In Collaboration With Charles Griffin

Brief History
The evolution of the 7th Gurkhas was a complex one.

In 1902 it was decided to raise a Gurkha regiment for local service in Burma, and it was to be the 8th Gurkha Rifles, taking the funds, band and mess of the 8th Madras Infantry, just disbanded. At that time there were only 6 numbered Gurkha regiments (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th)

It was formed in Thayetmyo in Central Burma from 400 men of the 10th Gurkha Rifles (another Burma local unit), 100 men from the Burma Military Police, and transfers from other Indian Army Gurkha regiments. It's date of raising was 16th May 1902.

In February 1903, in Kitchener's great re-numbering, the three Gurkha regiments that were still numbered in the Bengal Infantry line, 42nd, 43rd and 44th, were placed in the Gurkha numbering, as 6th, 7th and 8th. This meant that the recently raised 8th Gurkhas had to become the second battalion of the 10th Gurkha Rifles.

In April 1907 the Nepal Durbar allowed an increase in recruitment. All the Gurkha regiments were to have two battalions, but the 7th (43rd) and 8th (44th) were not allowed second battalions because they were recruited from the Magar and Gurung tribes. The only solution was to amalgamate the two regiments into one. This was to be called the 8th Gurkha Rifles comprising the 1st battalion from the 8th (44th), and the second battalion from the 7th (43rd).

The second battalion of the 10th was split in two and they became the two battalions of the new 7th Gurkha Rifles. Officers for this new regiment came from the 78th Moplah Rifles which had just been disbanded. They brought with them mess silver and band funds and instruments. The 10th Gurkhas then raised another 2nd battalion.

Tribal Areas
Post Mutiny
Principal Campaigns and Battles
First 7th Gurkha Rifles
1885 - 87 Burma
Predecessor Units
First 7th Gurkha Rifles
Assam Sebundy Corps
(1835 - 1844)
2nd (Assam) Light Infantry
(1844 - 1861)
43rd Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
(1861 - 1864)
43rd (Assam) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
(1864 - 1885)
43rd (Assam) Regiment of Bengal Infantry
(1885 - 1886)
43rd Regiment, Gurkha Light Infantry
(1886 - 1891)
43rd Gurkha (Rifle) Regiment of Bengal Infantry
(1891 - 1901)
43rd Gurkha Rifles
(1901 - 1903)
Predecessor Units
Second 7th Gurkha Rifles
2nd Bn 10th Gurkha Rifles
(1903 - 1907)
Successor Units
First 7th Gurkha Rifles
2nd Bn 8th Gurkha Rifles
(1907 - 1947)
Post-Independence Fate
Second 7th Gurkha Rifles
To Britain
Suggested Reading
India's Army
by Donovan Jackson

Regiments and Corps of the British Army: A Critical Bibliography
by Roger Perkins

Sons of John Company
by John Gaylor

Armies of India
Painted by Lovett, Text by Macmunn

The Indian Army
by Boris Mollo

Forces of the British Empire
by E. Nevins and B. Chandler

Indian Army Uniforms - Infantry
by W. Y. Carman

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by Stephen Luscombe