Honorary Captain Judhbir Thapa, Sirdar Bahadur OBI

The most senior of the nine Delhi veterans at the 1907 semicentennial was Honorary Captain Judhbir Thapa, Sirdar Bahadur, OBI.  He had enlisted in 1857 and been a sepoy with the Sirmoor Battalion on the Ridge at Delhi.  He had also taken part in the campaigns in Hazara in 1868, Afghanistan in 1880 and Manipur in 1891.  He was Subedar-Major of the 1st Battalion from 1893-4 and Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief.  He retired in 1897 but was given the privilege of holding the Queen’s Truncheon on the 1907 attestation parade, of which there is a picture in the Regimental History.

Tableau of uniforms worn c.1897.  Judhbir Thapa is fourth from the left.  Note the ‘puggaree’ headgear of the man standing next to him and the covered kilmarnock hat worn by the man on the left of the picture.  (Gurkha Museum)

He is unusual in that two paintings of him survive, one by Chater Paul Chater, now held at the Gurkha Museum, and one by Gertrude Ellen Burrard.  There are also several photographs of him in the archives of the Gurkha Museum.

The Gertrude Ellen Burrard portrait of Judhbir Thapa (National Army Museum)


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