Soldiers of 7th Gurkha Rifles gathered around an anti-aircraft gun

Soldiers of 7th Gurkha Rifles gathered around an anti-aircraft gun
©Gurkha Museum

On 12th March 1982, following the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands, the 1st/7th Gurkha Rifles (1/7 GR) and the Queen's Gurkha Signals set out to join the other British Forces amassing near the Falklands. They were later joined by the Queen's Gurkha Engineers. 1/7 GR had spent time in Brecon preparing specifically for the battles to come. However, for the Gurkhas, the war itself was an anticlimax. They provided support for the Scots Guards, who fought a tough battle during the assault on Tumbledown. But when D Company, 1/7 GR, began their final attack, they found that the Argentinians had all fled. Apparently they had been convinced - by British propaganda - that Gurkhas were sword-wielding monsters who cut off their enemies' heads and then 'held the severed head by the hair and cut off the ears'. Although there was danger in the form of Argentinian artillery bombardments, which resulted in numerous casualties, the Gurkhas felt cheated of the battle they had prepared for. The only Gurkha fatality occurred after the war was over, when Lance-Corporal Budhaparsad Limbu struck an unexploded grenade with his spade. As the commandant wrote later: 'If we can win wars by our reputation, who wants to kill people?'

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