Montage showing soldiers of the 7th Gurkha Rifles shortly after the Partition of India surrounded by the regimental insignia of the 10 Gurkha regiments

Montage showing Gurkha officers of the 7th Gurkha Rifles shortly after the Partition of India surrounded by the regimental insignia of the 10 Gurkha regiments (2, 6, 7 & 10 GR on the left and 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 & 9 GR on the right) V. Hunjan, Believe Collective 2010

The end of the Second World War also signalled the beginning of the end for the British 'Raj' (empire). The first sign of this decline was the Independence and Partition of India, which in turn led to the division of the Gurkha Brigade between the British and Indian armies. This was a traumatic time for the Gurkhas and their British officers. Gurkhas in the four regiments (2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles) who were given the option to stay in the British army were relocated to Malaya were they would soon find themselves back at war, first in the 1948-60 Malayan 'Emergency' and then in the 1963-66 Borneo Confrontation.

A Changing World

The World was changing fast and so too was the Brigade of Gurkhas: new ideas about what Gurkhas were capable of led to the training of Gurkhas as 'British' Officers, Gurkha Engineers and Gurkha Signalmen (see 'New Ideas: Gurkha Signals, Engineers & ‘British’ Officers'). Things were changing back in Nepal as well: an emerging democratic movement was slowly reforming the country's feudal system of government. By the time of the Handover of Hong Kong in 1997, Gurkha soldiers were more highly trained and worldly-wise (but no less effective) than their predecessors who left India in 1947 could ever have imagined.

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Many of the Timeline entries contain references to the online sources we have used in our research. You will find links in the Timeline information and, in some places, in the separate external links panels, so that you can follow up on points of interest. We realise that we have left out alot of historical events and characters, so please leave comments on the Timeline entry pages if there are important people, events or facts you think we should include. We will be developing and improving the Timeline over time, so if you would like to be kept up to date with what is happening on the site, please either register or join our newsletter mailing list. Alternatively you can post your comments here, on our Facebook page or to our Twitter feed.

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Era 3: Last Days of the Raj

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