Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Nine Gorkhas Celebrates 200 Years

First Battalion of the Ninth Gorkhas was raised by the British in 1817 as the ‘Fatehgarh Levy’ and it celebrated 200 years of its raising on the 16th of March 2017 at Secunderabad. Ninth Gorkha Rifles has a unique honour that all its battalions have been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Citation for exceptional performance in the line of duty. The Regiment has been awarded three Victoria Crosses, five Mahavir Chakras and seventeen Vir Chakras in the two centuries of its existence. Some of the Regiments battle honours are Afghanistan, France and Flanders, Mesopotamia, North Africa, Chindits, Burma, Phillora, Kumarkhalli, Dera Baba Nanak and Jammu & Kashmir.

As a prelude to the Bicentenary Celebrations, a team scaled Mount Stok Kangri (6153 meters) highest peak of the Stok Ranges in the Ladakh Region on 30 September 2016. This was followed by a Motorcycle Rally flagged of by the Chief of Army Staff, General Rawat and covering traditional recruiting areas in Western Nepal. Their arrival in Pokhra in Nepal on the 4th of February coincided with a massive rally where almost 3,500 ex-servicemen and widows had gathered to celebrate the bicentenary of the Regiment. The event was attended by General Rajendra Chhetri, Chief of Army Staff, Nepal Army, and Lt General AK Bhatt, Colonel, Ninth Gorkhas.

India and Nepal share a unique bond through 32,000 Nepali citizens who serve in the Indian Army and approximately 90,000 veterans drawing their pensions in Nepal. The celebrations culminated with a special dinner which was attended by serving and retired soldiers, including former Governor of Punjab, Gen B K N Chibber. More than 500 veterans from remote areas in Nepal graced the occasion with their families to reaffirm their regimental bonds.

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