When Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 it marked a historic turning point for the Brigade of Gurkhas, which had been based there for decades. The Gurkhas were relocated to the United Kingdom and their Terms and Conditions of Service were changed to reflect their new status as British soldiers based in Britain. This meant that their pay and pensions were gradually brought into line with other members of the Armed Forces and that they and their dependents would have the right to settle in the UK. It also meant that previous generations of Gurkhas, who had been campaigning for fairer pensions and UK settlement rights were made even more acutely aware of the inadequacy of their own terms of service.
Meanwhile back in Nepal, the Maoist uprising that had begun in the remote areas of West Nepal spread across the entire country and became a fully-fledged Civil War. The world watched in fascinated horror as the story of the massacre of the Nepalese royal family by Crown Prince Dipendra unfolded. The murdered King Birendra's brother, Gyanendra, assumed power and his actions, combined with the will of a newly-politicised population finally led to the abolition of the Nepali monarchy after the elections that followed the end of the 'People's War'.
The 21st Century brought with it the 'War on Terror' - declared in the wake of the September the 11th Attacks on America. The British Gurkhas were once again deployed to Afghanistan - where they had first fought in the Afghan Wars of the late 19th Century. While Gurkhas and other British troops continued to fight - and to lose their lives - the Gurkha Justice Campaign for ex-Gurkhas' right to settle in the UK captured the British public's imagination and won a historic victory over the government of the time. However not all of the Gurkha veterans' grievances have been settled: the campaign for fairer pensions (for Gurkhas who served and retired before 1997) continues.
Using the Timeline
You can explore the Ayo Gorkhali Timeline using the interactive version above or - if you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed in your browser - you can use the Era menu to the right of this introduction or the Timeline Menu at the bottom of the page. Please note that the Flash version of the Timeline has additional entries not available via the Era menus.
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.
We hope you enjoy exploring the rich and fascinating history of the British Gurkhas.
Dhanyabad - thank you.