battle of Makwanpur which involved the entire Nepali army and not just Gurkhas. In fact, the bulk of the Nepal generals who participated in the Anglo-Nepal war were non-Gurkhas:


 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,513
Japan
I agree your inability to understand sources is getting sad.
John Shipp was a soldier who fought the Ghurkas in the GHURKA war. He was talking about how brave they were.
Granted you are correct he is not talking about Ghurka regiments but it’s apt as
1- it shows someone who fought the Ghurka in 1814-1816 and had fought against pindaris and marahattas. In it he says how brave they are being tgat he had fought other Indians this shows, in his view, they were special.
2- it’s as reliable as anything you have cited as it actually supports and shows clearly pre 1850 views of Ghurkas.
3- regardless of the websites we’ve looked at can you provide ANY sources that demonstrate YOUR argument that the MAJORITY of Britons were indifferent to them as soldiers.

I’ve put 3 quotes from 3 different British soldiers all pre 1850 who reckon Ghurkas were either the “bravest” or “equal to our grenadiers” or good enough to be enough to defeat the rest of India combined. This does not sound like indifference to anyone who understands English.

I suggest instead of crying foul of websites (I could do the same about you posting Wikipedia articles) you instead put your energy into proving your point ... which you’ve yet to do... so far your one quote proves the opposite, as it clearly states only “some individuals”.

Each quote was properly considered ...
it’s from a pre 1850 source.
It’s from a soldier that either fought against or with Gurkhas, or knew about them from military service.
It shows serious recognition of how good Gurkhas are.
And yes the John Shipp quote is talking about Ghurkas... which is why it’s on a list of quotes about ghurkas. Feel free to prove he’s talking about “all Nepalese” though.
 
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Originally, the Gurkhas were actually looked down upon by the British who were mostly indifferent to them:

View attachment 23938

Source: Heather Streets, Martial Races: The Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857-1914, Manchester University Press (2004), p. 77
Actually it's hardly surprising there was no great plaudits for the fighting abilities of the Gurkha forces prior to 1857, since the truth of the matter is that as far as Britain was concerned the Anglo-Nepalese war was a minor affair on the very edge of Empire. During this period you have the end of the Napoleonic war, the hundred days campaign and the end of the war of 1812, so a small border war is hardly going to be noticed. Even for the EIC this was a minor affair compared to the later Indian wars, such as third Anglo-Maratha or the Anglo-Sikh wars. Ironically for this thread, the only reason it has any importance outside of Nepal today is the creation of the first Gurkha regiments.

The Gurkha battalions were not colonial troops like the Indian forces, since the bulk of Nepal remained independent of British control, and the size of the forces prior to 1857 seems to have been small (the figures I find suggest no more than maybe 5,000). For the third Anglo-Maratha war alone the EIC could raise more than 120,000 men. When the EIC could call on literally hundreds of thousands of troops of their own why would they take much notice of such a small force from outside of the Empire?

The first real conflict in which the Gurkha forces served with any great significance was in 1857, which is where their military ability was first noticed, mostly by the British troops they were fighting alongside of. The importance of their loyalty at this time is also completely understandable - the British had placed great trust in the very soldiers who were now trying to kill them, so naturally they were going to regard loyalty as the most important facet. Their fighting ability was good enough to impress the British soldiers fighting alongside them, as this story shows:


Three days after the mutiny began, the Sirmoor Battalion was ordered to move to Meerut, where the British garrison was barely holding on, and in doing so they had to march up to 48 km a day. Later, during the four-month Siege of Delhi, they defended Hindu Rao's house, losing 327 out of 490 men. During this action they fought side-by-side with the 60th Rifles and a strong bond developed.

After the rebellion the 60th Rifles pressed for the Sirmoor Battalion to become a rifle regiment. This honour was granted then next year (1858) when the battalion was renamed the Sirmoor Rifle Regiment and awarded a third colour. In 1863 Queen Victoria presented the regiment with the Queen's Truncheon, as a replacement for the colours that rifle regiments do not usually have.


Certainly not indifference.

Since then their bravery and fighting abilities have entered near mythical status in British culture, a fact which a simple google search will prove.
 
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Jul 2014
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We gave them English I suppose.
And they have railways and a justice system.
And I suppose ended their fragmented regional states and made an actual state called India.

But on balance we took a lot of wealth and business, shot a lot of them and stopped much loved and cherished cultural customs like sati and the thuggee religion.... and they helped us win two world wars. So they might consider the debt paid.
The railways was paid for the Indian tax payers and cost for per kilometer track of railways was much higher than the one England or USA. East India company actually opposed the abolition of Sati when it was first proposed by the Indian reformer Raja Mohan Roy. It was only later that the company abolished it. And British left India divided into more than 500 princly states. Raj left India a poor and uneducated country.
The only good thing that Brits left were English and Cricket.

For comparison look at Taiwan after Japanese colonial rule and India after British.
 
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Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,513
Japan
The railways was paid for the Indian tax payers and cost for per kilometer track of railways was much higher than the one England or USA. East India company actually opposed the abolition of Sati when it was first proposed by the Indian reformer Raja Mohan Roy. It was only later that the company abolished it. And British left India divided into more than 500 princly states. Raj left India a poor and uneducated country.
The only good thing that Brits left were English and Cricket.

For comparison look at Taiwan after Japanese colonial rule and India after British.
Yeah. No. It was sarcasm mate.
And cricket is hardly something to be thankful... we gave everyone else football or rugby.... screwed India on that one too.
 
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In fact, the bulk of the Nepal generals who participated in the Anglo-Nepal war were non-Gurkhas:

There was only Gorkhadesh during the Anglo-Gorkha war. Nepal was officialy adopted as the name of the State only in the 20th century. So theoritically everybody was a Gorkha in the army of Gorkhadesh.

Gorkhadesh and Gorkhali means very different things in the 19th and the 20th century.
 
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