|Royal Gurkha Rifles|
Cap badge of the Royal Gurkha Rifles
|Active||1994 – present|
|Role|| 1st Battalion - Jungle Training Infantry|
2nd Battalion - Air Assault Infantry
3rd Battalion - Specialised Infantry
|Part of||Brigade of Gurkhas|
|Nickname||The Gurkhas / The Bravest of the Brave|
|Motto|| कांथर हुनु भन्दा मर्नु राम्रो|
"Kaatar Hunnu Bhanda Marnu Ramro" (Nepali)
"Better to die than to be a coward"
|Battles|| Operation Herrick|
|Commanders||HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCBBrigadier J C Lawrence, CBE|
The Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) is a rifle regiment of the British Army, forming part of the Brigade of Gurkhas. Unlike other regiments in the British army, soldiers are recruited from Nepal, which is a nation independent of the United Kingdom and not a member of the Commonwealth. The regiment is now the sole Gurkha regiment of the British Army since the amalgamation of the four separate Gurkha regiments in 1994:
- 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles)
- 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles
- 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles
- 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles
The Gurkhas in general and the direct predecessors of the Royal Gurkha Rifles in particular are considered by some to be among the finest infantrymen in the world, as is evidenced by the high regard they are held in for both their fighting skill, and their smartness of turnout on parade. Their standard of drill is considered to be on a par with that of the Foot Guards and in July 1997 the regiment mounted the guard at Buckingham Palace.
In December 1995, Lieutenant-Colonel Bijaykumar Rawat became the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, the first Nepalese to become a battalion commander in the RGR. He oversaw the departure of the battalion from Hong Kong just before that city's transfer to Chinese control, and the battalion's relocation to Church Crookham, Hampshire in 1996. Their motto is: Better to die than live a coward.
- 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles (1994– ); formed by the amalgamation of the 1st Bn, 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles and 1st Bn, 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles.
- 2nd Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles (1994– ); formed by renaming the 1st Bn, 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles.
- 3rd Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles (1994–1996); formed by renaming the 1st Bn, 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles. Amalgamated with the 2nd Bn, Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1996 as part of run down of British forces in Hong Kong.
The two battalions of the RGR are formed as light role infantry; they are not equipped with either armoured or wheeled vehicles. One battalion is based at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone in Kent as part of 52 Infantry Brigade, and is available for deployment to most areas in Europe and Africa. The other is based at the British garrison in Brunei as part of Britain's commitment to maintaining a military presence in SE Asia. The two battalions rotate in each role, usually for three years at a time.
As part of the restructuring of the infantry, the UK-based battalion was transferred from 2 Infantry Brigade to 52 Infantry Brigade, to be given a more mainstream role. Together with the Royal Irish Regiment and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (5 SCOTS), the UK based RGR battalion will rotate as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade—it will spend five years with this formation, followed by two years as a light infantry battalion with 52 Brigade. 2RGR will take on this role for the first time in 2010.
The proximity to Afghanistan has meant that the Brunei based battalion has been called upon to deploy as part of the British force. Twice during its most recent Brunei posting the 2nd Battalion was deployed as the Afghanistan Roulement Infantry Battalion, while the 1st Battalion deployed as part of 52 Infantry Brigade in late 2007. During this tour, Cornet HRH Prince Henry of Wales was attached for a period to the 1RGR battlegroup as a Forward Air Controller.
Under the Army 2020 refines, the battalions will have the following assignments:
- 1st Battalion moving to Brunei as Jungle Training Infantry Battalion in British Forces Brunei
- 2nd Battalion moving Shorncliffe Army Camp as Air Assault Infantry ADMIN - 11th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters South East, OPCOM - 16th Air Assault Infantry Brigade
- 3rd Battalion new formed at Aldershot Garrison under Specialised Infantry Group
Corporal Dip Prasad Pun of 1st Battalion (1RGR) was awarded Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for an act of bravery during the War in Afghanistan in 2010. He alone defended his outpost against a force of 12–30 Taliban fighters. He fired more than 400 rounds, 17 grenades, and one mine. He even resorted to fighting with his machine gun tripod after his ammunition had run out.
The following battle honours are a representation of the total honours awarded to the four regiments which formed The Royal Gurkha Rifles:
- Amboor, Carnatic, Mysore 1792, Assaye 1803, Ava 1852, Burma 1885–87, Bhurtpore, Aliwal, Sobraon, Delhi 1857, Kabul 1879, Afghanistan 1878–80, Kandahar 1880, Tirah, Punjab Frontier, Afghanistan 1919
- First World War: La Bassée 1914, Festubert 1914–15, Givenchy 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, France and Flanders 1914–15, Egypt 1915, Tigris 1916, Kut al Amara 1917,Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916–18, Persia 1918, Baluchistan 1918, Helles, Krithia, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915, Suez Canal, Egypt 1915–16, Khan Baghdadi, Mesopotamia 1916–18, Persia 1916–1918, North West Frontier India 1915–17, Egypt 1915, Megiddo, Sharon, Palestine 1918, Shaiba, Kut al Amara 1915–17, Ctesiphon, Defence of Kut al Amara, Baghdad, Sharqat, Mesopotamia 1915–18
- The Second World War: El Alamein, Mareth, Akarit, Djebel el Meida, Enfidaville, Tunis, North Africa 1942–43, Cassino I, Monastery Hill, Pian di Maggio, Gothic Line, Coriano, Poggio San Giovanni, Monte Reggiano, Italy 1944–45, Greece 1944–45, North Malaya, Jitra, Central Malaya, Kampar, Slim River, Johore, Singapore Island, Malaya 1941–42, North Arakan, Irrawaddy, Magwe, Sittang 1945, Point 1433, Arakan Beaches, Myebon, Iraq 1941, Deir ez-Zor, Syria 1941, Coriano, Santarcangelo, Senio Floodbank, Bologna, Sillaro Crossing, Gaiana Crossing, Italy 1943–45, Monywa 1942, Coriano, Sant Angelo, Monte Chicco, Lamone Crossing, Gaiana Crossing, Italy 1944–45, Burma 1942–45, Shwebo, Kyaukmyaung Bridgehead, Tobruk 1942, North Africa 1942, Cassino I, Campriano, Poggio del Grillo, Tavoleto, Montebello-Scorticata Ridge, Italy 1944, Sittang 1942 '45, Pegu 1942, Kyaukse 1942, Shwegyin, Imphal, Bishenpur, Meiktila, Capture of Meiktila, Imphal, Tuitum, Tamu Road, Shenam Pass, Litan, Bishenpur, Tengnoupal, Mandalay, Myinmu Bridgehead, Kyaukse 1945, Meiktila, Capture of Meiktila, Defence of Meiktila, Irrawaddy River, Rangoon Road, Pegu 1945, Sittang 1945, Burma 1942–45, Defence of Meiktila, Rangoon Road, Pyawbwe, Burma 1942–45 Chindits 1944, Tanbingon, Tamandu, Chindits 1943, Burma 1943–45.
- Falkland Islands 1982
|The Royal Gurkha Rifles||The 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles)||The Sirmoor Battalion|
|The 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles||The Cuttack Legion|
|The 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles||Assam Sebundy Corps|
|The 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles||14th Battalion of Coast Sepoys|
- Canada: The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
- ↑ The Gurkhas, Byron Farwell, W.W. Norton, 1984
- ↑ "The Outstanding Examples Of A Generation - The OP Honours Recipients". London. States News Service. March 25, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2013. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- ↑ "The land of the brave". Kathmandu. The Kathmandu Post. April 1, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2013. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- The Royal Gurkha Rifles—on British Army official website
- BBC Inside Out: Gurkhas in Kent
- Quickfacts about the Gurkhas
The Parachute Regiment
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