- 1 Gorkha Rifles
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 1 Gorkha Rifles
caption=Regimental Insignia of the 1GR
dates= 1815 - Present
motto="Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro (Better to die than live like a coward)"
colors="Ayo Gorkhali (The Gorkhas are here)"
colors_label= War Cry
Jat War First Anglo-Sikh War Indian Mutiny Perak War Second Afghan War Burma
Waziristan- 1894 Tirah- 1897 Great War Third Afghan War World War II
anniversaries=Raising Day (April 24)
Param Vir Chakra
Maha Vir Chakras
3 Shaurya Chakras
1 Yudh Seva Medal
The Great War
France and Flanders 1914-15
Kut al Amara 1917
N.W. Frontier India 1915-17
Second World War
Jammu and Kashmir 1965
Jammu and Kashmir 1971
East Pakistan 1971
identification_symbol=A pair of crossed
Khukris with the numeral 1 above
identification_symbol_2= [http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/hammersfan_01/Tartans/Childers.gifChilders (1st Bn pipe bags and plaids)]
[http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/hammersfan_01/Tartans/MackenzieHLI.gifMackenzie HLI (2nd Bn pipe bags and plaids)]
identification_symbol_2_label=Tartan The 1 Gorkha Rifles is a Regiment of the
Indian Armyand was transferred from the British Indian Armyat the time of India's independence in 1947.
The Gurkha War was fought between the Gorkha kings of Nepal and the British East India Company as a result of border tensions and ambitious expansionism especially into Kumaon, Garwhal and Kangra hills. The British east India army defeated the Gorkhas army lead by general Amar Singh Thapa but were impressed by its skills and courage during the siege of Malaun fort in Bilaspur. On April 24, 1815 at Subathu, East India Company formed a regiment with the survivors of Thapa's army calling it the First Nusseree (or Nasiri)(friendly or loyal).
The "Regiment" soon saw its first battle when, in 1826, it took part in the
Jat Warwhere it helped in the conquest of Bharatpur, gaining it as a Battle Honour, the first Battle Honour awarded to the Gurkha units. In 1846 the First Anglo-Sikh Warbegan and the "Regiment" was heavily involved in the conflict. It was awarded two Battle honours for its involvement in the war; at the Battle of Aliwalwhich saw the Sikhforces, who had invaded British Indiathus provoking the war, routed by the British forces and at Sobraon which saw the Sikh forces resoundingly defeated.
The "Regiment" experienced numerous names changes during the 1800s; one name change in 1850 saw it gain a new numerical designation to become the 66th Goorkha Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry after the original 66th had mutinied. The "Regiment" saw service during the
Indian Mutinywhich began in 1857. The following year Lieutenant John Adam Tytlerwon the "Regiment's" first Victoria Cross(VC) for the Lieutenant's actions against rebels at Choorpoorah.
In 1861 the "Regiment" gained its present numeral when it became the 1st Goorkha Regiment. In 1875 the "Regiment" was sent abroad for the first time, when it took part in the effort to quell a rebellion in Malaya during the
Perak War. During the conflict Captain George Nicolas Channerwas awarded the Victoria Cross for his valiant actions against the Malayans. The "Regiment" took part in the Second Afghan Warin 1878 where they were part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade and won the Theatre Honour"Afghanistan 1878-80".
In 1886 the "Regiment" became the 1st Goorkha Light Infantry and a "2nd Battalion" was raised in February. In 1891 the "Regiment" was designated a
Rifleregiment when it became the 1st Gurkha (Rifle) Regiment and in consequence of this the "Regiment's" Colours were laid up; Rifle regiments by tradition did not possess Colours. The "Regiment" took part in operations in Burmaand the North-West Frontier campaigns in the 1890s; at Waziristanin 1894 and the Tirahcampaign in 1897.
In 1901 its title was shortened when it became the 1st Gurkha Rifles and in 1903 its title was changed to the 1st Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment). This title had been adopted to commemorate due to the significance of
Malaunto the "Regiment"; it was where the British had decisively beaten the Gurkhas in 1815 during the Anglo-Gurka War and subsequently recruited them into the Nusseree battalions. The "Regiment" suffered greatly during the Kangraearthquake that happened on 4 April 1905, the "Regiment" was located near Dharamsalawhen the earthquake occurred; the earthquake killed 370,000 people with the "Regiment" itself suffering over 60 fatalities.
In 1906 its title was changed to the 1st Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) in honour of HRH George, Prince of Wales (later King George V) who also became Colonel-in-Chief of the "Regiment" that year. In 1910 King George V ascended to the throne and in consequence the title of the regiment was changed to the 1st King George's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment), thus maintaining the "Regiment's" links with King George.
First World War
The "1st Battalion" was deployed to France (
Western Front) in December that year as-part of the Sirhind Indian Infantry Brigade, 3rd (Lahore) Division. The "Battalion" quickly began its participation in the Western Front campaign when they took part in the defence of Givenchy in December during the Winter which was no-doubt a culture shock to the Gurkhas.
10 March 1915the "Battalion" took part in the Battle of Neuve Chapellewhich lasted until 13 March. In April the "Battalion" took part in the Second Battle of Ypres, fighting in the subsidiary Battle of St. Julienwhich began on 24 Apriland concluded on 4 May. Later that month the "Battalion" took part in the Battle of Festubertand in September the Battle of Loosbegan, the last major engagement on the Western Front that the "1st Battalion" took part in.
In December 1915 the "Battalion", with the rest of the 3rd Division, arrived in
Mesopotamiato take part in the campaign against the Ottomans which had begun in 1914. The Sirhind Brigade was given a numerical designation, the 8th Brigade. In 1916 the "1st Gurkhas" took part in a number of attempts, including the attack on Dujaila Redoubtin March, to relieve the siege of Kut-al-Amara, besieged by the Ottomancs since 7 December 1915, but those attempts failed and Kut was surrendered to the Ottomans on 29 April. The "Regiment" took part in the Allied Offensive against the Ottomans later that year; this included the effort to recapture Kut, begun in December, which was recaptured in February 1917 and the capital Baghdadwhich was taken the following month.
The "1st Battalion" was later moved to
Palestinein early 1918. It was involved in the effective Allied offensive against the Ottomans in September, the Battle of Megiddo, and also saw action at the Sharon.
Elsewhere the "Regiment" also saw service in the North-West Frontier of India. In 1917 a "3rd Battalion" was raised and was eventually disbanded in 1921.
The war formally ended on
11 November 1918with the signing of the Armistice. The Western Front was a completely different location to what the "Regiment" had been used to in the sub-continent, however, they acquitted themselves commendably, and performing with distinction in the many battles they took part in, proving the capability of the Gurkhas once more. The "Regiment" won 11 Battle Honours and 4 Theatre Honours during WWI.
In 1919 the "1st" and "2nd" battalions saw service during the
Third Afghan Warfor which they gained the Theatre Honour "Afghanistan 1919".
econd World War
In 1937 the "Regiment's" name was altered slightly when it became the 1st King George V's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment); the only change being the addition of a V.
In September 1939 the
Second World Warcommenced between the UK and its allies against Germany. In December 1941 the Japanese entered the war when it launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harborand launched a number of swift invasions of British and other countries territories. During the course of the war the "Regiment" raised a further three battalions, the "3rd" in 1940, the "4th" in 1941 and the "5th" in 1942; the "Regiment" saw much service in the war but most notably in Malaya and Burma.
The "Regiment" saw ferocious fighting during the Japanese invasion of Malaya; the "2nd Battalion", part of the 28th Brigade, saw heavy fighting at Jitra where the "Battalion" eventually fled in panic at
Asunhaving being confronted by overwhelming Japanese forces which included tanks. The "1st Battalion" saw action at Kampar and were absolutely mauled by the Japanese during an engagement at the Slim River Bridge on the 7 January. The Allies had withdrawn from Malaya, to Singapore, by January 1942. The Japanese subsequently launched an invasion of Singapore and bitter fighting ensued; Singapore, which had once been perceived as impregnable, fell on the 15 February 1942with 130,000 British, Australian and Empire troops, including men of the "2nd Battalion", taken prisoner by the Japanese.
In Burma, a similar situation occurred, the Allies having to - having come under intense attacks from the Japanese who had began their offensive in December - commence a retreat to India from February 1942 which was completed in May. The battalions of the "Regiment" saw heavy fighting in 1944 in the
Arakanand during the Japanese offensive against north-east India where two important battles, Kohima and Imphal, took place from March to June 1944. Imphalwas besieged by the Japanese until the Allies achieved a decisive victory at Kohimain June and the Japanese fled back into Burma. The "Regiment" subsequently took part in the successful Allied offensive into Burma and on the 3 Maythe Burmese capital Rangoonwas liberated by British forces. There were still Japanese forces present in Burma but the fight against the Japanese was now ostensibly a mopping up operation.
The war concluded with the formal surrender of Japan on
2 September 1945on the deck of the USS "Missouri" in Tokyo Bay; the Allies had prevailed after nearly 6 years of fighting. In French Indochinathat same day the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh, declared their independence from France as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Shortly afterwards the British began to send units of the 20th Indian Infantry Division, which the "1st" and "3rd" Battalions were part of, to occupy the south of the country while the Nationalist Chineseoccupied the north; the deployment was completed by October. The force was intended to disarm the Japanese forces and help in their repatriation back to Japan. The force, however, soon became embroiled in the fight against the Viet Minh and was soon helping in the restoration of French-control over the country. The British were, due to a lack of sufficient manpower, ironically forced to have the Japanese forces working alongside the British forces in Indochina to maintain peace and stability. The operations against the Viet Minh gradually became more intense and after substantial French reinforcements arrived the British and Indian forces departed by May 1946, and the First Indochina Warwould begin shortly afterwards.
From September 1945 the
7th Indian Infantry Division, which the "4th Battalion" was part of, was deployed to Siam(now Thailand) as part of an occupation force sent there to disarm the large Japanese forces present. The "Battalion" subsequently moved to Malaya in 1946 and then onto India.
The three battalions were raised during the war - the "3rd, 4th" and "5th" - were disbanded in 1946.
1 Gorkha Rifles
The Regiment, in consequence of the Tripartite Agreement between
India, Nepaland the UK, was transferred to the Army of the newly-independent India. The "Regiment" retained its name until 1950 when it became the 1 Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment), also adopting the Indian spelling of Gurkha, following India's transition to a republic. The regiment remains in existence and comprises 5 battalions. In 1961 Captain Gurbachan Singh Salariawon the posthumous Param Vir Chakra(PVC), the Indian equivalent of the Victoria Cross, for his actions in the Congo when the 3rd Battalion, of which he was part, was on United Nationsservice.
John Adam Tytler
Param Vir Chakra
Gurbachan Singh Salaria
Gorkha regiments (India)
British Indian Army
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