During the war in Nepal in 1814, the British failed to annex Nepal as part of the Empire but Army officers were impressed by the tenacity of the Gurkha soldiers and encouraged them to volunteer for the East India Company.

Gurkhas served as troops of the East India Company in the Pindaree War of 1817, in Bharatpur, Nepal in 1826, and the First and Second Sikh Wars in 1846 and 1848.

During the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857, the Gurkharegiments remained loyal to the British, and became part of the British Indian Army on its formation. The 2nd Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) defended Hindu Rao's house for over three months, losing 327 out of 490 men. The 60th King's Royal Rifle Corps (later part of the Royal Green Jackets) fought alongside the Sirmoor Rifles and were so impressed that following the mutiny they insisted 2nd GR be awarded the honours of adopting their distinctive rifle green uniforms with scarlet edgings and rifle regiment traditions and that they should hold the title of riflemen rather than sepoys. Twelve Gurkha regiments also took part in the relief of Lucknow. Gurkha regiments in the British Indian Army served in both World Wars.

The Brigade of Gurkhas is the collective term for units of the current British Army that are composed of Nepalese soldiers. The brigade, which is 3,640 strong, draws its heritage from Gurkha units that originally served in the British Indian Army prior to Indian independence, and prior to that of the East India Company. The brigade includes infantry, engineer, signal, logistic and training and support units. They are famous for their ever-present kukris, a distinctive heavy knife with a curved blade, and for their reputation of being fierce fighters and brave soldiers. They take their name from the hill town of Gorkhafrom which the Nepalese Kingdom had expanded. The ranks have always been dominated by four ethnic groups: the Gurungs and Magars from central Nepal; and the Rais and Limbus from the east, who live in hill villages of hill farmers.

After Indian independence – and partition – in 1947 and under the Tripartite Agreement, six Gurkha regiments joined the post-independence Indian Army. Four Gurkha regiments, the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th Gurkha Rifles, joined the British Army on 1 January 1948. They formed the Brigade of Gurkhas and were stationed in Malaya.

During the Malayan Emergency, Gurkhas fought as jungle soldiers as they had done in Burma. They also formed four new units – Gurkha Engineers, Signals, Transport and Military Police. They were also used for convoy escort duties, security of the new villages and ambushing guerrillas. In the year of Malayan independence, Gurkha Signals units monitored communications during the first free elections.

One Gurkha battalion – 2nd Gurkha Rifles - was stationed in Tidworth, Wiltshire in 1962. On 7 December, the unit was deployed to Brunei on a day's notice at the outbreak of the Brunei Revolt. The forthcoming Indonesian Confrontation saw the formation of the Gurkha Independent Parachute Company on 1 April 1963. The unit was disbanded in 1972.

The 2/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) marching through Kure soon after their arrival in Japan as part of the Allied forces of occupation

After that conflict ended, the Gurkhas were transferred to Hong Kong, where they had security duties during the upheavals of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

The Gurkha brigade's size was reduced to 8,000 men when the British government changed its defence policy. Hong Kong became their headquarters, while other battalions were stationed in the UK and Brunei.

In 1971 the 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Gurkha Rifles moved to Queen Elizabeth Barracks at Church Crookham, Hampshire, from where they became the first Gurkhas to mount the Queen's Guard. In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus and the 10th Gurkha Rifles was sent to defend the British sovereign base area of Dhekelia. Later they remained there on peacekeeping duties.

On 1 July 1994 the four rifle regiments were merged into one, the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and the three corps regiments (the Gurkha Military Police having been disbanded in 1965) were reduced to squadron strength. On 1 July 1997, the British government handed Hong Kong over to the People's Republic of China, which led to the elimination of the local British garrison. Gurkha HQ and recruit training were moved to the UK, and the size of the Brigade of Gurkhas was reduced to 3,400.

Gurkhas undergoing urban warfare training in the United States. Note the kukri on the webbing of the nearest soldier.

Gurkhas have had a role in the Falklands War (1st Battalion of the 7th), Gulf War, NATO, Iraq, Afghanistan, operations in Kosovo and UN peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and East Timor. Gurkhas have also served in Sierra Leone.

Brigade HQ is based at Airfield Camp near Netheravon, Wiltshire. The two battalions of the Royal Gurkha Rifles are formed as light role infantry; they are not equipped with either armoured or wheeled vehicles. One battalion is based at Shorncliffe Army Camp, near Folkestone in Kent as part of 52 Infantry Brigade, and is available for deployment to most areas in Europe and Africa. The other is based at the British garrison in Brunei as part of Britain's commitment to maintaining a military presence in SE Asia. The two battalions rotate in each role, usually for three years at a time.

Gurkha regiments traditionally have British officers, although many officers are now themselves Gurkhas. Those who wish to receive Queen's Commissions are required to become British subjects.

Hundreds of Nepalese Gurkha soldiers who fought for Britain protested 19 March 2008 outside the Parliament of the United Kingdom in London, demanding higher pensions and the right to stay in the country they served. This sparked a national petition to entitle them to British Citizenship when their service ends.

They were also seen recently protecting Prince Harry when he was serving secretly in Afghanistan.

Training Depot Brigade of Gurkhas (TDBG)

Although Britain has been recruiting Gurkha soldiers from Nepal since the 19th century, no effort was made to develop a centralized recruit-training system in the Brigade of Gurkhas throughout the pre-Second World War era. As a result, recruiting training was conducted at the various Gurkha regimental training centres in Nepal.

The need for such centralized training establishments became apparent in the late 1940s following India's national independence, and subsequently the TDBG was established on 15 August 1951 at Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaya.

With Malaya's independence, however, the TDBG was once again relocated to Malaya Lines in the New Territories, Hong Kong in 1971. At the TDBG in Hong Kong, recruits were taught basic English alongside military subjects such as field craft, drill, weapon-handling etc. More importantly, being in a modern city like Hong Kong, these young recruits from the hills of Nepal were given the opportunity to experience life in a different culture and environment. Such experience would be crucial for their future deployments in different corners of the world.

Due to Hong Kong's handover from the UK to China, the TDBG was closed down in December 1994. However, it was reconstituted immediately as the Gurkha Training Wing (GTW) at Queen Elizabeth Barracks at Church Crookham, Hampshire in the UK. In December 1999, the GTW moved to Helles Barracks at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire and became Gurkha Company, 3rd Battalion, Infantry Training Centre (ITC). Organized in two wings, A(Imphal) Wing and B(Meiktila) Wing, the company currently maintains 72 permanent staff of all ranks and 230 recruits.

Ghurkhas are born soldiers .hailing from Nepal they are known for their prowess in the fighting arts and also for their fearlessness ,the knives they carry known as Kukri are their symbols . From the times that Britain ruled India they have been part of the British army and the English could always rely on their loyalty .

The Gurkha Reserve Unit is a special guard force in the Sultanate of Brunei.