Australian Gurkhas Regiment

ED: From my inbox … the following email from Mauro has some merit in my view.


Thank you for your going updates and interesting articles.  I have noted the ongoing issues with retention of service personal over the years and noticed an article regarding allowing recruitment of personal via our south pacific islands. Has any thoughts gone into the recruitment of Gurkhas and maybe forming regiment as the same modelling as the British defence force has done over the past 100 years. I had the opportunity during my service of being on exercises with Gurkhas and found them to be very professional.

It’s just a thought and I believe it would benefit our defence force and our country.


Mauro Vella

Ex-1 RAR

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  • Roger Wickham January 8, 2024   Reply →

    We should recruit as many Gurkhas as are willing to come to Australia.

  • Andrew Ochiltree January 8, 2024   Reply →

    This would be an enormous benefit for the ADF and the Nepalese people. Their loyalty and ability is second to none.
    Their recruitment and retention would not be a problem.
    The Defence Department needs to take this onboard as a priority.

  • Eddie Barton January 8, 2024   Reply →

    Mauro Vello. Being an ex 1 RAR Support Coy Anti-Tank digger, I support you 100% on the the knowledge that I have had of the dealing with the great fighting members of the Gurkha Regiments. My dealings with this exceptional group has left me mesmerised in what achievements they DONT LEAVE OUT as is at times overlooked by other countries defence forces.
    My meeting with these special people was on operational duties with the ADF during the Malayan Emergency of the 1950’s. They were ‘ fostered units’ within the British services and had some of the most decorated service men of any country in the world. They were very supportive during the whole of the Malayan Emergency period which in itself is colossal. Finally I am of the same feelings as you in that the ADF should lobby the Federal Govt and pull out all stops and engage these great little fighters into our Defence force. It will help strengthen our ties with these people as my late fathers tales of these dedicated fighter during WW2. Happy to chat with you further about the Gurka”s and their lasting impressions on me and others of early 1RAR ‘True Blues’.

  • Alan Cunningham January 9, 2024   Reply →

    About Gurkhas.
    When Hong Kong was being handed back to China circa 1997, A Gurkha brigade, stationed in Hong Kong at the time , was offered to Australia.
    Labor politicians vetoed this offer. The excuse was,”we don’t want to be seen as colonial masters”

  • Peter Desmond January 9, 2024   Reply →

    Alan, I imagine the offer was ‘staffed’ and evaluated by Defence and ADF at the time. There are some questions . Who made the offer? What exactly was the offer? So, was it ‘Labor politicians’ who vetoed it or the Australian Government? Methinks you are dragging your political coat tails Alan.
    No question of the quality of Gurkha soldiers. I served briefly with 10th Regiment in Borneo in 1966. 2/7th was on our left.
    Perhaps the reason UK did not allow them citizenship was a big enough barrier for our own government?
    Still. in the future, it may be possible.

  • Anthony (Tony) VAN RHODA January 9, 2024   Reply →

    I whole heartedly support any moves to have these brave soldiers integrated into the ADF. Gurkha soldiers have proven their loyalty, bravery and trust as part of the British Army in many world conflicts since WW1. Australia should be proud to take these men and integrate them as new Australian citizens Especially now the ADF is trying hard to hold and recruit soldiers into the service. The Gurkha soldiers were not treated well by the British government when their service ended. I recall Joanne Lumley taking up their cause when she produced and hosted a documentary of the Gurkha soldiers service in the British army, maybe she could assist again this time for Australia. I proudly display a Gurkha plaque in my den I found in a junk shop in Malaya in the 70’s, It has two crossed Kukri and surrounded with all the Gurkha regimental corps badges. If it came to a vote. I vote yes.

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