9th Gorkha Rifles

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9th Gorkha Rifles
9 Gorkha Rifles.png
Active1817 – Present
CountryIndia India
BranchArmy
TypeRifles
Size5 Battalions
Regimental CentreVaranasi, Uttar Pradesh
Motto(s)Kafar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro (Better to die than live like a coward)
ColorsRed faced yellow
1894 Dark Green; faced black
MarchWar Cry: Jai Maha Kali, Ayo Gorkhali (Hail Goddess Kali, The Gorkhas are here)
Decorations3 Victoria Cross
1 Ashoka Chakra
5 Param Vishist Seva Medals
5 Maha Vir Chakras
3 Kirti Chakras
6 Ati Vishist Seva Medals
17 Vir Chakras
7 Shaurya Chakras
13 Sena Medals
14 Vishist Seva Medals
Battle honoursPost Independence Phillora,
Kumarkhali and
Dera Baba Nanak
Insignia
Regimental InsigniaA pair of crossed Khukris with the numeral 9 below

The 9th Gorkha Rifles is a Gorkha regiment of the Indian Army comprising Gurkha soldiers of Nepalese origin. The regiment was initially formed by the British in 1817, and was one of the Gurkha regiments transferred to the Indian Army after independence as part of the tripartite agreement in 1947. This Gorkha regiment mainly recruits soldiers who come from the Chhetri (Kshatriya) and Thakuri clans of Nepal. Domiciled Indian Gorkhas are also taken, and they form about 20 percent of the regiment's total strength. The 9 Gorkha Rifles is one of the seven Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army. The other regiments are 1 GR, 3 GR, 4 GR, 5 GR (FF), 8 GR and 11 GR.

History[edit]

Pre Independence[edit]

The history of the 9th Gorkha Rifles dates back to 1817, when it was raised as the "Fatehgarh Levy". In 1823, it was renamed the "63rd Regiment", and was formed as a regular unit as part of the Bengal Native Infantry. After the reorganisations that took place after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the regiment's designation was changed to the "9th Bengal Native Infantry" with one of its companies formed by Gorkhas and the others by hillmen. By then the regiment had fought at Bhartpur and in the difficult Battle of Sobraon in the First Anglo-Sikh War.[citation needed]

By 1893, the regiment became a wholly Gorkha unit of Khas origin, accepting only those who were more closely linked to Hindu ways as compared to the Buddhist ways. In 1903, the regiment was designated as the 9th Gurkha Rifles.[1]

9 GR fought in World War I in Europe,[2] and in the inter war years took part in the operations on the North West Frontier. It was soldiers of the regiment under the command of Brigadier General Reginald Dyer who fired into the crowd at the Amritsar Massacre.[citation needed]

Soldiers from 2/9 GR in Malaya, October 1941

In World War II, the regiment's battalions fought in Malaya,[3] Italy and North Africa.[4] The 3/9 GR and 4/9 GR formed part of the Chindit operations in Burma, and earned a reputation in the long range penetration operations.[citation needed] Stafford Beer served as an officer with the regiment 1945-7.[5]

Post Independence[edit]

India gained its independence in 1947 and 9th Gorkha Rifles was one of six Gurkha regiments (out of 10) allocated to the Indian Army as part of the Tripartite Agreement between Britain, India and Nepal.[6][7] Since 1947 the regiment has fought in the 1962 Indo-China War, the 1/9 GR fought under the most demanding conditions on the Namka Chu in (Arunachal Pradesh).[citation needed]

The battalions of the Regiment were involved in the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.[citation needed]

Designations[edit]

British and Indian officers 9th Gurkhas at their headquarters (Photo 24-59) in France. July 1915

The regiment has existed since 1817 under the following designations:[citation needed]

  • 1817–1819: Fatagarh Levy
  • 1819–1824: Mianpuri Levy
  • 1824–1861: 63rd Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
  • 1861–1885: 9th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
  • 1885–1894: 9th Regiment of Bengal Infantry
  • 1894–1901: 9th (Gurkha Rifle) Bengal Infantry
  • 1903–1947: 9th Gurkha Rifles
  • 1950–present: 9 Gorkha Rifles

Battle honours[edit]

The battle honours of the 9th Gorkha rifles are:[8]

  • Pre-Independence: Bharatpur, Sobraon, Afghanistan (1879–80), Punjab Frontier,
  • World War I: La Bassee, Festubert, Armentieres, Givenchy, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, France and Flanders, Tigris, Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia,
  • World War II: Malaya (1941–42), Djebel El Meida, Djebel Garci, Ragoubet Souissi, North Africa (1940–43), Cassino I, Hangman's Hill, Tavoleto, San Marino, Italy (1943–45), Chindits 1944, Burma (1942–45).
  • Indo-Pak Conflict 1965: Phillora, Punjab 1965
  • Indo-Pak Conflict 1971: Kumarkhali, East Pakistan 1971, Jammu and Kashmir 1971, Dera Baba Nanak, Punjab 1971

Uniforms[edit]

As the 9th Regiment of Bengal Infantry red coats with yellow facings were worn. In 1894 the newly renamed 9th (Gurkha Rifles) Bengal Infantry were issued with what was to become the standard Gurkha parade and cold weather uniform of rifle green, with puttees, silver insignia, black metal buttons and black facings. The headdress was a round black Kilmarnock cap with a badge of crossed kukris over the numeral 9. Pipers for the 1st Battalion wore a green plaid while the 2nd Battalion were granted the Duff clan tartan by a colonel of that name.[9] The broad brimmed hat was worn with khaki drill service dress from 1902 and continued to be worn between the two world wars.

Victoria Cross recipients[edit]

Notable members[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ W. Y. Carman, page 210 "Indian Army Uniforms Under the British From the 18th Century to 1947: Artillery, Engineers and Infantry", Morgsn-Grampian: London 1969
  2. ^ Parker 2005, pp. 102–103.
  3. ^ Cross & Gurung 2007, p. 37.
  4. ^ Parker 2005, pp. 164 &210.
  5. ^ "Obituaries: Stafford Beer". The Telegraph. 28 August 2002. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  6. ^ Cross & Gurung 2007, pp. 169–171.
  7. ^ Parker 2005, p. 224.
  8. ^ Singh 1993.
  9. ^ W. Y. Carman, pages 210-211 "Indian Army Uniforms Under the British From the 18th Century to 1947: Artillery, Engineers and Infantry", Morgsn-Grampian: London 1969
  10. ^ Parker 2005, p. 392.
  11. ^ Parker 2005, p. 393.
  12. ^ Parker 2005, p. 210.
Bibliography
  • Cross, J.P.; Gurung, Buddhiman (2007). Gurkhas at War: Eyewitness Accounts from World War II to Iraq. London: Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-1-85367-727-4.
  • Parker, John (2005). The Gurkhas: The Inside Story of the World's Most Feared Soldiers. London: Headline. ISBN 978-07553-1415-7.
  • Singh, Sarbans (1993). Battle Honours of the Indian Army 1757–1971. New Delhi: Vision Books. ISBN 8170941156.

External links[edit]