Gurkha: The History of Natural Born Guards

Posted by womosecurity on September - 25 - 2012


 The Gurkha’s are military units in the British or the Indian army enlisted in Nepal. Although they meet many of the requirements of Article 47 of Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions defining mercenaries, they are exempt under clauses 47(a)(c)(d)(e)&(f).

Gurkha units are closely associated with the khukuri, a forward-curving Nepalese  knife of formidable fighting power. Former Chief of staff of the Indian Army,Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, once famously said about Gurkhas: “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.”

In the Gurkha War (1814–1816) between the Kingdom of Gorkha (Nepal) and the British East India Company the British were impressed by the Gorkhali soldiers which they called Gurkhas.Their war cry was and is to this very day: Jaya Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali (Glory to Kali, Gorkhas approach)! In the Peace Treaty it was agreed that Gorkhalis could be recruited to serve under contract in the East India Company’s army.

Until this very day recruitment is mainly from Nepali hill tribes such as the Magar, Gurung, Tamang, Rai and Limbu. Gurkhas were thought to be amartial race because they were considered to be naturally warlike and aggressive in battle to possess qualities of courage, loyalty, self sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness, to be able to work hard for long periods of time and to fight with tenacity and military strength.

Professor Sir Ralph Lilley Turner, MC, who served with the 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles in the First World War, wrote of Gurkha’s:

As I write these last words, my thoughts return to you who were my comrades, the stubborn and indomitable peasants of Nepal. Once more I hear the laughter with which you greeted every hardship. Once more I see you in your bivouacs or about your fires, on forced march or in the trenches, now shivering with wet and cold, now scorched by a pitiless and burning sun. Uncomplaining you endure hunger and thirst and wounds; and at the last your unwavering lines disappear into the smoke and wrath of battle. Bravest of the brave most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful friends than you.

In Malaysia, after the Federation of Malaya became independent from the United Kingdom in August 1957, many Gurkhas became soldiers in the Malayan armed forces, especially in the Royal Ranger Regiment. Others became security guards, mainly in Kuala Lumpur. Nowadays, the gurkha’s service is still exist in Malaysia where they are serving as Elite Security Guards.