Just one more voice in praise of the Ghurkhas

The Internet holds a very fine history of the relationship between the British Indian Army and the Gurkhas, and later their relationship with the British Army. 200,000 of them fought in World War I, they were in Burma in World War II, and I always thought that the British nation as a whole not only held them in high regard, for their probity and their loyalty, but because they were part of the fabric of the British Empire. As someone who lived in the Raj as a child, I am fully aware of the relationship between the indigenous populations and the Imperial civil service. So I also am pretty sure that while some may refer to the Gurkhas as mercenaries, they were never paid as mercenaries, were never paid at the level of the equivalent ranks of the British Army, nor thought of themselves as mercenaries, but still they served us well. I can only speak personally, and I come from a generation where the British Empire was lauded, and where a lot of the indigenous people of other nations within the empire, were not always at variance with the system, and especially in the subcontinent, where I believe they felt part of it up until World War II.

Hence, I was pleased to see that more than some of the older men were taking up the plight of the Gurkhas as a whole. I suspect there will be a lot of hurdles in the way, but when we are supporting nations across the world that are in difficulty, I still believe that charity should begin at home, and I believe the Gurkhas have a place in our society.

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