Roll of Honour: 2nd Goorkhas Casualties

Introduction.

During the 179 years of the Regiment’s existence as the Sirmoor Battalion or the 2nd Goorkhas, a total of 1881 men lost their lives in action, or died of wounds, in accidents or from disease while on active service.  Soldiers of the 2nd Goorkhas who gave their lives in the service of the Crown during the two World Wars are commemorated in 60 cemeteries or memorials maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 21 different countries.  Most of those who died before the First World War have no known grave or memorial.

They range in rank from the most junior, Follower 79 Shiuratan, a civilian sweeper attached to the 1st Battalion who died on 28 October 1917 and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq, to Lieutenant Colonel L A Alexander, Commandant of the 3rd Battalion, who was killed in action on 28 April 1943 on the First Chindit Operation and is commemorated at the Taukkyan War Cemetery, Rangoon (Yangon) and Lieutenant Colonel GHD Woollcombe, Commandant of the 2nd Battalion lost at sea on 28 February 1942.  As an experienced senior commander Geoffrey Woollcombe had been ordered to escape from the Japanese to help with the build-up and training of forces in India, and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.

Age-wise the youngest are three 16-year old Riflemen: Ritbahadur Rai, of the 1st Battalion killed on 27 July 1941 and commemorated on the Basra War Memorial; Padamsing Lohar, also of the 1st Battalion, killed on 28 August 1942 and commemorated on the Alamein Cremation Memorial; and Debparshad Gurung, killed on 27 April 1947 and commemorated on the Rangoon (Yangon) Memorial.  The oldest is Rifleman Dhanpati Thapa of the 2nd Battalion who died on 31 December 1945 aged 53 and is commemorated on the Delhi/Karachi 1939-45 War Memorials.

The figures for men wounded are incomplete and unreliable until comparatively recently in the Regiment’s history.  For that reason they are not comprehensively reported in the data below although mentioned in relation to some battles and campaigns.

Interactive map showing the location of all casualties 1815-1994

The following map summarises all 2nd Goorkha casualties worldwide during the Regiment’s existence. Click on any of the rectangular place names for more information.

Sirmoor Battalion/2nd Goorkhas worldwide casualties 1815-1994

Sirmoor Battalion/2nd Goorkhas worldwide casualties 1815-1994

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The men buried in the Slobozia Memorial Cemetery in Romania (shown above) were 2nd Battalion prisoners of war captured by the Germans in France sent to work in Romania, and who died in captivity.

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Volume I of the Regimental History reports than in the Second Afghan War (1879-80) 'Their [the 2nd Goorkhas'] grand total of casualties throughout the second phase of the Afghan Campaign came to 63 of all ranks of whom 23 succumbed to diseases'.  Click here to read a short account of the Regiment's involvement in the campaign and see the 3 medals awarded for it.

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See the separate map below showing details of casualties in India.

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See the separate interactive map of France below for more details of 2nd Battalion casualties there in 1914-1915.  Click here for an account of the campaign and see the two medals awarded for it.

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The thirteen 2nd Goorkha casualties in Egypt were men of the 2nd Battalion who died of disease when the 2nd Battalion was briefly in Egypt from November 1915 to February 2016 on their way from France to India, taking part in operations against the Turks.  Their names are commemorated on the Heliopolis (Port Tewfik) Memorial in Cairo, shown in the picture above.

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The 18 casualties buried at the Zehrensdorf Cemetery 15 miles south of Berlin are men of the 2nd Battalion who were prisoners of war after being captured on the Western Front, many of them dying of wounds incurred during the fighting.

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See the separate map below showing details of casualties in India.  The India Gate Memorial in New Delhi, shown above, commemorates the 84,000 men of the Indian Army who died on active service in the period 1914-21.  13,300 names are inscribed on it, including those of Sirmooris who were killed.

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The 57 casualties in Iran, then known as Persia, took place during 1st Battalion operations there 1918-1921.  They are commemorated on the Tehran War Memorial, shown above.

Click here and here for accounts of the 1st Battalion's operations in Persia (Iran) in 1918-21.

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The two 2nd Goorkhas named on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli (shown in the picture above) are Rifleman Dewansing Gurung of the 1st Battalion and Rifleman Hazarsing Gurung of the 2nd Battalion.  Both were attached to the 1st Battalion 4th Gurkha Rifles at Gallipoli, where they were killed.  The third man, Lance-Naik Ramsing Thapa, died on 4 October 1919.  He is commemorated on the Haidar Pasha Memorial in Istanbul, having previously been buried at the Mashiak or Osmanieh cemeteries elsewhere in Turkey.  He may have been captured by the Turks in Iraq (then known as Mesopotamia) when the 1st Battalion was there earlier in the war, and died after the armistice, still in captivity.

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Captain Donald Macintyre, the eldest son of Major General Donald Macintyre VC, had been evacuated from the 2nd Battalion on the Western Front in October 1915 suffering from tuberculosis.  He was placed on half pay and sent to Vevey to recuperate, where sadly he died in 1919. He is buried in the war cemetery there (shown above).

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Four of the 2nd Goorkhas buried here were 2nd Battalion men wounded on the Western Front who had been evacuated to the UK for medical treatment: two Gurkha Other Ranks are commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, and two at the Patcham Down Indian Forces Cemetery, Sussex.

In addition, Lieutenant Colonel AB Lindsay, died on 16th September 1914 while in a staff appointment at the War Office, of heart failure brought on by ill health after many years hard campaigning with the Regiment; he is commemorated on the Brookwood 1914-18 memorial, Surrey.  Lieutenant WS Thompson, who died on 16th April 1920, is buried at Mortehoe Cemetery in Devon.

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Three men were killed in action and four died of disease during the Third Afghan War from May 1918 to August 1919.  A further six later died of wounds or disease.  Click here to read an account of the campaign and see the medal awarded for it.

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These men died during 1st Battalion operations in Iraq from August 1941 to April 1942.  They include Rifleman Ritbahadur Rai, killed at the age of 16, one of the youngest 2nd Goorkhas to have lost his life in World War 2. They are commemorated on the Basra Cremation Memorial, shown above.  Click here to read an account of the campaign and see the medal awarded for it.

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Two Gurkha Other Ranks are commemorated on the Lebanon cremation memorial in Beirut (shown above).  They died when the 1st Battalion was in northern Palestine (now Israel) in late 1941/early 1942.

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Major TOM Edwards was severely injured when the steering of a Crusader tank on which he was riding went wrong and it overturned down a 12-foot drop some eight miles south-west of Bethlehem.  He suffered severe head and facial injuries and died on 4th November 1943.

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A Gurkha Officer, Jemadar Harkabahadur Rana, died on 15th November 1945 during 1st Battalion operations in Macedonia in 1944-45 and is buried at the Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens, shown above, together with 6 Gurkha Other Ranks.

Click here for an account of the 1st Battalion's operations in Greece.

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Two Gurkha Officers, Jemadar Meharsing Gurung and Jemadar Ratansing Jhankri, and 66 Gurkha Other Ranks were killed outright on 28 August 1942 when a mine demonstration at Mena went wrong, and a further 85 were injured, many of them being blinded or losing limbs.  They are commemorated on the Alamein Cremation Memorial.  The remainder commemorated here became casualties during the advance westwards.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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Three men of the 1st Battalion killed during battles in North Africa are buried in the Tripoli War Cemetery (shown above).

Also buried here is Captain Christopher Arumainayagam MC of the Indian Army Medical Corps.  He was the popular and gallant doctor of the 1st Battalion, and drowned in an accident on 19 May 1943.  He is not included in the CWGC casualty numbers for the 2nd Goorkhas but those of his parent corps. 

Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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22 men of the 1st Battalion are commemorated on the Medjez-El-Bab Memorial (shown above) and a further 4 are buried in the Sfax War Cemetery.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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Please see details on the separate map below showing the location of memorials and cemeteries in Italy where men of the 1st Battalion are commemorated or buried.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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See separate map below showing details of casualties in India.  Men of the Indian Army who died in the Second World War are commemorated by the Delhi and Karachi 1939-45 War Memorials, identical monuments in two cities which record the names of those who died in all theatres worldwide.

The Delhi Memorial is shown above.

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Major G W N Silcock of the 3rd Battalion, who had taken part in the First Chindit Expedition, sleeping indoors and upstairs for the first time in many months, had a nightmare and jumped out of a first floor window only to later die of his injuries.  The CWGC records show that his body was transferred from Kurushkul Cemetery, Cox's Bazaar to its current location in Bangladesh.

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The men commemorated in Singapore are mostly those of the 2nd Battalion who died during the defence of Malaya against the Japanese or subsequently in captivity.  However, Kranji cemetery also includes graves transferred from the French Military Cemetery in Saigon where four men of the 4th Battalion 2nd Gurkhas were thought to have been buried when they were killed in late 1945.

7 men are buried in the Kranji War Cemetery, including Second Lieutenant KR Yates, who died on 9th October 1942.

48 men are commemorated on the Singapore Cremation Memorial, including the Battalion Subedar Major, Hari Sing Bohra, who died on 21 May 1944 of wounds inflicted by the Japanese while a prisoner of war, Jemadar Kubahadur Rana who died on 11 March 1945, and Jemadar Dallu Gurung who died on 1 July 1944.

The Singapore Memorial (shown above) commemorates 77 men, including the Commandant of the 2nd Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel GH Woollcombe, who was lost at sea while being evacuated from Singapore, having been ordered to escape from the Japanese to held build-up and train forces in India.  Also on the memorial are Captain BC Hancock, who was executed by the Japanese on 20 December 1942 after leading a break-out from the jail he was in, Captain RHD Bucknall and Lieutenant DB Combe, who both died on 10 February 1942, Lieutenant MJ Dowty who died on 15 February 1942, Second Lieutenant FH Lovett who died on 19 January 1942, and Subedar Pahalmansing who died on an unknown date in December 1944.

Click here to read an account of the campaign.

 

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Please see the separate map below showing casualties in British India,of which Burma (Myanmar) was a part when the casualties occurred.

Shown above is the Chittagong Cemetery where many of the 2nd Goorkha casualties are buried.

Click here to read an account of the campaign including the First Chindit Expedition.

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Two men of the 2nd Battalion are buried in the Kuala Lumpur (Cheras Road) civil cemetery (shown above).  One of them is Captain AC Dallas-Smith, who died of dysentery in gaol after being captured by the Japanese.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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55 officers and men of the 1st and 2nd Battalions were killed in action in the Malayan Emergency from 1948-60.  A further 22 died in accidents or disease while on active service.  They are all buried at sites in Peninsular Malaya depending on where their units were stationed at the time of their deaths.  They include: Lieutenant(KGO) Shere Thapa, killed on 28 November 1950; Major TA Wimbush, killed on 2 July 1951; Major W Shaw, killed on 3 July 1952; Lieutenant(GCO) Bishanbahadur Gurung, killed on 22 December 1951; and Major DA Truss and Major (GCO) Pahalmansing Gurung, both killed in a light aircraft crash on 7 June 1956.

Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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The Borneo Confrontation campaign took place in Sarawak, part of the recently-formed federation of Malaysia, and in the northern part of the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.  Both the 1st and 2nd Battalions undertook several tours of duty there, including cross-border operations.  The dead included Captain(GCO) Purnabahadur Gurung, killed on 8 September 1963.  Click here for more information about the Borneo Campaign.

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Two Gurkha Other Ranks are commemorated on the Nicosia Cremation Memorial.  They died when the 1st Battalion was in Cyprus from April to August 1942.

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The large number of First World War casualties in Iraq are men of the 1st Battalion who died during the 1st Battalion campaign in what was then known as Mesopotamia from 1916-1918.  They included many men who died of disease rather than enemy action.  The majority, 334, are commemorated on the Basra Memorial, shown above, including six Gurkha officers: Subedar Shamsher Kharwas; Subedar Karbir Thapa; Jemadar Gopi Thapa; Jemadar Partab Sahi; Jemadar Chandrasing Gharti and Jemadar Dhanraj Gurung.  Two Gurkha Other Ranks are buried in the Amara War Cemetery and one at the Basra War Cemetery.

Click here to read an account of the campaign.

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See the map of casualties in India below for more details.

Two men were killed in the Brunei Revolt, including Lieutenant DE Stephens.  Click here for an account of the 1st Battalion's role in suppressing the uprising.

Note that modern place names are used: ‘Iraq’ was then known as ‘Mesopotamia’; ‘Iran’ as ‘Persia’;  ‘Israel’ as ‘Palestine’; and ‘Myanmar’ as ‘Burma’.  Bangladesh, known as Bengal, was part of India.  Malaysia was only formed in 1963 out of the Federated Malay States on the Malay Peninsula (‘Malaya’) and independent Malay states on the north Borneo coast.  ‘Borneo’ refers to the campaign that took place in Sarawak and Sabah, states in the then new confederation of Malaysia, and the Indonesian part of Borneo island to its south, known as Kalimantan.

Click here to see a tabular summary of the numerical casualty information by location and campaign.

 

Campaign/
Battle
Dates Casualties: British Officers Casualties: Gurkha Officers Casualties: Gurkha Other Ranks Casualties: Total Notes
Koonja 3 October 1824 0 0 5 5
Bhurtpore 18 January 1826 0 0 2 2 Assumed Gurkha Other Ranks
Aliwal 28 January 1846 0 0 7 7 Regimental History states 49 killed and wounded.  Pro-rata calculation based on known proportion killed in the Indian Mutiny gives a figure of 7 killed, assumed to be all Gurkha Other Ranks.
Sobraon 10 February 1846 1 0 13 14
Delhi/Indian Mutiny 1857 2 0 48 50 Regimental History states 327 killed and wounded.  Pro-rata calculation based on known proportion of officers killed (2/13) gives a total figure of 50 killed, of which 48 are assumed to be Gurkha Other Ranks.
Looshai 1871-2 0 1 12 13
NW Frontier 1878-9 0 0 15 15 No breakdown by rank available; assumed to be Gurkha Other Ranks.
2nd Afghan War 1879-80 0 0 63 63 No breakdown by rank available; assumed to be Gurkha Other Ranks.
Lushai 1889-90 0 0 2 2
Manipur 1891 0 0 32 32 All died of disease
NW Frontier 1897-8 2 1 27 30
Mahsud Waziri Blockade 1902 0 0 1 1
Marri Expedition 1902 0 0 1 1
Abor Expedition 1911-12 0 0 3 3
Total Pre-World War I 1815-1914 6 2 231 239
World War I: UK 1914-21 2 0 4 6
World War I: France 1914-15 12 6 214 232
World War I: Switzerland 1919 1 0 0 1
World War I: Germany 1914-19 0 0 18 18
World War I: Romania 1918-19 0 0 9 9
World War I: Turkey 1916-19 0 0 3 3
World War I: Iraq 1916-1918 7 5 325 337
World War I: Iran 1918-21 0 0 57 57`
World War I: Egypt 1915-16 0 0 13 13
World War I: India 1914-21 0 1 86 87 Including 13 Gurkha Other Ranks killed in the 3rd Afghan War 1918-19, one man killed on the Marri Expedition (1918) and 47 men killed on the NW Frontier 1914-21.
Total World War I 1914-21 22 12 729 763
Interwar: NW Frontier 1921-39 0 1 8 9
Total Interwar: 1921-39 0 1 8 9
World War II: Italy 1943-45 5 7 164 176
World War II: Tunisia 1943 0 0 26 26
World War II: Libya 1942 0 0 3 3
World War II: Greece 1944-45 0 1 6 7
World War II: Egypt 1942 0 2 82 84
World War II: Israel 1943 1 0 0 1
World War II: Lebanon 1941 0 0 2 2
World War II: Iraq 1941 0 0 7 7
World War II: Bangladesh 1945 0 0 1 1
World War II: India 1939-1948 5 2 115 122 Includes NW Frontier casualties during the war and casualties in India from 15 August 1945 (VJ Day) to 10 March 1948 when the Regiment left India for the last time.
World War II: Cyprus 1942 0 0 2 2
World War II: Malaysia 1942 1 0 1 2
World War II: Myanmar 1942-45 3 1 271 275
World War II: Singapore 1941-45 7 4 121 132
Total World War II 1939-1947 22 17 801 840
Postwar: Malaya 1948-60 5 1 71 77
Postwar: Brunei 1962 1 0 1 2
Postwar: Borneo 1963-66 1 (GCO) 0 13 14
Total Postwar: 1948-94 7 1 85 93
Grand Total: 1815-1994 54 37 1790 1881

 

Pre-First World War and India.

The Regiment spent almost all of its first 100 years in British India, which at that time included the land now occupied by the independent countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar (then known as Burma).  Casualty figures for this period are unreliable, particularly for events in the 19th century.  The following map shows casualties in battles and campaigns in British India from 1815, when the Regiment was raised, to 1948, when it left India for the last time.  Click on any of the rectangles for more information.

2nd Goorkha casualties in India 1815-1948

2nd Goorkha casualties in India 1815-1948

Numbers for casualties in the battle of Koonja, on 3 October 1824, are inexact.  Volume I of the Regimental History, written in 1912, reported that 'the casualty list of the [Sirmoor] Battalion showed 1 Havildar and 4 Sepoys killed, and 2 subahdars, 2 Jemadars, 1 Havildar, 3 Naiks and 25 Sepoys wounded, of whom several died later of their injuries'.

Click here for an account of the battle.

Major G W N Silcock of the 3rd Battalion, who had taken part in the First Chindit Expedition, sleeping indoors and upstairs for the first time in many months, had a nightmare and jumped out of a first floor window only to later die of his injuries.  The CWGC records show that his body was transferred from Kurushkul Cemetery, Cox's Bazaar to its current location in Bangladesh.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported that at the battle of Bhurtpore on 18 January 1826: 'The total British loss was 1,100.  It is difficult to find what the actual losses of the Sirmoor Battalion in the assault were, but from accounts and letters it would seem they got off lightly with four wounded and two killed.'  Click here to read an account of the battle.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported that at the battle of Aliwal on 28 January 1846:  'The casualty list of the Corps [Sirmoor Battalion] in this battle was 49 killed and wounded out of a strength of 650 all ranks, and out of a total loss to the British force of 589 men.'  A pro rata calculation based on the average ratio of dead to wounded in campaigns at this period indicates that 7 men would likely have been killed.  Click here to read an account of the battle.

Volume I of the Regimental History reports that at the battle of Sobraon on 10 February 1846: 'The grand total of British casualties on this day was 2,383 all ranks, to which the Sirmoor Battalion contributed Captain Fisher [the Commandant/Commanding Officer] and 13 Goorkhas killed, 4 Goorkha officers, 3 non-commissioned officers and 123 sepoys wounded; or 145 out of 610 all ranks.'  Click here to read an account of the battle.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported that in the action at Delhi after the capture of Kissenganj on 14 September 1857: 'Reid's....own battalion losses, inclusive of this final day, now totalled 327 of all ranks out of the 490 with which they entered on the siege, and eight British officers killed and wounded out of nine.'  Two British Officers are known to have died.  Applying a pro-rata calculation to the total based on the ratio of dead to wounded in campaigns at this time, it is estimated that a total of 50 men of the Sirmoor Battalion would have been killed.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported that in the Looshai campagin 1871-72:  'The return of casualties was as follows:- Killed in action, two riflemen; wounded, Captain Battye and eleven riflemen; died of disease, Subahdar Kumla Jhankri, eight riflemen and two followers.'  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported that in the Looshai Campaign 1889-90 two 2nd Goorkha signallers 'were cut down by the Looshais while in the act of sending' and Lieutenant Boileau drowned in the Koladyne River. Click here to read an account of the campaign and see the two medals awarded for it.

The 1878-9 campaign on the North West Frontier was subsequently seen as the first phase of the Second Afghan War and was mainly punitive in nature.  Volume I of the Regimental History reports that:  'The total casualties through wounds and illness came to only fifteen over this expedition.'  It also reports that on a expedition into the Bazar Valley 'Rifleman Sarjan Pun....was mortally wounded by a bullet in the throat [fired by a local tribesman] and died after reaching camp'.  It is not known whether the other men died or survived.  The campaign was disrupted by cholera and brought to an end by a change in the political situation.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported that in the Manipur Campaign in 1891 there were no casualties in action, but when cholera broke out 'between Naungba and Irang out of fifty-eight men attacked thirty-two succumbed to the disease.'  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

A detailed breakdown of casualties for the campaign on the North-West Frontier in 1897-8 is given on p.117 of Volume I of the Regimental History.  30 were killed, including 2 British officers and one Gurkha officer, and 87 were wounded, including 3 British and 3 Gurkha officers.  Click here to read an account of the campaign and see the three medals awarded for it.

Volume I of the Regimental History reports that in the Mahsud Waziri Blockade in 1902 one man was killed and 3 wounded.

Click here to read a short account of the campaign and see the medal awarded for it.

Volume I of the Regimental History reports that on the Abor Expedition, 1911-12, the 1st Battalion incurred only one casualty, a Rifleman.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

Volume I of the Regimental History reported: 'Their [the 2nd Goorkhas'] casualties throughout the second phase of the Afghan campaign came to 63 all ranks of whom 23 succumbed to disease.'  Click here to read an account of the campaign and see the three medals awarded for it.

In the Third Afghan War, 13 men of the 2nd Battalion died in action or of disease.  Because of when the campaign took place, they are included in CWGC casualty lists for the First World War.  Click here to read an account of the campaign.

On the Marri Expedition in March 1918, one Rifleman of the 2nd Battalion died of disease and 5 were wounded.  Because of when the campaign took place, the man who died was included in the CWGC casualty figures for the First World War.

The Marri Expedition was launched in March 1918 to suppress a revolt by the Marri tribe in the Baluchistan hills between Sibi and Quetta.  The Field Force of which the 2nd Battalion was part only undertook one major action, at Zrind on 4th April, which brought an end to the revolt.

46 men died on operations on the North-West Frontier in the period 1914-21, all except one belonging to the 3rd Battalion.  These men are included in the CWGC casualty figures for the First World War.  They include Second Lieutenant FWW Birch who died on 23 January 1920 when attached to the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Gurkha Rifles.  He was originally buried at Jandola, Tank, South Waziristan, but like other scattered graves to the west of the River Indus, his was not possible to maintain and he, like the others who were buried there, is now commemorated on the Delhi Memorial (India Gate) shown above. 

The 1st and 2nd Battalions both served on the North-West Frontier on several occasions in the interwar period.  In spite of many long tours of duty, casualties were light: one Gurkha officer and 6 Gurkha Other Ranks were killed, a further 2 Other Ranks died of wounds and one Gurkha Other Rank was wounded.  Click here to read an account of the campaigns.

All 5 Battalion of the 2nd Goorkhas served on the North-West Frontier during this period, the 5th Battalion being permanently based there throughout its existence from 1942 to 1947, sustaining 38 casualties during this time.  In what was regarded as a particularly treacherous attack, on 12/13 December 1943 the 4th Battalion had 17 men killed by tribesmen while on a training exercise in Mahsud territory.

The 1st and 2nd Battalions were involved in peacekeeping duties in India in the late 1940s on return from other theatres or (in the case of the 2nd Battalion) from Japanese captivity and prior to leaving India for good in early 1948.  The 3rd and 4th Battalions also had small numbers of casualties while peacekeeping during this time.  In addition the Regimental Centre, in Dehra Dun, used its trained troops on such duties from 1942 until it was disbanded in 1947, and although the record is unclear it may have sustained some casualties.  Casualties for all units, including the Regimental Centre, are incorporated in the CWGC lists for the Second World War.

The 3rd Battalion took part in the First Chindit Expedition between February and June 1943 and subsequently took part in operations in Burma (Myanmar) from Maungdaw to Ruywa from March 1944 to April 1945.  The 4th Battalion took part in operations along the Irrawaddy Valley from February to September 1945.

263 men of both Battalions are commemorated on the Rangoon War Memorial (shown above) including Jemadar Andaran Gurung, who died on 24th June 1943.

10 men are buring in the Taukkyan War Cemetery, Rangoon (Yangon).  They include Lieutenant Colonel LA Alexander, Commandant of the 3rd Battalion, who died on 28 April 1943, Major JE Stephenson, who died on 8 September 1944, and Major PR Collins, who died on 7th June 1945 leading an attack at Tanbingon for which he was recommended for (but did not receive) the Victoria Cross.

Click here to read an account of the campaign.

In the period 1914-21, 26 men based at the Regimental Centre at Dehra Dun died of wounds sustained on operations elsewhere, disease or in accidents.

The records for this period are unclear as to how many men died on the North-West Frontier, on peacekeeping duties in India, or of wounds, disease or in accidents, but correlation of the figures with information about what the 5 Battalions were doing at the time enables a reasonable estimate to be made.

The cause of death of the 20 men who died at the Regimental Centre during this time cannot be accurately determined and they are therefore included in this figure of 44.

Click here to see the medal awarded for those who served in non-operational roles in India during this time.


First World War
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A total of 763 Sirmooris lost their lives during the First World War of whom 22 were British Officers and 12 were Gurkha Officers.  Details of their graves or memorials are shown in the world map above, apart from the casualties incurred by the 2nd Battalion in France in 1914-15.  232 men who died in that campaign are buried in a number of locations shown on the following map.  Click on any of the yellow rectangles for more details.  A short account of 2nd Battalion operations in France and the two medals awarded for the campaign is available here.

Map of 2nd Goorkhas War Cemeteries in France

Map of 2nd Goorkhas War Cemeteries in France

187 men of the 2nd Battalion 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery, including the following officers:

Major N MacPherson - 31 October 1914
Major HS Becher - 2 November 1914
Lieutenant IC Innes - 2 November 1914
Lieutenant HCM Lucas - 2 November 1914
Lieutenant JL Reid - 2 November 1914
Second Lieutenant JHL Walcott - 2 November 1914
Major HC Nicolay - 10 March 1915
Captain CM Mullaly - 9 May 1915
Major G Rooke, 10GR attached 2/2GR, - 9 May 1915 (counted against CWGC casualty numbers for his parent regiment, not 2nd Goorkhas)
Subedar Major Man Sing Bohra - 2 November 1914
Subedar Tekbahadur Gurung - 2 November 1914
Subedar Chetsing Thapa - 2 November 1914
Subedar Gopalsing Rawat - 2 November 1914
Subedar Jagbir Thapa - 11 March 1915
Subedar Jitbahadur Gurung - 28 March 1915
Jemadar  Manbahadur Gurung - 20 December 1914
Jemadar Sanmansing  Gurung - 11 March 1915
Jemadar Patiram Pun - 9 May 1915

Captain GD Matthew, who was killed on 10th May 1915, is buried here.

Major FGC Ross, who was killed on 2nd November 1914, is buried in this cemetery.

One 2nd Goorkha soldier is buried here.

One British Officer, Second Lieutenant G Sanderson, killed on 13th October 1914, is buried here together with two Gurkha Other Ranks.

4 Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery.

Two Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery.

Five Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery.

Eight Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery.

Eight Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery.

Four Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried in this cemetery.

One British Officer of the 2nd Goorkhas, Captain FH Barton, is buried in this cemetery.  He was killed on 2nd November 1914.

One Gurkha Other Rank of the 2nd Goorkhas is buried in this cemetery.

One Gurkha Other Rank of the 2nd Goorkhas is buried in this cemetery.

Two Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried here.

From January 1915 to October 1917 the British and Indian Casualty Clearing Station was located at St Venant, which is where the 3 Gurkha Other Ranks of the 2nd Battalion buried here had died.

Second World War.

A total of 840 Sirmooris lost their lives during the Second World War of which 22 were British Officers and 17 were Gurkha Officers.  The majority of the details are shown in the world map above, but those in Italy are buried or commemorated in several locations as shown on this map (click on any of the yellow rectangles to see more information).  A short account of the 1st Battalion in the Italian campaign is available here.

Map of 2nd Goorkhas Cemeteries in Italy

Map of 2nd Goorkhas Cemeteries in Italy

24 men of the 2nd Goorkhas are buried here.

The 68 men buried here include Captain IA Nicholl, Lieutenant RF Loftus-Tottenham, Jemadar Minbahadur Ghale and Jemadar Parshad Gurung, all killed during the attack on Monte Cassino on 18 February 1944.

Captain JH Atkins, who was killed on 27 May 1944, is buried here.

Captain EG MacGregor of the South Staffordshire Regiment, who was seconded to the 1st Battalion, is also buried here, having been killed when the Battalion's supply train was shelled on 2 June 1944.  He is not included in the CWGC casualty figures for the 2nd Goorkhas but those of his parent Regiment.

16 men who have no known grave are commemorated here.

Among the 31 men buried here are Major Hon LCF Shore, killed on 20 July 1944, and Captain CD Marley-Clarke, killed on 6 August 1944.

Among the 32 men commemorated here are 3 Gurkha Officers, Jemadar Harkabahadur Thapa IDSM, killed on 2 March 1944,  Jemadar Ranbahadur Thapa, killed on 7 June 1944, Jemadar Lalbahadur Ghale, killed on 4 September 1944 and Havildar Kishanbahadur Gurung IDSM MM, also killed on 4 September 1944.

4 Gurkha Other Ranks are buried here.

Casualties after the Second World War and Partition (1948-1994)

Men who were killed in action postwar, or who were killed or died of disease on active service are shown on the worldwide map above.

Appendix A to Volume IV of the Regimental History gives a detailed Roll of Honour of the 192 officers and men and one civilian mess waiter.  This number includes 8 British Officers or Gurkha Commissioned Officers and 13 King’s or Queen’s Gurkha Officers.

64 of these were killed in action, 55 in what was then Malaya (now Malaysia), 2 in Brunei and 7 in Borneo (now Malaysia/Kalimantan).  28 were killed on active service, 22 in Malaya, 6 in Borneo.  One man went missing in Sarawak and is counted as a casualty, making a total of 14 for the Borneo campaign.

28 died in peacetime accidents in various locations round the world where the Battalions were serving, and in Nepal.   A further 74 died of natural causes while serving, again in many different locations.  None of these are shown in the maps or table above.

Sources and References

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) looks after the graves or memorials of a total of 1603 Sirmooris.  It is responsible for the commemoration of service personnel who died during the First World War between 4 August 1914 and 31 August 1921.   (Although the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918 the official end of the First World War was not until 31 August 1921).  They are also responsible for those who died during the Second World War from 3 September 1939 and 31 December 1947, the latter being a date selected as being approximately the same period after VE day as was the official end of the First World War after the Armistice.  Casualty figures for these periods are taken from CWGC records.

The CWGC remit does not cover any campaigns before 4 August 1914, nor the interwar years, nor the campaigns which have taken place since the end of the Second World War.  The source of casualty numbers for the prewar, interwar and postwar periods is the Regimental History.  Many of those prior to the Esher report in 1904 and subsequent improvements to Army administrative procedures are unreliable, and in many cases no longer existed when Volume I of the history was written in 1912.  The Regimental Letter Book includes the following entry, explaining why there are no records prior to January 1881:

The Asstt. Adjutant General Meerut Division Landour
Dehra Dun 29th July 1884 [Letter No.299]

Sir

With reference to para 666 Native Infantry Standing
Orders I have the honor to solicit the sanction of the
Major General Commanding the Division for the destruction
Of all Muster Rolls, Pay Abstracts and Acquittance Rolls
of date earlier than January 1881 in possession of the
Wing Commanders of the 2d  (P.W.O.) Goorkhas.-

2. With reference to para 663 Native Infantry Standing
Orders, I have the honor to point out that the Staff
Muster Rolls of the 2d (P.W.O.) Goorkhas have been
preserved since 1846 and although para 663 does not
contemplate these forms ever been (sic) destroyed
it would be a great convenience  if they could be  dealt
with similarly to the Wing Muster Rolls and these Roll (sic)
dated from 1846 to 1880 destroyed.

3. These documents are of no use for reference and
their destruction would be a convenience.-

                                  I have &c.

                      Sd/- W. Hill Major

           Commanding 2d  (P.W.O.) Goorkhas

 

(Our thanks to Colonel Denis Wood for this letter.  He commented: ‘I have typed this in exactly the layout which it has in the Letter Book.  Alas, the Letter Book does not record the answers to letters, but one may be sure that agreement was given to this request.’)

Various assumptions have therefore been made about pre-1914 numbers as indicated in the text and maps.

The interwar figures are believed to be accurate, and a comprehensive and authoritative list of casualties from 1948 until the Regiment was merged to become part of the Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1994 is available in Colonel Denis Wood’s Volume IV of the Regimental History.

For consistency, and to avoid double-counting, the following campaigns are categorised as shown in line with the CWGC ‘official’ dates for the world wars, although none were part of the wider world conflicts:

● Included in First World War figures:

  • The Marri Expedition, March 1918.
  • The Third Afghan War, May 1918 to August 1919.
  • North West Persia operations 1918-21.
  • Operations on the North-West Frontier of India 1914-1921.

● Included in Second World War Figures:

  • Operations on the North-West Frontier of India 1939-1947.
  • Peacekeeping operations in India prior to Independence on 15th August 1947.