Ayo Gorkhali!’; ‘The Gurkhas are upon you!’ Is the battle cry of one of the world’s famous hands of fighting men: Nepal’s ‘happy warriors.’

THOSE kindest killers in the world, the little brown Gurkha tribesmen from the flowery foothills of Himalayan Nepal, are once more eagerly in the forefront of a bitter Asian jungle war, still supplementing their modern arms with their flashing kukris (the 15-to 20-inch curved swords of the Gurkhas), still serving a foreign cause with unquestioning loyalty, instinctive discipline and deadly heroism.

Today a fifth Gurkha generation is gouging out Sukarno’s Indonesian invaders from the Malaysian swamps and jungles. Altogether 5,000 Gurkhas are battling in Malaysia. Some are fighting in Malaya, the Malaysian heartland, less than 100 miles from where their grandfathers similarly discouraged anti‐British natives at Malacca 90 years ago. Others are deployed along the Malaysian‐Indonesian borders of Sarawak and Sabah, on the island of Borneo.

The Gurkhas have been fighting as dedicated mercenaries for the British for 150 years. They fired Britain’s first Gatlings and Kipling’s “screw guns” on the Afghan front in the seventies. Now they operate when necessary as paratroopers and modern army specialists. But essentially they remain infantrymen — probably the best in the world.

As soldiers, they are professional amateurs: they are paid to fight but they like to fight It has been well said that they “kill with tender firmness,” and they bear no rancor or ill will against their luckless victims. Happy family men and happier warriors, they have fought against every British foe, white, black and yellow, insurrectionist, Fascist and Communist, since 1815.

original context from
October 18, 1964

Reproduced by
Stan & Dan

Voice of Wales

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