Not every kukri-armed soldier was a Gurkha

The kukri is a traditional Nepalese weapon. It is most commonly associated with the Gurkha units serving with the Indian or British armies. However it was used, on a less official basis, by other Indian Army formations.

Kukri (WEA 2145) The kukri is a traditional Nepalese weapon. It is most commonly associated with the Gurkha units serving with the Indian or British armies. However it was used, on a less official basis, by other Indian Army formations. This particular kukri was the property of Khudadad Khan - the first native born Indian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Khan served with the 129th Duke of Connaught's Own ... Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

Kukri (WEA 2145) Copyright: © IWM. Original Source

This particular kukri was the property of Subedar Khudadad Khan – the first native born Indian (and the first known Muslim) soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Khan served with the 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis (now 11th Battalion, The Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army) and received his VC for actions when manning a machine-gun at Hollebeke, Belgium on 31 October 1914 during the Battle of Ypres.

He gave this kukri to an officer on the hospital ship in which he was repatriated to India and it is now in the Imperial War Museum.

subedar-khudadad-khan-vc
For the award of the Victoria Cross: [ London Gazette, 7 December 1914 ],

Hollebeke, Belgium, 31 October 1914, Sepoy Khudadad Khan, 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis, Indian Army.

On 31st October 1914, at Hollebeke, Belgium, the British Officer in charge of the detachment having been wounded, and the other gun put out of action by a shell, Sepoy Khudadad Khan, though himself wounded, remained working his gun until all the other five men of the gun detachment had been killed.

Note the Punjabi Muslim turban with the Kullah tip being evident at the top.

Khan, Note the Punjabi Muslim turban with the “Kullah tip” being evident at the top.

Khan’s VC group is on display in the Imperial War Museum’s Lord Ashcroft Gallery. I say group because he returned to service after his wounds healed, fought in Afghanistan in 1919 and remained with the Baluchis late in life, retiring as a Subidar Major.

Khan lived to a ripe old age (82) and died at the Military Hospital (MH) in Rawalpindi on 8 March 1971. He is buried in Rukhan Tehsil Village, in what is now Pakistan.

A statue of Khudadad Khan, with an Enfield but lacking his kukri or VC, is at the entrance of the Pakistan Army Museum in Rawalpindi and he is remembered as “Baba-i-Baloch Regiment” (The Father of Baloch Regiment), the second-oldest unit in the Pakistani Army after the Punjabs.

statue-of-subedar-khudadad-khan-victoria-cross-1914

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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