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2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles)
The regiment was first raised in 1815 as The Sirmoor Battalion. This was the first Gurkha unit in British service to see action, during the 3rd Mahratta War in 1817. The regiment, by now named the 8th (Sirmoor) Local Battalion, gained its first battle honour at Bhurtpore in 1825. During the First Sikh War, the regiment fought at Bhudaiwal and Sobraon, as well as the Battle of Aliwal . They carried colours at the time, and the flagpole was broken by cannon fire. The colour itself was siezed by the Sikhs but reclaimed by a small party of Gurkhas led by a Havildar who chopped their way into the densely packed enemy lines.
During the Indian Mutiny, the Sirmoor Battalion was one of the Indian regiments that remained loyal to Britain. It was during this that the regiment took part in the defence of Hindu Rao's House , near Delhi. For their part in the action, the Sirmoor Battalion was presented with the Queen's Truncheon, which became a replacement for the relinquished colours (from 1858, the regiment was classed as rifles). With the decision to number the Gurkha regiments in 1861, the Sirmoor Rifles became the 2nd Gurkha (Sirmoor Rifles) Regiment. In 1876, the regiment acquired a royal patron in the then Prince of Wales, becoming the 2nd (Prince of Wales' Own) Gurkha Regiment.
First World War
During the First World War, the 2nd Gurkhas (by now named the 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles), along with the other regiments of the Gurkha Brigade, served initially in Flanders. In 1915, the 2nd Battalion moved to Egypt, before returning to India in 1916. The 1st Battalion went to Persia and Mesopotamia in 1916, assisting in the fall of Baghdad.
Second World War
The Second World War saw the 2nd Gurkhas serving in many different theatres; the 1st Battalion was initially in Cyprus before moving to North Africa as part of 7th Brigade, where it fought at El Alamein. Following this it took part in the invasion of Italy, taking part in the battle for Monte Cassino. The 2nd Battalion meanwhile spent much of the war as prisoners of the Japanese after being captured in Malaya.
In 1947, as part of India's independence, it was agreed that the Gurkha regiments would be split between the British and Indian armies - the British Army would take on four regiments, while the Indian Army would retain the rest. The 2nd Gurkhas became one of the four to transfer to the British Army. Following this, the 2nd Gurkhas spent several years in the Far East, initially during the Malayan Emergency from 1948-1960. Following this, the regiment's two battalions alternated between Malaya, Borneo, Brunei and Hong Kong, before receiving a regimental depot at Church Crookham in Hampshire. In 1992, while serving in Hong Kong, the 1st and 2nd battalions amalgamated to form a single 1st Battalion. This was followed in 1994 by the regiment being amalgamated with the 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles to form the 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles.
- Bhurtpore, Aliwal, Sobraon, Delhi 1857, Kabul 1879, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1878-80, Tirah, Punjab Frontier
- The Great War: La Bassée 1914, Festubert 1914 '15, Givenchy 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, France and Flanders 1914-15, Egypt 1915, Tigris 1916, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916-18, Persia 1918, Baluchistan 1918
- Afghanistan 1919
- The Second World War: El Alamein, Mareth, Akarit, Djebel el Meida, Enfidaville, Tunis, North Africa 1942-43, Cassino I, Monastery Hill, Pian di Maggio, Gothic Line, Coriano, Poggio San Giovanni, Monte Reggiano, Italy 1944-45, Greece 1944-45, North Malaya, Jitra, Central Malaya, Kampar, Slim River, Johore, Singapore Island, Malaya 1941-42, North Arakan, Irrawaddy, Magwe, Sittang 1945, Point 1433, Arakan Beaches, Myebon, Tamandu, Chindits 1943, Burma 1943-45
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