First Gorkha Rifles marks 200 years of service

Pathankot (Punjab): With officers and other ranks from India and Nepal in attendance, the First Gurkha Rifles (1/1 GR) on Friday marked its 200 years of military service in Pathankot.

Hundreds of serving and veteran officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and other ranks both from India and Nepal attended the function, an army spokesman said.

The battalion was raised on April 24, 1815 from the remnants of Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa's forces who valiantly fought the British at the Malaun Fort near Shimla.

"The raising of the battalion signalled the birth of present day Gorkha Brigade. Over the last two centuries of the battalion's existence, it has time and again proven its worth by gallant action in various fields of battle across the world, through the two World Wars, the India-Pakistan wars and in the conflicts of the sub-conventional realm," the spokesman said.

Starting with a solemn memorial service in honour of the martyrs, the unit's bicentenary celebrations saw various events, including a guard of honour and cultural programme.

Lt. Gen Ravi Thodge, colonel of the regiment, was present on the occasion.

"The event was a re-union for erstwhile comrades-in-arms who travelled from across the globe to be together at this momentous once-in-a lifetime occasion. Veterans proudly brought their children and grandchildren to show them the oldest Gorkha Battalion," the spokesman added.

The illustrious battalion has been famous for two centuries for warfare skills and bravery.

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