|1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifle, Waziristan, 1936 - photo via nam.ac.uk|
As part of the commemoration of this historic occasion, there will be regimental celebrations at Pathankot in Punjab where 1/1 GR is presently stationed. The Colonel of the 1st Gorkha Rifles, Lt Gen Ravi Thodge, Master General Ordnance, will preside over the function at Pathankot where other senior officers of the regiment will also be present. A bigger celebration is planned later in the year, in October, at Subathu when the regimental reunion is supposed to take place and the Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh, a Gorkha Rifles officer himself , is likely to attend that.
Invitations for the event have also been extended to former Indian and British soldiers who served in the regiment.
The Gorkha regiment started out as one but now comprises seven regiments. Of those, the Indian army takes services from the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and the 11th regiments and Gorkha troops also serve in the Rashtriya rifles, Artillery and the Territorial Army units.
Commenting on the 200th anniversary, Lt Gen TK Sapru (retd), former GOC-in-C Western Command and a former Gorkha officer described them as the most amazing soldiers. “Tailor made for soldiering, very honest with integrity of highest order. They very quick on their feet and somehow they have been endowed by God with all qualities required for soldiers,” he said.
The 200 years of service of the Gorkhas is also being marked by the British Army where a host of events are kick-starting from April 24 onwards. A formal event is being held on April 30th by the British Brigade of Gorkhas with a march from Wellington Barracks to the Gorkha Statue in Whitehall, where a memorial service will be held.
As per the British Gorkha Welfare Trust, there will be a service at the Gorkha Statue to re-dedicate the ‘Campaign Service’ and ‘Gurkha Units’ plates, to reflect 200 years of rich Gorkha history and to commemorate those killed in service to the British Crown.
With inputs from indianexpress