My thanks got o Michael Whittaker for kindly helping me add tonight’s object to my collection. After the partition of India, the British Army retained four Gurkha regiments:
2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1947–1994)
6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1947–1994)
7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1947–1994)
10th Princess Mary’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1947–1994)
These regiments tended to be deployed to warmer parts of the shrinking British Empire such as Brunei, Malaya and Hong Kong. As such they were issued with a special tropical ceremonial uniform that allowed them to perform official functions in the high temperatures and tonight we are looking at a No3 Jacket for a member of the Brigade of Gurkhas:This is a white cotton jacket and it has a smart standing collar, secured with a pair of wire hooks and eyes:A pair of epaulettes are fitted, one to each shoulder:The breast pockets are of the patch variety and secure with a single, removable button. These are white plastic but I suspect that these were swapped out for staybrite regimental ones if required:The pockets on the skirt are internal ones, covered by a simple flap:A pointed cuff is fitted to each sleeve:As it is a ceremonial jacket and belts with swords might be expected to be worn, an internal hanger strap is sewn into the uniform. This allows metal belt hooks to be attached that poke through the side of the jacket and help hold any belt in place:A separate white belt is provided with a removable metal belt buckle for laundering (missing here):Regular washing would be expected with white clothing, so the buttons are removable, each held on with a split ring:The label inside indicates that this is designed for Gurkha troops and the sizing is in the special ‘G’ series of sizes specifically allocated to Gurkha troops:These special sizes were offered because Gurkhas were usually smaller and differently built to English troops and the standard sizes usually would not fit them correctly.
Since 1994 the four Gurkha regiments have merged into the single Royal Gurkha Rifles and today this dress is worn with rifleman’s accoutrements such as black buttons and shoulder boards and red piping to the collar, the basic uniform jacket remains the same however:Sadly my jacket has some rather nasty staining on the pockets and I am still working out the best way to remove it without risking washing out all the detail on the label!