Aiyo Gurkali-"The Gurkhas are coming"(battle cry of the Gurkhas).
"I am a Gurkha-I must not cry out"(wounded Gurkha)
"My inclination to run for cover,not lessoned by a salvo of mortar bombs that came down behind me, was only restrained by the thought of what a figure the
corps commander would cut, sprinting for safety, in front of all these little men. So, not liking it a bit, I continued to walk forward. Then from behind a
a rock that offered scant cover to his bulky figure rose my old friend, the subadar-major of the 7th Gurkhas, his face creased in a huge grin which almost hid his almond eyes. He stood there and shook with laughter at me. I asked him coldly what he was laughing at and he replied that it was very funny seeing the General Sahib alone by himself not knowing what to do! And, by jove, he was right; I did not"-Field Marshall Slim(The Ghurkhas, by Bryon Farwell).
When the British task force set out for the Falklands they deliberately released the names of the regiments that were going. Among them were the Ghurkhas. The Argentines took the hint. When the Ghurkhas swarmed up the ridge in the final assault , they found it empty of foemen for they had scattered to the winds. Sometimes it is good to have a reputation.
The Ghurkhas are Nepali who have traditionally served in the British Army. They have recieved a distinction which few others have recieved. They are ALMOST as good as Englishmen. The Gurkhas naturally return the compliment. They think Englishmen are ALMOST as good as themselves. Traditionally the Ghurkas and the British have been as thick as thieves(cynics might note that that metaphor has in some cases been more accurate then one might wish, but that is beside the point).
In Nepal, soldiering is a prestiegious occupation. Nepali are poor and warlike, and English are rich and warlike. Service in a Gurkha regiment provides a reputation that one can take home to one's hamlet in Nepal. It also provides material goods. There is pay, obviously. There are also perks like innoculation, and training in the use of technology. As a result nine can be turned away and one accepted making the Ghurkhas some of the most formidable infantry in the world.
Gurkhas have a certain stereotype. They are always polite and rather boyish. They also take discipline quite seriously. And they are of smaller stature then normal among humans. One might remark sarcastically, that that description would, except for the last part, fit a Golden Retriever. Be that as it may, the Ghurkhas have always been steadfast and loyal troops and well deserve the reputation bestowed on them. They have a number of decorations to their credit and the only serving Victoria Cross is a Ghurka. Bryan Farwell gives a fascinating description of the Ghurkhas both in the field, and in their normal day-to-day life.
So if you wish to follow the Ghurkas as they go to the ends of the Earth in the Queen's service, read this book.
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