The Royal Gurkha Rifles

RGR LogoThe Royal Gurkha Rifles is a regiment of the British Army, forming part of the Brigade of Gurkhas. The Royal Gurkha Rifles are now the sole infantry regiment of the Brigade of Gurkhas British Army and there are two battalions.

Like the other Gurkha Regiments of the British and Indian armies, the Regiment is recruited from Gurkhas, a term for people from Nepal, which is a nation independent of the United Kingdom and not a member of the Commonwealth.  
Jungle expertiseThe Royal Gurkha Rifles currently have a jungle role Battalion permanently based in Brunei and a Light Role Battalion in the UK. All Officers are expected to speak Nepali and will attend a language course in Nepal.
  

 

The History

1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, B Company carry out security patrols and operations from PB4

The Royal Gurkha Rifles was formed on 1 July 1994, after amalgamation of four Gurkha Regiments, 2 GR, 6 GR, 7 GR and 10 GR. Its history is therefore short, but full.  
 
During this time, battalions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles have taken part in operations in Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Afghanistan. Companies of Gurkhas have also deployed to Iraq.
 
 

The Queen’s Truncheon

Queen Elizabeth II admires the ornate Gurkha Truncheon (ceremonial staff), which is the Gurkha Rifles equivalent of a regimental Colour (battle flag) and was given to the Rifles by order of Queen Victoria in 1863, during a viewing of the truncheon in the Bow room at Buckingham Palace in London. During the Indian Mutiny in 1857-8 the Sirmoor Battalion (which later became the 2nd KEO Goorkhas, and latterly the Royal Gurkha Rifles) remained loyal to the British Crown. The Battalion, together with the Guides and the 60th Rifles, held the key position on the outskirts of Delhi known as Hindu Rao’s House for over three months of constant attack. During this period the 2nd Goorkhas suffered 327 casualties (including 8 of their 9 British Officers) out of a total strength of 490.

 
Following the conclusion of the mutiny, the 2nd Goorkhas were designated as a Rifle Regiment as a mark of the bond that had been created with the 60th Rifles. This explains the dark green uniforms, the rapid marching pace, and the title of Rifleman given to Gurkha soldiers.
 
In addition, Queen Victoria directed that the Battalion be awarded a special truncheon to replace the Regimental Colours that could no longer be carried by a Rifle Regiment. The ornate Gurkha Truncheon (ceremonial staff), which is the Gurkha Rifles equivalent of a Regimental Colour (battle flag) was given to the Rifles by order of Queen Victoria in 1863 during a viewing of the truncheon in the Bow room at Buckingham Palace in London.
 
The Queen’s Truncheon is still in service today, proudly guarded by the Royal Gurkha Rifles. There is an inscribed band around the staff of the truncheon to commemorate each occasion that it has subsequently been presented to the sovereign.

The 2nd Battalion Royal Gurka Rifles just recently returned from Afghanistan support Op TORAL. They received their medals from HRH Prince Charles and HRH Prince Harry on 14th March 2016 inside the ballroom at Buckingham Palace.

   

Royal Gurkha Rifles Regimental Association

President Brigadier Gerald Strickland DSO MBE
Chairman Lieutenant Colonel D Rex MVO
Regimental Secretary

Major B McKay MBE – Bruce.Mckay100@mod.gov.uk

Newsletter Editor  Major B McKay MBE – Bruce.Mckay100@mod.gov.uk

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