10 things we bet you didn't know about the Gurkhas
1. They are named after the small Nepalese state of Gurkha.
2. Over 200,000 Gurkha soldiers fought alongside British troops in World War I and 40 battalions served in World War II.
3. Their motto is, 'It is better to die than to live like a coward.'
4. The kukri (a short, curved sword) is the national weapon of Nepal and each Gurkha carries two, one for every day use and one for ceremonial purposes.
5. Only around 100 young Nepalese men become Gurkhas each year out of the tens of thousands that apply.
6. The selection process includes a 'doko race' where candidates run a steep 4.2 km course while carrying 75 pounds of stones.
7. The Hill Race was introduced in 1890 by Major Bruce of the 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles to show that Gurkhas could compete on equal terms with the Indian Army. In the first year the first thirty three places were won by Gurkhas.
8. One Gurkha hill race record set in 1890 remained unbroken until 1997. (Havildar Harkbir Thapa ran from Sligachan Inn to the top of Mount Glamaig and back in just 55 minutes, a distance of two miles and a rise of 2,817 feet to the summit.
9. The fastest course time for a military team at Trailwalker UK so far is: 9 hours 50 minutes by 'Queen's Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment'.
10. Today around 3,800 Gurkhas serve in the British Army around the world.
Learn more about the Gurkhas