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Gorkhali flow from La Bassa

Gurkha army numbered 46 and 47 in Munster Prison 2, Germany, 1916. Gurkha is written in the caste / group below their photo. Photo source:

‘जोबन सबै शत्रुका हातबाट गयो,
पल्टनको माया मोह नेपालमै रह्यो’ 

Translation :-

'Life is out of the hands of all enemies,
The love of the platoon remained in Nepal ' 

The above is the story of a Gurkha soldier who joined the British army and reached Europe for the first time to fight in the First World War. 

However, the Gurkha soldiers could not tell anyone about this. He died on the battlefield. While digging Gorkhali's body, Lieutenant Alexander Pefier of the German army found the diary. 

The diary was discovered in 1914 by Lieutenant Pfeiffer of the Kurhesian Jagar Battalion No. 11 in the area of ​​La Bassi in northern France, where Germany fought against the united front of France and Britain. The battle of La Bassi began on October 12 and ended in the last week of December. 

Shortly after the battle, the German side searched the body and diary of the dead Gurkha to see if there was any clue about the enemy's war strategy. In the process, these feelings were met.  

For the first time, the Gurkha army crossed the sea for war and reached a completely new territory where language, way of life, food and weather did not match. Some historians have even mentioned that he went to fight in a military uniform. 

It was not winter when I left India for Europe. But when they arrived in Europe, even warm clothes were not enough. They did not have the knowledge to fight by digging trenches. They had never fought in such cold weather. Gorkhali was more afraid of the cold than the enemy. 

Alexander's diary in which Gorkhali's name appears. Source: Philip Cross

Enemy's Diary: -

At the same time, they are digging up the collected diaries and documents of Alexander's son-in-law Philip Cross Jijubuwa. Philip is translating Alexander's German diary into English. At that time, it has not been revealed how Alexander translated the diary written in Nepali by the Gurkha army into German. 

Philip provided the columnist with a two-page copy of the diary, saying it was written by a deceased Gurkha sergeant. But who were those sergeants? The mystery remains. The khukuri used by the same Gurkha sergeant was kept at home by Alexander, which is still in Philip's collection. 

Along with the diary and khukuri, Alexander also expressed his fears about the Gurkha army. He writes - 'I found many letters in Indian writing (letters). They are scary fighters. We are afraid of them. They cut the enemy with a knife (khukuri). ' 

Looking at the first page of the Gurkha army diary found by Alexander, it can be inferred that the Gurkhas, especially the priests, had learned to spell the letter with difficulty. 

The names of the Gurkha soldiers found in the diary are as follows: 

Khukuri of a Gurkha sergeant found by German soldiers in the battle of La Bassi, France. Source: Philip Cross

(1) Thuparau Guru (The name Thuparau is also spelled in German. This name is likely to be impure). 

(2) Chandravir Thapa

(3) Akalvir Guru 

(4) Man Bahadur Guru

(5) Amar Singh again 

(6) Ujersingh Gharti 

(7) Iman Singh Guru

(8) Manveer Thapa

(9) Chhavilal Rana 

(10) Aktveer Thapa

(11) Nara Bahadur Thapa 

(12) Sixth Guru 

Chandravir Thapa, who was second in the list, was a rifle man. His service number was 2025, serving in the 2nd Battalion of the Second King Edwards Sevenths on Gurkha Rifles (Sirmur Rifles). Thapa died on December 16, 1914 in La Bassi. Chandravir's father's name is Hemant and his address is Majhkot, Palpa. 

Manveer Thapa, number eight, appears to be a hero in the First Battalion of the First King George VIII Gurkha Rifles (Malau Regiment). Thapa, who had service number 1896, died on December 20, 1914. Manveer's father's name is Parasram and his address is Dohadi, No. 4, West, Seventh, Nepal. 

Rifleman Chhavilal Rana, who was in the ninth position, was also serving in the Second Battalion of the Second Gurkha Rifles. He was killed on December 20 in La Bassi. 

Other Gurkhas taken prisoner of war in Germany. Photo source:

Haribal Thapa is another Gurkha soldier who was not on the list but fought in La Bassi. According to, Thapa was a rifle man of the First Gurkha Regiment. Thapa, who was in service number 2952, died on January 24, 1915 while in captivity. In the documents, his father's name is Dalkeshar and his address is Perung, Racing, West Nepal. Perung is the Magar village of Tanahu. 

According to the website, Thapa was taken prisoner of war in La Bassi and sent to Germany, where he died. His tomb can still be seen near Berlin. 

Alexander. Photo: Philip Cross

In the diary written by Alexander on different dates, four topics related to Gorkha were found.  
  • On the morning of December 20, 1914, at about 5:30 am, I was awakened by the sound of artillery and shelling. Someone opened my bedroom. He is a friend of our machine gun company. He was terrified and could not speak well. Our machine gun company was attacked. They (Gurkhas) cut our friend's throat with a crooked knife (khukuri) and attacked everyone they met. I said this while waking up the sleeping others.

  • After the battle, I saw a scary scene. The ground was filled with the wounded and the dead. Near the remains of our artillery, the British and Indians (including the Gurkhas) slept forever. Some have lost their heads and hands. We looted a lot from the battlefield. Sick-shaped knife (khukuri), tobacco products, canned food, etc. 

  • There are Nepalese (Gurkhas) who have lost their heads against us. They are healthy with a flat body. One prisoner of war said he had been hit by a cold. They are afraid of cold and snow. Soon they are dusting off. (The word 'bite' is used interchangeably in the German language.)  
  • They are violent, aggressive, and fearless in battle, but their minds are kind, peace-loving, and spiritual. 
Lahure's Karma and Marma: -

It's hard ... Joban went out of the hands of all the enemies ... The love of the platoon remained in Nepal ... He died alive and went to Kailash. Subedar Bhimsin became Bhandari ... Harke Thapa Jasraja Dharma ... Khatri ... Commander Prajitan ... Nansin Khatri Sarup Kunwar ... Pratiman Thapa

Written in a poetic manner, the diary shows that the soldiers of the Gurkha platoon, who were killed by the enemy at a young age, always loved Nepal and went to Kailash alive (perhaps prematurely) to die. This means that the Gurkha soldiers who lived up to that time seem to have written this in memory of a friend who was killed. 

The name of the Gurkha soldier (left) and the pages of the diary that Gurkha cried. Source: Philip Cross

The Gurkha army crossed the sea for the first time and reached a completely new territory where there was no language, no way of life, no food, no weather. Some historians have even mentioned that he went to fight in a military uniform. 

It was not winter when I left India for Europe. But when they arrived in Europe, even warm clothes were not enough. They did not have the knowledge to fight by digging trenches. They had never fought in such a cold weather. According to Ecclesiastes in his diary, Gorkhali is understood to be more afraid of the cold than the enemy. 

The tomb of Haribal Thapa, who was taken prisoner of war in Germany and died in the process, is in Germany.

Last Study: -

According to a news published in the British online magazine '' on 21 August 2077, Dr. Alka Atreya Chudal, a professor at the University of Vienna in Austria, is searching for the folklore recorded in the voices of Gurkha soldiers who were taken prisoner of war in Germany during the First World War. 

Between 1914 and 1918, Nepali folk tales, folktales, folk songs, folk poems and village tales narrated by the Gurkha army captured in the Halbmondlager camp in the town of Bunfoss, 40 km from Berlin, Germany, are kept in the Sound Museum of Humboldt University in Germany. More than a hundred folklores are in the voice of the Gurkha army. 

Now the work of transcribing those records has been done. According to Dr. Atreya, these folklores include sensitive issues such as the grief of the Gurkha army, prayers, family love, company orders and memories of the village. 

British troops fight in La Bassa, France. Photo: Internet

Others, who were killed: -

Alexander mentions that on the morning of December 20, 1914, in La Bassi, the Germans fired ammunition. Manveer Thapa was also killed in the same day's battle. His name is in the eighth place in the above mentioned list. 

There are other people who will be killed on December 20 and around La Bassi. Looking at the name, date and place of the incident of the Gurkha platoon stationed there, it seems that they too may have been killed in the battle of La Bassi. 


(Khanal, who is currently living in the UK, is also the author of the books 'Apthero Bato' and 'Jor Bandukko Chaya'.) 

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