FoB149 Gurkha Firing Bren Gun
“Aayo Gurkhali!” (The Gurkha Battlecry)
For more than 200 years, The Gurkhas, the fighting men from the hills of Nepal, have been loyal and brave soldiers of the British Army. Originally recruited by the British East India Company in 1815 they were first incorporated into the Indian Army in 1857 after The Great Mutiny. By the outbreak of WW2 in September 1939, 10 regiments had been formed, each of 2 x battalions. Following the evacuation of Dunkirk and the Fall of France in June 1940 another 15 x battalions were raised and, by the end of the war a total of 43 were in action.
After India gained its independence in 1947 the original 10 Gurkha Regiments were divided between India and Great Britain with the former retaining 6 and the latter 4.
MALAYA 1941 / 42
During the Japanese attack on Malaya and Singapore in 1941 and into 1942, several Gurkha battalions fought stubbornly and bravely in that ill-fated campaign … and suffered accordingly. After the defeat in Malaya and the fall of Singapore many Indian troops were coopted into the pro Japanese ‘Indian National Army’ … Not one Gurkha however joined them … all remained loyal to their own regiments and the British Crown.