In Collaboration With Charles Griffin

Brief History
The Gurkhas have been Britain's best friends for so long that it seems inconceivable that they were once our enemy. The Gurkha war of 1815/6 ended when General Ochterlony defeated their army led by Amarsing Thapa at the fort of Malaun. The two Nasiri battalions (the word means 'friendly') were raised from the defeated Gurkhas at Malaun, thus the title of The Malaun Regiment conferred in 1903. The 1st Nasiri earned it's first battle honour at Bhurtpore in 1826 and the subsequent honours of Aliwal and Sobraon in the First Sikh War. In 1849, the 66th Bengal Native Infantry mutinied at Fort Govindgarh at Amritsar. They were disbanded and ordered to hand over their colours, arms, stores etc. to the 1st Nasiri who assumed the title of the 66th and became a red-coated regiment. Although they did not earn any battle honours in the Mutiny of 1857, Lieutenant J A Tytler won a VC for a single-handed attack on insurgent gunners.

After the Mutiny they became the 1st Gurkhas and were stationed at Dharamsala in the Kangra Valley of the Punjab. They were the first Gurkha regiment to serve overseas in 1875 when they were sent to Malaya to supress a rising. Capt. G N Channer won the VC and 2 sepoys the Order of Merit for their gallantry in storming the enemy emplacement at Bukit Putoos.

A second battalion was raised in 1886 which took part in the Frontier campaigns of 1897/8 while the 1st battalion served in Waziristan in 1894. They were little affected by the 1903 changes. In 1947 they became an Indian regiment.

Tribal Areas
Post Mutiny
Principal Campaigns and Battles
1878 - 80 Afghanistan
Punjab Frontier
Predecessor Units
1st Nasiri Battalion
(1815 - 1823)
1st Nasiri Local Battalion
(1823 - 1850)
66th Gurkha Regiment
(1850 - 1858)
66th Gurkha Light Infantry Regiment
(1858 - 1861)
1st Gurkha Regiment (Light Infantry)
(1861 - 1891)
1st Gurkha (Rifle) Regiment
(1891 - 1901)
1st Gurkha Rifles
(1901 - 1903)
Successor Units
1st Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles
(1906 - 1910)
1st King George's Own Gurkha Rifles
(1910 - 1937)
1st King George V's Own Gurkha Rifles
(1937 - 1947)
Post-Independence Fate
To India
Suggested Reading
India's Army
by Donovan Jackson

Regiments and Corps of the British Army:
A Critical Bibliography

by Roger Perkins

Sons of John Company
by John Gaylor

Armies of India
Painted by Lovett, Text by Macmunn

The Indian Army
by Boris Mollo

Forces of the British Empire
by E. Nevins and B. Chandler

Indian Army Uniforms - Infantry
by W. Y. Carman

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by Stephen Luscombe