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Thread: indian army / nepal army kukris

  1. #1

    indian army / nepal army kukris

    me again. sorry for swamping the forum in new threads recently, this will be the last for a while. just seems like the more i learn about kukris the more questions i have!!

    i see the british military pattern kukris are well doucmented and the excellant thread here tells me all i need to know about them.

    im struggling though to find much definate info about indian army pattern kukris and the ones used by the nepalese army??

    i bought this very cheap piece from ebay recently which i assume is an indian military pattern kukri. Is there any definative set of answers on the patterns used by the indian regiments post independance, and nepali regiments?


  2. #2
    The kukri you show was a design sold in shops in Dehradun in ww2, Copies were imported by the many thousands into USA & England in the 50s, 60s,70s,80s etc. There still made today in Dehra Dun & sold as Garhwali kukri.
    Some people belive they were issue. But either way its certan that 99.9% of them never were.

    The modern Nepali army kukri are a small but heavy 9inch blade piece. Very poor fit & finnish but do for camping or walloping protesters. With the new communist Goverment its possible they will alter the design of them.



    The Indian armys last massive purchase Ive seen details off was about 2005,it was for over 75,000 mk.3 kukri & a few thousand smaller kukri.


    Photos show many other types have also been used though.

    Heres a few.














    Jonathan
    Last edited by Jonathan R. S.; 08-10-2008 at 11:32 AM.

  3. #3
    great info. im learning so much from here.

    so i guess the reason there is a lack of clear, accurate data on the kukris the indian and nepalese army use (compared to the British army) is simply because it isnt as regimented or as strictly organised as the British army?

  4. #4

    Question

    I must assume you've seen this.....

    http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=77657

    Hope this is of help.....

    OOPS! Your interest is not in British.......nevermind!
    Last edited by Larry S.; 08-10-2008 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Poor reading skills??

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Hart View Post
    so i guess the reason there is a lack of clear, accurate data on the kukris the indian and nepalese army use (compared to the British army) is simply because it isnt as regimented or as strictly organised as the British army?
    Well its probably partly that, although Indian army units at least often employ historians etc. But also probably lack of contacts of western world researchers with serious & well educated ,researched & well placed Indian & Nepali military researchers.

    Cap. Nash the ex. Gorkha mountain warfare special forces unit is probably the most expierinced Indian army researcher today.

    However much we currently know theres a lot of even some fairly recent kukri history that is hard to be 100% certan of.

    Jonathan

    Edited to add

    Thanks Larry! I have, I wrote it. { I know the link was for Adam realy!} Glad you like it ,It needs another update/ enhancment sometime.

    A great informative German language site is here...

    http://www.seitengewehr.de/kukri/kukri.html
    Last edited by Jonathan R. S.; 08-10-2008 at 04:07 PM.

  6. #6

    Wink

    I've been searching online (since I have no digital camera) for a representative pic of the piece purchased by a relative 4-5 years ago in the U.S. Embassy giftshop in New Delhi. It was advertised to be, at that time at least, standard issue for the Ghurkas in the Indian Army.

    http://www.ikedaswords.com/img/CU/CU_kukri1.jpg

    Hope this helps a little more than my first attempt......

    http://www.kultofathena.com/images/1-120_l.jpg

    http://www.museumreplicas.com/museum...il.aspx?ID=378 .......best pic
    Last edited by Larry S.; 08-10-2008 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Edited to add another link.(and another)

  7. #7
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    Hello Adam,

    Kukri with that handle type certainley were issued to the Gurkha's in WWII and post WWII. There is a classic Official Battalion picture of Rifleman Goparsing Pun 1/4 GR wearing Official 1/4 Issued kit in 1944 in Burma, wearing a kukri with that handle type, taken by the famous Holmes of Pes Peshawer for Battalion records.
    Also in WWII there is a picture of a Gurkha Orderly at the 3rd GR Regimental Centre wearing a kukri with hilt that is similar, as well as film footage, and also at the Gurkha museum there is a kukri attributed to the 10th GR kukri, with a similar styled handle, and a 9th GR Kothimora kukri.

    And here is the Orderlies kukri from WWII (Just in Case you didn't know Adam, a Gurkha Orderly was a Rifleman)


    So you can't rule out that yours was actualy issued to the Gurkha's.
    On this link you will find some more photo's of regimental issued kukri in WWII, that are not mark issue;http://forums.swordforum.com/showthr...89#post1030489

    Adam you will find the rest of the photo's that Jonathan has posted on this link; http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?im...%3Den%26sa%3DN

    And some more here http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/sh...?t=1982&page=6

    The 5th Gorkha Rifles also carry a smaller version of the British Gurkha Service no.1.

  8. #8
    Hello again Adam,

    Heres a few examples of old ring gripped kukri with history from both Gurkha museam & one from the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum you might like to see, so you get a fuller picture..

    .................................................. ....



    A 1919 10th Gr Officers silver fitted & ringed private purchase with Sam Browne frog.. I have a very similar kukri of same origin that saw service up into ww2 apparently. {From Gurkha museam. winchester.]
    .................................................. .....



    A kothimara of similar style to yours from the same museam.


    ...........................................


    A sun god marked kukri from Gurkha museam, that was fully discused in a revealing manner in this thread... http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=85680

    .................................................. ...



    A rather fascinating piece also with silver fittings from the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum, Ill add it to your other thread as its also a high quality Lions head kukri.


    Plate is inscribed. " TO THE Officers AND MEN OF / THE 97TH FIELD REGIMENT RA (KENT YEOMANRY) FROM / ALL RANKS OF THE 3RD BATTALION 18TH / ROYAL GARHWAL RIFLES / IN MEMORY OF OUR ASSOCIATION IN ITALY 1944-45"

    Thier website describe it as a Royal Garhwal Rifles Kukri.
    plates with gilt badge of Royal Garhwal Rifles on blade; the handle of silver inlaid ebony with silver mask terminal; on wooden stand with silver plate

    it was given to Kent Yeomanry (97 Fd Regt RA) 1945.

    ................................................

    Clearly these examples are all real silver or occasionaly steel fittings, rather than all the the later export model brass ringed, nickle silver ringed or Chrome plated ringed & fitted later copies.

    Officers bought there own kukri so often did Orderlies, NCOs & even inlisted men, Occasionly Regimental Sunwar would dress up a kukri as a kothimara but most are private purchase from the numerous kukri shops in Dehra dun.{etc.}

    Jonathan.

    Ps.

    Ahh I nearly forgot I have this silver ringed & heavily etched 4th GR presentation piece as well. Probably ww1 to 1920s era.






    Still no brass of course.

    Jonathan
    Last edited by Jonathan R. S.; 08-11-2008 at 03:47 PM.

  9. #9
    more pix...










  10. #10
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    This kukri is labelled at the Gurkha museum as a 10GR kukri 1940/41, weight 640 grams, length of blade 32cm, 10.5 cm handle, handle 10.5cm belly 5cm, spine 7mm


    This is the kukri that Jonathan is referring to in the other thread, with a typical late WWII Chaudhary marking;
    Weight 645 grams, length of blade 32.5cm, length of handle 11cm, belly 5.1cm, spine 7mm, so Jonathan except for the handle having brass mounts, what is the difference in quality, as having handled both of them, I can tell you there isn't!

    Here are both blades together, as best as I can;


    About the only difference is the two decoration grooves at the top by the spine.
    Here is a genuine late WWII issue Dehradun kukri for you, which along with the later marked Chaudhary kukri has a very similar handle to the one in the picture of Rifleman Goparsing Pun 1/4 GR wearing Official 1/4 Issued kit in 1944 in Burma, wearing a kukri with that handle type, taken by the famous Holmes of Pes Peshawer for Battalion records.
    Weight 640grams, length of blade 31.5cm, length of handle 11.5cm, belly 5.4cm, spine 7mm

    According to the Curator of the Gurkha Museum, brass mounts were certainley used on Issued kukri in WWII.
    Now on this Kothimora kukri that you posted Jonathan;

    .... it had brass rings and rivets

    During WWII many different suppliers and different kukri were used to re-fit the Gurkhas with kukri, and with Gorkhas having ruled Dehradun as part of the Garhwal Kingdom before the British captured it in 1815, there is the added link of History, along with Gurkhas being based in Dehradun, it seems incredulous that one would think Dehradun style kukri wern't used when needed!!

    Also during WWII, it was not uncommon for seconded Officers to use issue kukri (Ref Gurkha Museum), and kukri worn by Orderlies in Mess uniform would be wearing an Issued kukri anyway, let alone in an Official photograph.
    Last edited by Andreas Volk; 09-09-2008 at 03:10 AM.

  11. #11
    Nevermind....I'll go play elsewhere......good morning!

  12. #12
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    You got a pm

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry S. View Post
    Nevermind....I'll go play elsewhere......good morning!
    Hi Larry,
    I'm sorry to see that you obviously didn't feel comfortable here - I sent you a pm.
    so let's take this offline.

    regards

    Andreas
    Last edited by Andreas Volk; 08-13-2008 at 01:27 AM. Reason: spelling
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  13. #13
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    Great Pictures

    Hi Jonathan - thanks a lot for sharing with us these grerat pictures you took at the musems! The "Yeomanry Kukri is a real jaw dropper - and great to see such a precise provenance to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan R. S. View Post
    Ahh I nearly forgot I have this silver ringed & heavily etched 4th GR presentation piece as well. Probably ww1 to 1920s era.
    Thanks a lot for the closeup on the etchings ... what a lovely piece - may i ask the measures in a seperate thread (so we can keep the "indian army focus") ? It does not "look" as "heavy" as some of these Diu Chirra specimen (well at least the ones that found their way into my home .

    thanks a lot in advance

    Andreas
    Last edited by Andreas Volk; 08-13-2008 at 02:58 AM. Reason: Added that seperate thread thing to keep the original focus of this one
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  14. #14
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    Dheradun

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Hengle View Post
    Here are both blades together, as best as I can;


    About the only difference is the two decoration grooves at the top by the spine.
    Cheers Simon.
    Thanks for taking the extra effort in combining the pictures so we can compare.

    I certainly agree on the "Dheradun style" - which to my perception is the same what we once called "WW2 military sirupate" .
    But with so many provenanced pieces from Dheradun that fit said scope I'd rather like to call them "WW2 Dheradun kukris".

    On the Sun-Good mark - I need to admit that those kukris are still a mystery to me. Giving the high propability of "Chaudhary" being a manufacturers mark, the range of "styles" with that mark are quite impressive, reaching from pure MKIIIs to MKIII baldes with grips that seem to be leaner versions of an MKIII grip but with metal rings .. to something that looks more "Dheradun".
    Even the datail of the sun good mark changes with them. Some clearly show the face inside the sun (with details mouth, eyes, etc.) while others need some imagination to recognise a face.

    Looking at the one you shared with us I'd say that the mark is o close to the chaudhary that I'd call it a chaudhary as well - even without the actual writing.

    Though i just wanted to mention that not all kukris with that sun good mark follow the same design ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Hengle View Post
    According to the Curator of the Gurkha Museum, brass mounts were certainley used ...
    Thanks for the update - It seems that silver was used when one could afford it, while brass was a "budget option".

    Given the fact that we see "non refective paint" applied to some MKIIs (especially on the pommel section) I wondered if these silver decorated pieces were meant to be combat kukris ...

    regards

    Andreas
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  15. #15
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    British and indian issue ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry S. View Post
    OOPS! Your interest is not in British.......nevermind!
    No Problem larry. While British "Gurkha regiments" are very well documented I found it difficult to find some documentation on the post 1947 Indian Gorkhas (at least one in english).
    So any help in pointing to literature specifically on them would be much appreciated.

    On the limited information i have I'd say that your links in information ar correct - the MKIII (which is a british design) still seems to be wide spread among the Gorkhas ... and as Simon mentioned the 5th seem to sue a version related to the MKV (or british service No1).

    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the modern MKIIIs you pointed out in your links come from the same workshops that also provide MKIIIs to the indian Army.

    So to bring this therad back on track (indian army pieces) if there is any information on a specfic model that was used / issued to the Gorkha regiments post 1947 I'd be eager to lern.

    As of now my assumtion is:
    - MKIII from various indian manufacturers (Windlass Steelcraft being perhaps the most prominent)
    - some MKV variants
    - perhaps privat purchase to whatever the soldier likes (But i need to admit that I'm not familiar how "private purchase" is handled within the Gorkhas.

    thanks a lot in advance

    Andreas
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  16. #16
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    No probs Andreas, I thought a comparison would be usefull, as well as picture of a genuine issue Dheradun kukri.

    There are at least five regiments in the Indian Army that are issued with kukri, that don't use the MKIII Andreas.

  17. #17
    Thankyou Andreas!

    I have a 10th GR silver piece which had black paint carefully covering the silver on both handle buttplate , rings &scabbard.

    Lots of officers are known to have taken silver pieces to war. Howmany covered over the silver I have no idea.

    Heres an interesting photo of some Gurkha mess orderlies in 1948 in Malaya.


    They wear 3 silver kothimaras, all different from each other & obviosly not issue in an Officialy published photo by the 10GR in there 100th Anniversary book.




    Ive had Dehradun made issue kukris... mk.2 & mk.3s all with inspection marks. Some even made by firms who made the usual private purchase ringed grip style shown at the start of this thread.


    Rod has a lovely military sirupate style marked to the 9th Gurkhas made at Dehradun as well.

    The diamond keeper seems to be a dehradun design, although knowadays also copied in Nepal.

    jonathan

  18. #18
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    Jonathan, the Kothimora worn by the Orderlies would have been supplied by the Battalion, sometimes by the Colonel direct, Orderlies would not have been expected to supply their own Kothimora.

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