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Old 15th September 2021, 03:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Default Cool Kukri

A cool kukri with an engraved blade...

Kalu Thapa appeared in a group photo published in 1896 from which this detail is taken. He was the most senior Gurkha officer, appointed Subadar-Major on 1 March 1890. The caption in the Navy & Army Illustrated refers to him as Sirdar Bahadur Kalu Thapa, decorated with the Order of British India, 1st Class, the Imperial Medal and the Frontier Medal with six clasps. He had served for more than 30 years, and fought in six campaigns. He retired on 5 Feb 1897. The regimental history lists him as the 4th Subadar-Major since 1870, and although two out of the first five were ‘Sardar Bahadur’, Kalu Thapa is listed as plain Bahadur. He was, however, the only Honorary Captain out of 17 Subadar-Majors from 1870 to 1950.

The first recruits of the Sylhet Battalion had been men from the local district but in 1828 Gurkhas were drafted in from the Nasiri and Sirmoor Battalions and recruits from Pithoragarh. There were two Gurkha Subadars and two Jemadars. From that year the Gurkha element was steadily increased but it was not until 1886 that the regiment was officially titled the 44th Gurkha Light Infantry.
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