Specialised Gurkha Infantry Battalion in British Army
The British Army has announced that it would create a new Specialised Infantry Battalion by recruiting more than 800 Nepalese Gurkha servicepersons. Gurkhas have completed 200 years of service in the British Army and currently, they comprise up to 3% of the British Army.
Gurkha and British Army
During the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, Gorkha Kingdom had inflicted heavy casualties on the British Army even though they had lost the war. British India decided to recruit these soldiers starting in 1815 and the Gurkhas have fought on the side of the British Empire in almost every war, including both World Wars.
After the Indian Independence in 1947, as per the Britain-India-Nepal Tripartite Agreement 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 10th Gurkha Rifles regiments were assigned to India, and the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th were assigned regiments to Britain. Further India created 11th Gurkha Rifles regiment to accommodate the Gurkhas who refused to depart with the now-British regiments.
British later amalgamated the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th battalions into Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) regiment. The Gurkhas are recruitment every year by the British Army and Gurkhas are held in high esteem in the British Army. Khukri, the signature weapon of Gurkhas forms part of the Gurkha regimental insignia in Britain as well as in India.
Gurkhas have the same service conditions as the regular British Army, with the option of British citizenship upon retirement.