I met a Gurkha!

One of the nifty aspect to being deployed is the people you would otherwise never get to meet. I’ve already made friends with a female Wing Commander (a rank, not a job), in the New Zealand AF, and tonight I found out that one of the members of the tae kwon do class I’m taking is a Gurkha, which I think is just too cool. I almost asked to see his kukri, but I thought he might get the wrong idea.

Envious over here. I think they are the baddest of the bad. I would love to see a kurkri as well and to see a non-violent demonstration of it’s predominant use, like on a dummy.

I remember watching something on one of the History Channels where a savagely brilliant action in the Pacific during WWII on the part of the Gurkha’s prevented what could have been casualty ridden battle for both sides.

Seems the Gurkhas crept in while the Japanese were sleeping and ever so quietly killed and decapitated all but one of the Japanese soldiers. They then placed the heads to sit upright on the chests of the bodies, and turned the heads to face the one soldier left alive. Then the Gurkhas slipped back into the jungle.

When the one remaining enemy soldier awoke and saw his comrades all staring at him from a place where a head shouldn’t be, he tore off screaming to another Japanese camp, babbling about demons and the like. The Japanese did not go back.

I don’t know if it is true, embellished or made up, and I have never heard of it again, but damn…it’s awesome.

That is awesome…and sounds true to the reputation, anyway, of the Gurkhas. I’ve heard stories of Gurkha units charging into battle, leaving the groud behind them littered with their rifles, preferring to fight with their kukris. I’ve also heard them referred to as “cheerful little killers”.

The gentleman in my class is certainly very nice, going out of his way to patiently teach those of us who are beginners.

There is no non-violent use of a kukri. Traditionally, every time it is unsheathed, it must draw blood. I used to live near the Gurkha regiment in the UK, and we went on a school trip there. If they take the kukri out to clean it, they either find a small animal to kill, or cut themselves with it, before they put it away again.

How badass is that?

That is badass extreme. And I do believe that should I ever be so lucky as to meet a Gurkha, I will not ask for anything to become unsheathed. Just in case.

Met some of the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers at Minley, the Royal Engineers’ main training camp. They were showing off their jungle survival skills for a display, how they could be dropped into a jungle with a kukri and nothing else and survive for…well…as long as they needed to.

Getting an appointment as an officer to one of the many Gurka units in the British Army is a sweet deal as they send you to Nepal to learn the language and do some amazing Adventure Training.

They’ve been poorly treated in the past by our government and until recently were not able to gain British citizenship after service. Also I believe, but I’m not sure (Gurkha rank structure is different and confusing), that Gurkha warrant officers who gain a Late Entry commission will be promoted to Lieutenant and not to Captain, as a regular British Army warrant officer would be.

My father reated duing the korean war, one night he was in a fox hole on the front line. Felt a knife at his throat, a hand patted his helmet (for recognition ow what side he was on), then a whispered laugh of ‘yankee’

in the dawn, the foxholes of the n korean/chinese side was filled with throat slitted dead.

Gurka’s were black Op’s in korean and never officially there.

when i first went to HK in the early 1980’s, Gurka troops guarded the airport and border.

i worked with a britsh officer for the Gurka rifles.

THe version I heard from a Korean Vet was that they felt for his dog tag and said, “OK Joe!”

Never officially? Are you getting Korea mixed up with Vietnam?

The Falkland Islands War version has quite a bit to be said for it.
The British commander carried a walking stick rather than a weapon. The Argentinians believed that the Gurkhas took heads, and immediately surrendered. He was delighted to fight a war without bloodshed.

Like I said, you’ll notice I decided against asking to see anything sharp.

This story courtesy of Herr 'spiel, who recounts it for your enjoyment:

"As the Ammunition Technical Officer at CFB Wainwright, one of my responsibilities was to clear range blinds and duds found in the training areas.

In addition to the Canadian units training there, each year we hosted several UK infantry battle groups. One of these included a battalion of Gurkhas - King Edward’s Own Gurkha Rifles (aka The Sirmoor Rifles). As well as the usual military supplies and accoutrements, they arrived with a full complement of assorted livestock (goats and bullocks) for ceremonial purposes. As the ammunition compound was the only area fenced, the Ammo unit had the responsibility for these beasts and throughout the training period, one or two of the animals would be collected each day and probably showed up on the menu for the evening meal.

On a bright sunny summer day we received notice from one of their platoon officers that they had found an unexploded mortar round in the training area, and gave us a grid reference. My sergeant and I drove out to deal with it, but it had not been marked and we could not find it. We walked carefully and thoroughly through the grass and bushes of the 100 square metre area indicated by the grid reference, but found nothing. We walked back out to the road, and soon flagged down a Land Rover containing the platoon officer. We checked his grid reference, and walked back to where we had been. He then blew his whistle, and about a dozen Gurkhas stood up all around us, and led us to the blind.

They had been told to stay hidden, and did just that, although they must have had to move as we searched around and I have no doubt that we probably stepped on one or two. I was very glad that they are on our side."