Gurkhas

Between Two Worlds: Gurkha Exhibition Highlights Inter-War Years

The latest addition to the Gurkha Museum recognises the importance of events between the World Wars.

A new exhibition focusing on the period between the two World Wars is on display at the Gurkha Museum.

It is said to be one of the most defining times in the 200 years of Gurkha history within the British Army.

The collections officer for the museum, Doug Henderson, wanted to investigate the years between 1919 and 1939 and do justice to the period:

“The entire period between the two World Wars… tends to get lumped in with the large conflicts either side.

“Conflict gets overlooked, and there’s a massive social and cultural change in the Brigade of Gurkhas and in the rest of the British Indian Army that gets overlooked.”

gurkhas interwar years from exhibition Between two worlds 130819 DO NOT RE USE
The exhibition shows Gurkha soldiers during the inter-war years.

Unique photographs and exhibits explain the changes over the period with small aggressors posing a threat to the British Empire after the First World War.

Most Gurkha’s found themselves in the North-West frontier, the border of British India and Afghanistan. 

Displays of humanitarian work showed the 8th Gurkha Rifles heavily involved in the aftermath of an earthquake in Ceuta in 1935.

“It must help them focus, understand what they’re learning for, and what their duty is”, says museum assistant Hom Pun.

The exhibition shows the everyday life within the Gurkha community, with images of 20th-century football matches and hill running competitions between the soldiers.

The exhibition reveals parallels between the duties of current forces in Afghanistan and Iran and similar challenges Gurkha soldiers faced throughout history.

The exhibition will feature until September at the Peninsular Barracks in Hampshire.