2ND BATTALION – THE THIRD GORKHA RIFLES
2nd Battalion of the Third Gorkha Rifles was raised on 15 January 1901 at Lansdowne, in the Garhwal Hills by Maj. H.D.Hutchinson (later Lt. Gen) who was the first Commanding Officer. In 1907, King Edward approved the title of the 3rd Queen's Own Gurkha Rifles but on personal intervention of the Queen, the designation was changed to a more personalised one i.e. The 3rd Queen Alexandra's own Gurkha Rifles.
The battalion sailed from Karachi in Sept 1914 as part of Meerut Division for Marseilles to take part in the First World War. It was the year of glory and achievements in which Rifleman Kulbir Thapa was awarded the highest gallantry award of ‘Victoria Cross’ for his bravery in rescuing a British Officer and some of his comrades from a spot under heavy enemy fire.
In November 1915, 2/3 GR sailed from Marseilles and arrived in Alexandria where they spent four years campaigning in the desert of Sinai and in Palestine. In Palestine, in April 1918, Rifleman Kama Bahadur Rana earned the Second ‘Victoria Cross’ for displaying undaunted courage and loyalty while saving the life of his Company Commander. The battalion finally returned to India in March 1919 with 2 Victoria Crosses, 200 various other gallantry awards and 22 Battle Honours.
The Second World War rendered the opportunity to the battalion to leave a blazing trail behind while operating in Iraq, North Africa, Cyprus, Palestine and Italy. The battalion returned to India in 1945 with 5 Battle Honours and 111 gallantry awards.
In June 1948, the battalion was assigned the task of capturing ‘Pirkanthi’ a towering feature at the height of 10,930 ft, in the Peer Panjal Range. The meticulous planning of Lt Col Prem Das MC, the first Indian Commanding Officer and its execution by the battalion earned 25 gallantry awards including 3 Vir Chakras and another Battle Honour.
After Independence, the battalion won one Battle Honour, 3 Vir Chakras, 2 Shaurya Chakras, 4 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 2 Sena Medals 2 Vishisht Seva Medals, 22 Mention-in-Despatches, 6 COAS Commendation Cards and 5 Army Commander's Commendation Cards.
The postage stamp depicts a Gorkha soldier in his battle dress in full cry.
Date of Issue: 18.10.1991