Truncheons and Gurkhas

Earlier this month, 70 newly minted Nepalese Gurkhas swore allegiance to (British Army’s) Royal Gurkha Rifles regiment in a unique ceremonial parade known as the Kasam Khane.

As noted by MOD:

Kasam Khane is the ceremonial parade during which new Riflemen swear their allegiance to the Regiment. The recruits on parade had already made an oath of loyalty to the Crown on enlistment in Nepal, however Gurkha soldiers have the unique tradition of pledging an additional oath of loyalty to the Regiment on completion of their training and arrival at Battalion. Only then can they proudly claim to be a Rifleman of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

In batches of three they march out in front of the parade to where the Queen’s Truncheon is being held by the Battalion’s Gurkha Major and on command each reaches out with their right hand to touch it, cementing their oath.

The Queen’s Truncheon is a magnificent 6ft-high artefact made of bronze and silver. Many British Army regiments have Regimental colours which are highly revered by the regiment’s soldiers. Once a rallying point for that regiment’s troops on the battlefield, the colours instil a sense of duty and honour to that particular regiment.

The Queen’s Truncheon, awarded to The Sirmoor Battalion (later the 2nd KEO Gurkha Rifles) after the Gurkhas distinguished themselves by holding the Ridge during the Siege of Delhi, is awarded the status of a Colour for the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

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